The goal of the RDAR Center is to provide dedicated mentoring, professional development, and Center resources to enable early stage investigators engaged in rural addiction research to become independently funded investigators. Furthermore, the Center aims to create a sustainable environment for interdisciplinary research on rural addiction that links behavioral/clinical approaches to pre-clinical basic science studies. By achieving these goals, the RDAR Center will continue to build on existing infrastructure to support Center investigators in researching challenges and developing interventions to address rural drug addiction.

Fostering Proposal Development and Grant Writing Skills

Project Leaders are supported via an iterative process for the development of NIH R01 applications, based on a grant writing timeline that is part of the Center mentoring agreement, culminating in each Project Leader submitting an R01 or equivalent by the end of Year 2. The RDAR Center also makes several grant writing resources available to its Project Leaders, including attendance at an annual “Write Winning Grant Proposals” workshop delivered at UNL by Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops, LLC. For more details on grant development services available through the RDAR Center, see grant development services below.

Providing Pilot Project Grant Opportunities

The pilot grant program supports innovative collaborative research that uses the resources of the Longitudinal Networks Core Facility or Rural Health Cohort. Pilot projects may also engage in pre-clinical research with clear implications for human clinical application on the issue of rural addiction. The long-term purpose of the pilot program is to lay the groundwork for the development of large, multi-investigator proposals, submission of NIH grant applications, and identification of future Project Leaders. The availability of pilot grants is announced by electronic communications at the University of Nebraska in early June each year. In exceptional cases, applications for pilot grant funding may be considered outside the regular schedule (e.g., if an investigator needs to generate pilot data for a promising resubmission. Pilot grant recipients are required to meet all assurances with federal policies, rules, and guidelines for research involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, or biohazards. Recipients are asked to participate in RDAR’s enrichment activities, helping to spur collaboration and potential interdisciplinary grant applications among the grant recipients and other Center members.

Engaging with the National Research Community

The Center provides a stipend for travel to a national meeting each year by each Project Leader and one postdoctoral researcher or graduate student working on a funded project. Additionally, our Center Recognition Committee advances the careers of Project Leaders by nominating them for professional recognitions, honors, and memberships, including internal recognition awards, editorial board memberships, grant review panels, and/or membership in professional societies.

Supporting NIH Programmatic Interactions

The Administrative Core promotes interactions with other COBRE programs and national NIH-funded programs. For example, directors and members from other rural health-related COBREs are invited for the annual Rural Addiction Research Symposium and the RDAR Center Seminar Series. The Center also contacts other center directors to arrange speaking opportunities for Project Leaders. To encourage dialogue with program officers prior to submission of a proposal, the Center facilitates visits to Washington, D.C. for Project Leaders.

Grant Development Services

The RDAR Center supports the development of high-performing early stage faculty and enhance their competitiveness for independent R01 or equivalent funding. Our strategies have been pilot tested on a smaller scale by Center Director Dombrowski and Center Coordinator Crawford during the last three years, and our faculty development program draws on a common core of administrative support that enhances the ability of Center faculty to plan large-scale collaborative research projects and pursue grant support to carry out independent research. The success of RDAR Center grant development is in the one-on-one training and grant writing support the Center offers. This includes support for the following for our center members and affiliates: team building and coordination; faculty development and mentoring; proposal development and coordination; pre- and post-award grant support; equipment, software, and web support; and dissemination and communications support.

Project Specific Services

Grant Document Development
Bio-Sketches
Budgets/Budget Justification
Facilities and Resources
Equipment
Human Subjects Protections
Multiple PI-Leadership Plan
Reference Compilation
Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
Subaward Documentation
Scope of Work
Letters of commitment
Budgets/Budget Justification
Data Collection & Methodologies
Software and Technologies
Participant Recruitment
Retention Planning
Hard-to-Reach Populations
Survey Design and Planning
Data Visualization
Social Network Data Collection
Collection of Bio-specimens
HIV/HCV Testing Options
Community Collaborations
Advisory/Dissemination Boards
Community Reports
Local and Regional Contacts
Collaborative Best Practices
IRB Proposals
Application Assistance
CITI Training
Field Crisis Management
Consent Forms
Recruitment Scripts
Re-Contact Scripts
Resource Packets
Database Development
IBC Protocals
Application Assistance
Bloodborne Pathogen Training
Information Sheets
Biospecimen Logs