Program Contact: Dr. Albert Avila.
In September 2015, the National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded two contracts to support the career and research development of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) scholars dedicated to pursuing substance abuse and addiction research within AI/AN communities. Contracts were awarded to Colorado University Health Science Center and the University of Washington. These mentoring programs are designed to improve AI/AN health and eliminate substance abuse-related health disparities by:
- Developing an integrated, comprehensive, and centralized trans-disciplinary research training and mentorship program
- Cultivating existing and establishing novel partnerships with AI/AN tribal communities, particularly tribal colleges and other organizations to facilitate truly collaborative research training and mentorship opportunities related to substance abuse prevention and addictions research;
- Developing new and enhancing existing research training activities that prepare AIAN researchers to conduct scientifically rigorous and culturally grounded substance abuse and addictions research;
- Strengthening and increasing AI/AN engagement, outreach and institutional partnerships in addressing substance abuse prevention needs in Indian Country;
- Providing support, guidance, and direction to junior trainees for the submission of NIH grant applications and peer review manuscripts; and
- Participating in an annual scientific meetings convened by groups with a mission and interest similar to the goals of the mentoring program for the purpose of recruiting students/faculty, encouraging interest in addiction research, educating attendees about drug abuse and addiction in Al/AN communities (e.g., the NIDA, Office of Diversity and Health Disparities, Association of American Indian Physicians, Indian Health Service, the Office for Minority Health, American Indian Research Network and American Psychiatric Association).