• Article
  • Aug 11 2021

Pilot Grants Expand Substance Use Research Opportunities

New pilot grants at the University of Kentucky are supporting innovative research to further understand causes and treatments of substance use disorders.

Since they were launched last year, UK’s Substance Use Research Priority Area (SUPRA) pilot grants have already assisted 16 faculty and student researchers. Their projects support SUPRA’s mission to prevent and reduce the burdens of substance use disorders through conducting and translating transdisciplinary and innovative research to inform clinical services, public health practice and policy.

“We have several SUPRA pilot grant mechanisms that are affording opportunities for more undergraduate and graduate students to get involved in substance use research,” said Carrie Oser, Ph.D., professor of sociology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences who oversaw the SUPRA pilot grant programming. “It’s crucial to provide funding for preliminary data that can be used to strengthen external grant applications.”

The awards fund substance use research led by UK faculty and students from basic science, pre-clinical, clinical or community research perspectives.

The second round of funding awarded this summer included five graduate/professional student awards and three faculty awards, totaling $174,000.

One of the faculty grants was awarded in partnership with UK’s UNited In True racial Equity (UNITE) Research Priority Area. The selected project aligned with UNITE’s mission to support research on racial disparities, racial health equity, social and racial justice.

Led by T.K. Logan, Ph.D., professor in the UK College of Medicine’s Department of Behavioral Science, the project will explore the impact of COVID-related stressors, substance use, and firearm-related risks among Black, Hispanic and white young adults.

SUPRA recently released two new pilot grants aimed at postdoctoral scholars/fellows and faculty who are new to substance use research, with applications due Sept. 20, 2021.

The UK Research Priorities Initiative, funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research, encompasses seven priority areas: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes & obesity, diversity & inclusion, energy, neuroscience, and substance use disorder. These areas were chosen based on local relevance, existing funding strength, sustainability and disciplinary scholarly diversity. Learn more at www.research.uky.edu/research-priorities-initiative.