Professor Martin Webber

BA(Hons) (York), MSc (London), DipSW MSc (London), PhD (London), FRSA

Visit Professor Martin Webber's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse his research related activities.



Professional activities

Areas of expertise

  • Mental health social work
  • Development and evaluation of social interventions
  • Social capital and social inclusion
  • Evidence-based practice

Academic biography

I am a registered social worker with experience of working with adults with a learning disability and mental health problems. I am passionate about achieving social change through high quality social work and social care practice with vulnerable and marginalised people. I believe that this important work needs to be informed by rigorous research evidence. To achieve this goal, I work to produce high quality research evidence of relevance for practice and I strive to develop and maintain strong connections with service users and practitioners to help narrow the gap between the worlds of social work research and social work practice.

My primary research interest is the development and evaluation of social interventions with people with mental health problems. This includes primary epidemiological or methodological work; ethnographic work to develop intervention models; and experimental work to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. I collaborate with health economists, psychiatrists, psychologists and other health scientists to maximise the effectiveness of my research. My teaching interests include research methodology and the practice implications of my research. I also have a growing number of PhD students who are working on empirical studies in social work.


Research and PhD supervision

Research projects (recent and current)

The Sababu Intervention Study in Sierra Leone (2015) Funded by Wellcome Trust, Maudsley Charity, American Association for University Women, Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of York, ICMHSR, University of York

Living well with chronic disease: A population-based research programme (2015) Principal Investigator, research collaboration with colleagues in India and Australia

Co-design, co-evaluation and co-learning: street triage, mental health and policing in North Yorkshire (2015) Principal Investigator, Funded by N8/ESRC Resaerch Programme: Realising the Potential of Co-production.

Evaluation of the music group in HMP Wealstun (2015) Prinicpal Investigator, funded by the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

Evaluation of Southwark Reablement Service (2012-13) Principal Investigator, funded by the London Boroughs of Southwark, Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham.

The ClearFear Game: using fun to tackle social anxiety (2012-13) Principal investigator, funded by a Royal Society for the Arts Catalyst Grant.

Personalised care in mental health (2012-13) Principal investigator, funded by an NIHR Programme Development Grant.

Evaluation of the Connecting People Intervention: a pilot study (2012-14) Principal investigator, funded by a NIHR School for Social Care Research grant.

Connecting People: an exploratory study of how health and social care workers help people to develop and maintain social relationships (2010-12) Principal investigator, funded by a NIHR School for Social Care Research grant.

Research team

Meredith Newlin, Research Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Social Work.

Other research team members are based at King’s College London and University of Central Lancashire.

PhD supervision interests

Social capital; social inclusion; mental health social work; empirical research in social work; social interventions.

PhD students

Professor Martin Webber

Contact details

Professor Martin Webber
Professor of Social Work

Tel: 01904 321203



Twitter: @mgoat73

 Good social work practice draws upon relevant and current research to ensure that interventions are as effective as possible.

 Webber, M. (ed) (2015) Applying Research Evidence in Social Work Practice, Palgrave Macmillan


Book cover: Evidence-Based Policy and Practice in Mental Health Social Work

Webber, M. (2011) Evidence-based Policy and Practice in Mental Health Social Work, 2nd ed.


Book cover: Reflective Practice in Mental Health

Webber, M. & Nathan, J. (eds.) (2010) Reflective Practice in Mental Health. Advanced Psychosocial Practice with Children, Adolescents and Adults. Jessica Kingsley