This application requests funding for the creation of an addiction research training fellowship for addiction medicine physicians. Despite the enormous burden of disease attributable to drug and alcohol addiction, there remain major challenges in implementing evidence-based prevention and treatment modalities for substance use disorders. In particular, while there have been remarkable advances in basic science and behavioral research in the area of addictions, there remains a serious shortage of addiction medicine clinician researchers with the ability to conduct clinical research on new treatment approaches and to implement research findings. As a result, despite the development of novel clinical strategies to diagnose and treat drug and alcohol addiction, many evidence-based tools remain greatly under-utilized. Low levels of understanding of addiction science among addiction care providers also creates barriers to the implementation of evidence-based public health programs. To address these issues, the goal of the proposed program is to provide addiction medicine physicians with a one-year intensive addiction research fellowship to develop the skills required for a career in addiction research. Specifically, the proposed fellowship seeks to develop a hands-on interdisciplinary research experience for addiction medicine physicians that builds upon major economies of scale attributable to an existing addiction medicine clinical training fellowship that has been accredited by the American Board of Addiction Medicine, as well as a well-established NIDA-funded research infrastructure and graduate student learning environment of basic science, qualitative, epidemiology and clinical research. Furthermore, the proposed fellowship seeks to provide addiction medicine physicians with research methods training, education in the ethical conduct of research, peer-reviewed publication and funding proposal development, presentation skills and career development training critical for designing and conducting studies on substance use disorders and related comorbidities, including the prevention and treatment of HIV among substance users. Finally, the proposed fellowship seeks to prospectively evaluate how a dedicated research training program for addiction medicine physicians contributes to subsequent ongoing research involvement and research productivity among the next generation of clinician scientists working in the area of substance use disorders. This proposal responds directly to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse's expressed "strong interest in supporting the development of clinical research expertise internationally." Accordingly, the work proposed herein is strongly aligned with the NIDA International Program's call for research education for addiction medicine physicians.
The enormous burden of disease related to drug and alcohol addiction remains a global public health challenge. In particular, the lack of clinician researcher in addiction medicine creates major barriers to developing and implementing evidence-based prevention and treatment modalities for substance use disorders. In response, we propose the creation of an addiction research training fellowship for addiction medicine physicians to develop the skills required for a career in addiction research.