About GADE - Group for Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work

About GADE

The Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) is an organization made up of over 100 social work doctoral programs directors worldwide who represent their member universities and colleges. Founded in 1977, GADE's primary purpose is to promote excellence in doctoral education in social work, especially through networking, information sharing, and advocacy.

Our members focus on sharing experiences to support innovation and excellence in teaching and learning and the advancement of the quality of doctoral research. We support the success and professional development of doctoral students in all their diversity and promote recognition of their achievements and contributions. We are committed to identifying and sharing potential funding sources or other resources that support doctoral education while providing guidance and support to new and developing doctoral programs here and abroad.

Importantly, GADE disseminates PhD Program Quality Guidelines and represents and promotes the interests and concerns of social work/social welfare doctoral programs in the larger profession.

Networking and Information Exchange

GADE sponsors a members-only annual conference in the Spring that provides rich opportunities for networking, information exchange, and intellectual challenge and reflection around curriculum, educational administration, and doctoral program implementation. Our annual meetings are heavily attended and positively evaluated. We also maintain an active Listserve of all member Directors of PhD and DSW programs which provides another primary vehicle for lively and timely informal sharing of best practices.


We represent the interests of GADE and social work doctoral education through participation in coalitions, such as Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Leadership Forum and NASW’s ANSWER COALITION. GADE also regularly participates in and sponsors events at other social work education conferences. This includes a doctoral student breakfast at CSWE’s annual meeting, an information session at BPD (Baccalaureate Program Directors), and a reception for members and GADE alumni at the Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR) annual conference.

Supporting Doctoral Student Success

Our commitment to excellence is illustrated by our recognition of doctoral students through our robust awards program. Using a competitive application process, GADE annually presents an award for excellence in doctoral research and one for student service and leadership, which brings well-deserved visibility to their achievements. In addition, our website offers links to funding sources, academic employment listings, and other resources for current and prospective doctoral students alike.