NORWEL is the first of its kind to provide a school for PhD-students doing their research in social work and child welfare. PhD-students enrolled in NORWEL will contribute to the academic maturity of the social work and child welfare professions.

NORWEL activities are:

  • PhD-courses
  • NORWEL symposia
  • KTE (knowledge and transfer exchange)-workshops
  • Online colloquium groups
  • Networking activities internationally and nationally

NORWEL hosted by UiT and NTNU

NORWEL will be hosted for the first four years by the Department of Child Welfare and Social Work at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and for the remaining four years, by the Department of Social Work at NTNU.


In close partnership with international research groups, user organisations, national policy makers and frontline services in the public sector, NORWEL aims to become a major force to boost research capacity within the fields of social work and child welfare.

PhD-students will be encouraged to spend time at a home-university of one of the collaborating international partners of NORWEL (QUT, Australia; University of Helsinki; Finland; Aalborg University, Denmark; ISCTE, Portugal; University of Michigan, USA og University of Kwazulu-Natal, South-Africa).

To support individual mobility, students can apply for funding from NORWELs Guest Scientific Missions Grants.


The main objective for NORWEL is to establish a research school of excellence for social work and child welfare PhD-students, based on the principles of practice relevance, research integrity and ethics, stakeholder participation and end-user relevance.

NORWEL will support PhD-students in developing their research projects with a high level of relevance for social and child welfare policies and service delivery. PhD-students at NORWEL may pursue a career in higher social and child welfare service management, or as highly qualified researchers within academia.

NORWEL will provide an innovative mix of formal and informal learning activities, ensuring that PhD-students are offered an inclusive environment for exchange of ideas.