Focus of the Program
The Prevention Science Research Training Program is focused on providing training for early career researchers who are interested in developing skills in prevention science, especially as it relates to alcohol use and problems. Generally speaking, early career refers to those candidates who have earned their Ph.D. or equivalent degree within the past 5 years. This emphasis on developing early career researchers reflects NIAAA’s priorities. Although the priority is on developing early career scientists, in exceptional cases individuals who are mid-career and making a significant transition (e.g., from a purely teaching situation to a research career; major change in field of study) will be considered for admission. In addition to the usual criteria, the success of such candidates will be dependent upon a clearly demonstrated need for additional training that goes beyond their current skills and a significant change in career trajectory.
Who sponsors the Program?
The Prevention Science Research Training Program (PSRTP) is sponsored by Prevention Research Center (PRC) of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) in collaboration with the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). The program is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the National Institutes of Health, grant number T32 AA014125, “Prevention Science Research Training Program.”
What is the Program?
The Prevention Science Research Training Program takes a trans-disciplinary approach that emphasizes the professional development of early career researchers by providing training leading to greater:
- Knowledge of the nature, etiology and consequences of alcohol abuse/dependence and alcohol-related problems;
- Understanding of the spectrum of prevention strategies and the science base underlying these strategies;
- Knowledge of the methodologies and analytic strategies relevant to the study of prevention; and
- Sophistication in techniques associated with the evaluation of prevention programs, including assessing program fidelity and applicability in diverse settings and with diverse populations. The overarching goal of the program is to provide early career scientists with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as researchers in the field of prevention science.
The PSRTP provides training directed by:
- Delivering a core curriculum to build expertise in prevention science as it relates to alcohol studies through a series of structured courses that address alcohol use and abuse, etiology, methodology, public health ethics, and human subjects protections;
- Providing training within a trans-disciplinary environment through informal seminars structured around content and methodological areas and through participation in research in areas outside the trainee’s primary areas of expertise; and
- Facilitating each trainee’s development as a researcher through intensive mentorship with program faculty, undertaking an independent research project, and participation in a grant writing practicum.
The PSRTP achieves these aims through an integrated program that includes:
- Formal seminars given over four semesters, including an introduction to prevention science, research ethics, grant writing, and special methodological and theoretical issues in prevention science;
- Intensive individual mentoring by one or more senior faculty members to provide in-depth and hands-on experience in specific research methods and techniques that are suited to each trainee’s needs;
- Development and execution of yearly work plans to guide research efforts;
- Integration into an ongoing funded research program of a faculty member, including attending project staff meetings, participating in decision making, writing, data analysis, publishing, and project management;
- Completion of an independent research project using secondary or original data resulting in at least one sole or senior authored paper submitted for publication;
- Specialized training in qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis through guided study groups, formal coursework at the University of California, Berkeley, and workshops and seminars offered at other institutions; and
- Regular presentations on current research methods, topics, and findings at seminars and roundtables at PRC that are independent of the PSRTP seminars.
Who directs the Program?
Prevention Research Center
2150 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704-1365