Conducting Research


Work with mentors

Each trainee must have a primary mentor, selected from among the Core faculty for the training program, and may also have a secondary mentor, selected from among the Core and affiliated faculty for the training program. Trainees will work with their mentors in their mentors' research program to develop specific research skills and to develop in-depth expertise in the scientific literature of relevance to the mentors' area of research. Trainees have opportunities to access datasets that the mentors may have and to participate in jointly authored and first authored publications from the mentors' lab.

Independent research and community-based research

Equally important to the training program is that each trainee develops their own line of research that will then serve as a basis for the trainee's early career after the completion of training. Each trainee should articulate an area of research that is unique from the specific studies being conducted in the mentor's lab. This research should form the basis for the trainee's research studies, including thesis or dissertation research and collection of preliminary data to support applications for external grant funding. Faculty of the T32 embrace community-based participatory research and team science approaches. We seek to help trainees build community and transdisciplinary collaborations, such that trainees integrate researchers from diverse disciplines, practitioners from diverse treatment settings, persons with lived experience, and community stakeholders in their research. Goals toward individual research projects, community-based participatory research, and inter- and transdisciplinary science collaborations are welcome and trainees should work with mentors to identify SMART goals for their individual contributions to larger team projects and community-based participator research.

Publications and science communication

Publication in peer-reviewed journals, as well as publication of journal chapters, monographs, and books, is the backbone of science and important to the development of an identity as a scientist in the alcohol research field. Papers may arise from the trainee's own research, current research in the mentor's lab, current research in another training grant faculty member's lab, or from existing datasets accessible to the trainee through training grant faculty or publicly archived datasets. Communicating science to broader audiences is also imperative for our field to increase dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices and processes. Trainees are encouraged to seek out creative ways of dissemination, including traditional publications and also science communication efforts. Trainees are also encouraged to collaborate with other trainees on publication opportunities. The T32 encourages open discussions and mutual agreement regarding authorship decisions, scorecards are available to determine authorship order and we also recommend the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT).

Conference presentations

Presenting papers and posters at national scientific meetings is an excellent way to disseminate your research, meet other scientists with common scholarly interests, get feedback on work in progress, and increase your visibility within the scientific community. All trainees are expected to attend the annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism or the College of Problems on Drug Dependence, and to present papers or posters at that meeting. Additional presentations may be made at conferences in areas of particular interest to the trainee's research.

Research with affiliated faculty and trainees

In addition to the work with primary and secondary training grant mentors, trainees are encouraged to seek out additional research opportunities with other core or affiliated faculty and other T32 trainees. Many of them have on-going projects or datasets that are available for trainees to work with. The training program will provide some opportunities to meet the faculty, but trainees are also encouraged to seek out other research opportunities with these faculty.