The NIAAA Doctoral Training Program at the Heller School at Brandeis University prepares students to become alcohol-related health services research scholars for teaching and research careers in universities, government agencies, research organizations and major service delivery systems. It has been an integral component of the Ph.D. program at the Heller School since the training grant's beginning in 1994. This program in alcohol-related health services research specifically focuses on how organization, management, financing and payment make a difference in the effective delivery of prevention and treatment services for alcohol problems. In this competitive renewal, the successful leadership and program structure and content of the current NIAAA multi-disciplinary training program is maintained. The same number of predoctoral training slots for the next five year cycle is requested. Three new students enter the program each year and are typically supported for three years. The Heller NIAAA Doctoral Training Program has a number of educational goals that function at the intersection of three domains: theory, applied research, and policy. A rigorous multi-disciplinary education, intensive discipline-based mentoring, and hands-on research experience combine to provide the Heller NIAAA doctoral trainees with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful and effective alcohol-related health services researchers. Collaborations with local universities, including Boston University, Brown University, and Harvard Medical School complement Heller's strengths in social science research with more clinically-oriented approaches to studying alcohol problems. The progress and commitment of the current and former trainees of the Heller NIAAA Doctoral Training Program provide evidence for the success of this approach to doctoral training.
Alcohol-related services research can lead to improved systems for prevention and treatment services, enhancing quality, and reducing the adverse consequences of alcohol use disorders. Training the next generation of alcohol services researchers continues to be crucial because of the continued magnitude of alcohol problems in the US, and the complexity of the alcohol prevention and treatment systems.
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