Principal Investigator:
Richard T. Spence, Ph.D.

Duration: 9/15/01 – 6/30/07

The Social Work Research Development Program at the UT Center for Social Work Research is the first program at a public university in the country to be funded as part of a NIDA initiative to stimulate the development of federally funded Social Work research on substance abuse. CSWR’s Research Program focuses specifically upon substance abuse among underserved populations (particularly African-Americans and Mexican-Americans) and emphasizes factors at the individual, family, organizational, societal, and cultural level that influence substance abuse and substance abuse treatment.

CSWR’s five-year, $2 million Social Work Research Development Program involves both research and training activities to develop substance abuse research among faculty and students in the School of Social Work and related disciplines. Activities supported by this program include:

1) Funding of pilot studies, with mentoring by senior researchers and consultants to help faculty with the goal of developing larger-scale federally funded projects.

2) Support of faculty who are ready to make an application to NIDA or other appropriate funding agency. This activity includes mentoring by senior researchers and consultants. It also includes helping faculty to prepare the application for approval by the UT Office of Sponsored Projects, as well as compiling the information to meet the federal application specifications.

3) An ongoing seminar/workshop series also provides state of the art information regarding research methods, grant writing, and findings of current research in the field of substance abuse and under-served groups. Many times featured speakers will have the same research interests as UT/Austin faculty writing grant applications.

4) Two $3,000 dissertation stipends are awarded yearly to doctoral students whose concept papers meet specific criteria. Papers are reviewed by School of Social Work faculty and other University Schools such as Nursing.

The Social Work Research Development Program is housed at the UT Addiction Research Institute. For more information about the Addiction Research Institute, visit

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Keywords: substance abuse