Cover Story

Substance abuse continues to be a prime area for psychology research opportunities. Both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have spent more than 40 percent of their budgets on behavioral and social science research over the past few years. While that number includes more than just psychology, it highlights the value these agencies place on understanding psychological and behavioral aspects of alcohol and drug dependence.

And with the effort to double NIH's budget heading into its fourth year in 2002, that steady percentage translates into hefty increases for what the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently characterized as the nation's No. 1 health problem.

For scientists interested in substance abuse funding opportunities, here's a list of the key organizations and institutes that support behavioral and social science research on substance abuse:

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA's extramural research program supports a range of neuroscience and behavioral science research on the treatment and prevention of drug abuse. NIDA welcomes investigator-initiated proposals, sponsors program announcements and regularly posts requests for applications. New opportunities include the availability of funds to supplement existing NIDA-supported research project grants to study the transition from drug use to addiction. For more information, visit the funding section of NIDA's Web site at www.drugabuse.gov.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
NIAAA supports a broad range of behavioral and biomedical research on the causes, consequences, treatment and prevention of alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. NIAAA regularly posts program announcements, grants for career development, fellowships and requests for applications on its Web site, and also accepts unsolicited research proposals. A priority area is research on preventing the onset of alcohol abuse in adolescents and youth. NIAAA also lists answers to frequently asked funding questions, grant application procedures and NIAAA program contacts on its extramural funding Web site at www.niaaa.nih.gov/extramural/extramural.htm.

National Cancer Institute
The Tobacco Control Research Branch (TCRB) of the National Cancer Institute funds basic and applied research in the behavioral and social sciences on the prevention and cessation of tobacco use among youth and adults. Specifically, TCRB funds studies to develop and test interventions to prevent the onset of tobacco use; studies of approaches for preventing tobacco use among youth; studies that assess the clinical treatment of individuals for nicotine dependence; and studies that evaluate the impact of tobacco policies, pricing and marketing restrictions on tobacco use. For funding information, visit the TCRB Web site at http://dccps.nci.nih.gov/TCRB/default.html.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
NIDCR's Office of Clinical, Behavioral and Health Promotion Research supports basic behavioral and social science research relevant to oral diseases, health promotion and health care, including prevention and treatment research targeting tobacco-use behavior. For more information, visit NIDCR at www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/extramural/behavior2.htm.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA is charged with improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitative services. SAMHSA has several programs that offer discretionary grant funding, including the Knowledge Development and Application program, which funds research on how to improve the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illness and apply that knowledge in everyday practice. Visit the SAMHSA Web site at www.samhsa.gov/grants/grants.html.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
RWJF is the largest U.S. foundation devoted to improving the health and health care of all Americans, and one-third of its resources go to programs on substance abuse. The foundation sponsors competitive national research programs and accepts unsolicited proposals for research throughout the year. Of particular interest to psychologists is the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program, which encourages experts in public health and behavioral and policy sciences to address issues related to substance abuse. For more information, visit the foundation's Web site at www.rwjf.org.

The American Legacy Foundation
Legacy is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit public health foundation dedicated to reducing youth tobacco use, reducing people's exposure to second-hand smoke and decreasing tobacco consumption. The foundation supports research on programs that aim to reduce youth substance abuse and prevent diseases associated with tobacco; studies that monitor public awareness programs and classroom education programs; and projects to develop criteria for effective cessation programs. For more information, visit the foundation's Web site at: www.americanlegacy.org/grants/research.html.