This proposal represents a request for continued, five-year support of our current, interdisciplinary training program, which was founded at the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center (UMSARC) in 1994. The primary objective of the training program is to produce new scholars who eventually will conduct ground-breaking substance abuse research and will incorporate other disciplinary perspectives into their research. Over the previous five-year training period, 10 post-doctoral and 11 pre-doctoral fellows have been funded and 27% of these trainees were from underrepresented groups. The program reflects an increasing sophistication with interdisciplinary mentoring models. Strengths of this program include the frequent opportunities for interaction among the pre and post-doctoral fellows and the diverse nature of the training faculty. The pre-doctoral trainees are admitted after reaching candidacy;they are required to complete the Ph.D. requirements in their home departments and to complete the additional requirements of our Training Program. This guarantees that students have intensive preparation in one discipline while also receiving interdisciplinary training. Our pre-doctoral fellows are successful in obtaining appropriate training and academic opportunities after leaving our program. The post-doctoral trainees are required to identify two UMSARC faculty mentors from different disciplines;their primary mentor is from their own area of interest/discipline and assumes the majority of mentorship responsibilities. The second mentor is selected to offer new perspectives and opportunities for training. Our post-doctoral trainees leave our training program with the skills necessary to begin independent careers. Finally, this NIDA interdisciplinary training program is administered by a Director and Co-director, with the continuing advice of the Admissions and Curriculum Committee. Regardless of whether the trainee is a pre- or a post-doctoral fellow, once in our program all trainees are expected to engage in interdisciplinary training activities in addition to the training they receive in their own disciplines. The pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training includes: 1) an exposure to a critical analysis of extant research on substance abuse (Pro-seminars and Interdisciplinary Speakers Series);2) an opportunity to develop methodologically sound research by working with UMSARC faculty mentors;3) an interdisciplinary discussion of culturally and gender sensitive research strategies (fall meetings and Pro- seminar);4) the opportunity to present their research to an interdisciplinary audience for critique;5) an opportunity to learn about the responsible conduct of research;and 6) the initiation of a research career in the field of substance abuse (for pre-doctoral fellows) or the development of additional skills to enable the post-doctoral trainee to become an independent investigator.

Public Health Relevance

;This unique training program will produce scholars with a broad perspective on substance abuse who will seek to incorporate interdisciplinary and translational components into their research. The ability of the trainees to assimilate their knowledge of addiction literally from the bench to the beside will lead to more rapid and integrative advances in substance abuse research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
AIDS Behavioral Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Kautz, Mary A
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
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Ann Arbor
United States
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