Great attention in the Institute of Social Work is given to research activity which is carried out within the framework of social - pedagogical scientific school Formation and Development of the Institute of Social Pedagogues and Social Workers in Russia (forms and methods of social - pedagogical work in various societies; a professional training for social sphere), headed by Raisa M. Kulichenko,  Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, professor. The school is represented by 20 members, among which are 3 doctors (Phds) and 11 candidates of sciences (Masters).

The following are the priority directions of scientific school’s activities:

·     research on the foundation of social work as professional work and development of its theory and methods;

·      construction of a conceptual model of social education;

·      development of modern technologies of training of experts in the social sphere.

Members of the school fruitfully develop methodological aspects of social work as an area of scientific knowledge. Issues of the inception and development of social welfare and social work in Russia and foreign countries are investigated. Forms and methods of social - pedagogical work with populations of various groups at risk are developed. The conditions of  the effective formation of professional and personal qualities of experts in the social sphere during their high school preparation are explored.

           For many years researchers of the Institute work on fundamental research by request of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation Development of theory and methodological bases of social - pedagogical activity in conditions of modern rural society, actively participate in  the scientific and technical program of the Russian Academy of Education Development of an Education System in Rural Society: Integration of Science and Practice, and conduct research by request of Administrations of different territories of the Tambov region.

              Results of research activity of the faculty of the Institute have been presented in 6 monographs, 2 textbooks, 12 educational manuals, 8 collections of research articles and in numerous publications in the central and university journals and have received recognition of the professional community of Russia and foreign countries.

Successful research activities is possible because of the good connections of the Institute with the leading scientific and pedagogical centers of Russia and foreign countries, including the Institute of Pedagogy of Social Work of the Russian Academy of Education, the Institute of General and Special Education of the Russian Academy of Education, the Research Center of Problems of Quality of Preparation of Specialists of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, Moscow State Social University, Voronezh State Pedagogical University, and Altay State University.

           The Institute actively builds international connections. Since 1996 it has developed  cooperation with Indiana State University (USA), which is guided by a Memorandum of Cooperation. This Memorandum includes student and faculty exchanges, international internships, introduction to educational process of components of distance education and information technologies, and joint research projects in the field of the well-being of children, problems of family, and gender approaches in social work administration.

                                      

        Raisa M. Kulichenko, Director of The Institute of Social Work and Yuri A. Zusman, Head of Department of International Communications of TSU at the reception of  Lloyd Benjamin, Rector of  Indiana State University (in the middle)

A distinctive feature of the Institute of Social Work of TSU named after G.R. Derzhavin is wide interaction with non-governmental associations of social orientation. Among its partners are the Union of Social Pedagogues and Social Workers of the Russian Federation and its regional branches, the All-Russian public organization Children's and Youth’s Social Initiatives, the regional public organization of pupils and graduates of children's homes and boarding schools Hope, Tambov regional organization Youth’s initiatives, regional branch of the All-Russian public organization of young invalids Ramp, and regional branch of the Union of Women of Russia, etc.

During the last few years the Institute of Social Work has hosted a number of scientific and practical conferences, including 5 international, 3 All-Russian, 3 inter-regional and 3 regional.