About the Criminal Justice Research Training Program

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The Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Training Program on Substance Use, HIV, and Comorbidities
Principal Investigator: Curt G. Beckwith, MD
Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R25DA037190)

Involvement with the criminal justice (CJ) system, substance use, and infection with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are syndemic in the United States. Criminal justice-involved persons are disproportionately substance users and are more likely to be infected with HIV, HCV, have underlying mental health disorders, and be marginalized from community health resources compared to those who are not involved with the criminal justice system. Furthermore, incarcerated populations are also more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities, and be economically and educationally disadvantaged. Despite these realities, there is a relative dearth of clinical research aimed at improving treatment outcomes among justice-involved populations. To address this public health disparity and increase the number and capacity of clinical scientists working with justice-involved populations, we have established The Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Program on Substance Use, HIV, and Comorbidities.

The two-year training program will be led by an experienced team of clinical investigators from Lifespan/Brown University who collectively have several decades of experience conducting research related to substance use, HIV, and associated comorbidities among criminal justice populations both locally and across the nation. This program is designed to prepare participants for NIH-funded research careers in the field.

The Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Training Program on Substance Use, HIV, and Comorbidities aims to provide participants with the following:

  • A solid educational foundation for clinical research including research methodology and scientific writing skills by having participants attend the Summer Institute for Clinical and Translational Research offered by the Brown University School of Public Health (note that qualified scientists with pre-existing research backgrounds will be able to opt-out of the summer program and/or attend other formal educational courses with Executive Committee approval).
  • Supplemental education on issues unique to justice-involved populations including the ethics and practice of conducting research in criminal justice settings; the epidemiology and treatment of HIV, substance abuse disorders, and associated comorbidities including HCV in justice-involved populations; barriers to optimal treatment outcomes in this population; innovative research strategies including the Seek, Test, Treat, and Retain (STTR) strategy to control the HIV and HCV epidemics among justice-involved populations; and relevant community and implementation science research methods and strategies.
  • A mentored research experience including funds for pilot projects (up to $15,000) that will offer participants the opportunity to develop interventions and preliminary datasets appropriate for future NIH grants and/or conduct secondary analyses of existing datasets, as well as to disseminate their findings at national meetings and through the peer-reviewed literature.
  • Ongoing mentored research support and collaborative learning experiences by convening research-in-progress seminars to review data collection, analyses, dissemination efforts and to provide technical grant writing assistance that integrates the research experience.

This training program does not provide direct stipends nor salary support for participants. Resources are available to support: participation in the Summer Institute and other educational opportunities including associated travel, room, and board; pilot projects; and attendance at relevant conferences and scientific meetings.

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY: Five early career research scientists from the United States and Puerto Rico will be enrolled in the training program annually. Junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and exceptional predoctoral candidates are welcome to apply. The program is limited to U.S. citizens.

APPLICATION PROCESS: For more information or to inquire about applying, please contact info@lifespanbrowncjrt.org. You learn more about the application process by clicking here. All applicants will be asked to provide: a current CV; personal statement detailing experience, career goals, and research interests specific to this training program; and two letters of recommendation. In addition, qualified applicants will complete an interview with members of the Executive Committee.