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Addiction Research Training Programs: Four Case Studies and Recommendations for Evaluation

Campbell, Aimee, N.C.; Back, Sudie, E.; Ostroff, Jamie, S.; Hien, Denise, A.; Gourevitch, Marc, N.; Sheffer, Christine, E.; Brady, Kathleen, T.; Hanley, Kathleen; Bereket, Sewit; Book, Sarah

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000328

The presence of structured addiction research training programs helps to ensure that the scientific workforce includes well-trained, diverse scientists necessary to reduce the negative impact of alcohol, drug, and tobacco use disorders. Although the field has made significant progress in the development of standards for clinical training in addiction medicine, there remains significant room for improvement in the training of addiction researchers, and also opportunities to synergize across addiction research training programs. The purpose of this commentary is to describe 4 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored addiction research training programs, highlight critical components, and provide recommendations for more comprehensive and effective program evaluation. Moving forward, evaluation of addiction research training programs would be enhanced by the use of conceptual models to inform process and outcome evaluations, the application of innovative methods to ensure long-term data collection, the improvement of mentorship evaluation measures, and the integration of training methods from other fields of study. We encourage NIH and others in the field to be proactive in establishing core metrics for evaluation across programs. Furthermore, centralized tracking of NIH-funded addiction research trainees, analysis of aggregate data across programs, and innovative methods to effectively disseminate program materials and processes are recommended.

Division of Substance Use Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY (ANCC); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina and Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC (SEB, KTB); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (JSO); Gordon F. Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University and Division of Substance Use Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY (DAH); Department of Population Health NYU School of Medicine (MNG, SB); Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY (CES); NYU School of Medicine (KH); and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Addiction Sciences Division, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (SB).

Send correspondence to Aimee N.C. Campbell, PhD, 1051 Riverside Drive, Room 3731, New York, NY 10032. E-mail:

Received 7 November, 2016

Accepted 12 May, 2017

Portions of this article were presented at a workshop at the 39th Annual National Conference of the Association of Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) in Washington, DC, November 2015.

Funding: Support for this article was provided by the National Institutes of Health: NIDA R25 DA022461 (PI: Gourevitch); NIDA R25 DA035161 (Dual PIs: Hien, Ruglass); NIDA R25 DA020537 (Dual PIs: Back, Brady); NCI P20 CA192991 (PI: Ostroff); and NCI P20 CA192993 (PI: Sheffer).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2017 American Society of Addiction Medicine