SAHM/NIDA Mentor-Facilitated Training (MFT) Award in Substance Use Disorders

The NIDA Mentored-Facilitated Training (MFT) Award in Substance Use Disorders Science Dissemination, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and sponsored by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), will offer up to $12,000 for support, $10,000 for the trainee stipend and up to $2,000 for a mentor stipend.

Accelerating the dissemination of substance use disorder (SUD) research, particularly opioid use disorder (OUD) research findings and encouraging the implementation of evidence-based practices in health care settings, is a priority for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and represents the core mission of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network Dissemination Initiative (NIDA CTN DI).

The NIDA CTN DI uses collaboration between expert clinicians, clinical researchers, experienced trainers, and NIDA staff to rapidly disseminate research findings from NIDA’s vast scientific portfolio to a variety of collaborators, including policymakers, program administrators, and frontline prevention and treatment providers.

SAHM has partnered with NIDA CTN to administer NIDA Mentor-Facilitated Training Awards, a key component of the NIDA CTN DI that supports the development of expertise in SUD, especially OUD, among trainees from a variety of disciplines, through the completion of a mentor-supervised project.

The goals of the award are:

  1. To promote the dissemination of SUD research findings, thereby improving knowledge and the utilization of evidence-based SUD treatment among health care providers,
  2. To facilitate the professional growth and development of future clinician leaders in SUD management.

Funds may be used for educational and resource materials/courses related to your project and travel to a SAHM Annual Meeting and the NIDA CTN Annual Steering Committee Meeting.

Completed applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on September 30, 2024.

Detailed Award Information
Dates and Deadline Information
  • Deadline for receipt of application: September 30, 2024 Notification of award: December 16, 2024
  • Mandatory MFT Award Training Orientation: January 15, 2025
  • Funding period: January 5, 2025 – December 30, 2025
Purpose of the Award
  • The award will: Engage the awardee in a one-year mentored experience that provides an opportunity to learn about key areas of SUD and SUD treatment strategies and the effective dissemination of existing research findings. The year-long experience culminates in the completion of an educational/quality improvement/dissemination project that addresses educational or knowledge gaps that the awardee identifies.
  • Foster interest in either a clinical career providing evidence-based management of SUD in medical settings or pursuing their own research interests in the field in the future.

Awardee projects will be shared at group virtual meetings as well as at the annual NIDA CTN Steering Committee meeting. The awardee is strongly encouraged to develop a manuscript of their project for submission for publication in a peer-reviewed journal after completion of the MFT year.


The mentor should have experience in dissemination and implementation science or clinical treatment and/or research experience in the field of substance use disorders. The mentor is responsible for:

  • Providing a letter of support of the awardee, including plans for regular phone or video meetings over the course of the award year;
  • Assisting with planning and execution of the awardee’s project;
  • Assisting with developing a poster and PowerPoint presentations.

Awardees are encouraged to develop a project related to work done by their mentor. A mentor stipend will be provided, as above, and more than one mentor may be proposed.

Applicant Eligibility

The applicant must be enrolled in health care professional training or a trainee in an approved clinical residency or a clinical fellowship training program. Eligible candidates must not have a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research fellowship, an NIH research award, or an NIH career development award. Previous MFT awardees are not eligible to receive another award.

Award Administration, Application, and Selection Process

SAHM will administer the NIDA CTN Mentor-Facilitated Training Award through planning, on-site coordination, and evaluation of applications. Candidates cannot have previous or simultaneous funding from NIH or research funding sources. Eligible candidates may not have received a previous training award (NIH research fellowship or a NIH research career development award).

Award recipients are selected through a competitive process. 

Each application will be reviewed by researchers, program managers and/or clinicians who are involved and informed in dissemination of findings from the field of SUD. Each application will be judged primarily by the likelihood of producing dedicated, qualified clinicians and champions in the field of SUD medicine as indicated by:

  1. Qualifications of the Applicant: The applicant’s background, experiences, and qualifications.
  2. Qualifications of the Mentor: The mentor’s expertise, experience, and commitment to supporting the applicant.
  3. Merit of the Training Plan and Project: The overall quality and viability of the proposed training plan and project.
  4. Budget Adequacy: The capacity to meet the objectives outlined in the application.
  5. Institutional Support: The commitment and willingness of the applicant’s institution to provide facilities and support to complete the project as described.

Use English only and avoid jargon and abbreviations. For terms not universally known, spell out the term the first time it is used with the appropriate abbreviation in parentheses; the abbreviation may be used thereafter.

Do not submit an incomplete application. An application will be considered incomplete if it is illegible, if it fails to follow instructions, or if the material presented is insufficient to permit an adequate review. Unless specifically required by these instructions do not send supplementary material. The application consists of the following sections:

Provide a brief summary of the project proposal and any associated activities (e.g., coursework, other technical training). Include rationale, specific aims, and significance.

Write a statement outlining your qualifications, experiences, and motivation for pursuing the mentor-facilitated training.

Background Information
Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that your project addresses. Explain how your project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice.


State concisely the specific objectives of your project (e.g., create a novel curriculum, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, or address a critical barrier to progress in the field).

Proposed Methods or Activities

      • Describe your overall strategy, methodology, and how you will evaluate your project’s success.
      • Discuss potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success.
      • If the project is in the early stages of development, describe your strategy to establish feasibility and manage any risks to the proposed work.

Describe how you aim to achieve your project objectives.

Specify the expected milestones and activities for each month throughout the award year. Describe how you and your mentor will work together to meet the goals of your project and how your mentor will monitor your progress.

Include current biographical sketches for you and your mentor(s).

If applicable, provide a list of other associates or consultants and describe how they will contribute to your project. Tell us about facilities and support available to you through your institution (e.g., assistance with statistical calculations).

Indicate how the money will be spent. Justify all major expenditures. Include estimated travel expenses.

Include a list of references cited in the application.

Explain any current or previous funding received.

Include letters of support from the mentor(s), your department chairs or appropriate program director affirming their support for your participation in the MFT program.


Program Evaluation: Awardees will be contacted annually by the Dissemination Initiative following completion of the funding year regarding career paths, ongoing dissemination or implementation activities, leadership in promoting the adoption of evidence-based practices in clinical settings, subsequent grants/contracts obtained, and publications. Awardees will be expected to respond to this outreach.

This award cannot support new, free-standing pilot research, clinical trials, or clinical research studies. Any proposed activities such as secondary analyses or quality improvement initiatives must be eligible for IRB exemption and display merit to impact on or increase the adoption of evidence-based practices. Focus groups and informal interviews may be conducted if eligible for IRB exemption and will inform the mentored project.

Duration: Applications will be accepted for one year of participation.

Extension of Award Period: In unusual circumstances, arrangements can be made for an extension of an award. Such a request must be made by the applicant at least 60 days before the expiration date of the award. This request must be made in writing, specify reasons for requesting the extension, and state a new expiration date. Project extensions of greater than six months will not be considered.

Change of Status of Designated Mentor or Applicant: If the applicant changes affiliations or ceases work in the field for which the award was made, the award will terminate, and the remaining balance will be returned unless the applicant and their new institution demonstrate the ability to successfully complete the planned project and receive approval to continue. If the named mentor changes affiliations or ceases work in the field for which the award was made, the award will terminate, and the remaining balance will be returned unless another appropriate mentor or plan to ensure appropriate mentoring is identified and approved.

Location of Work: Awards are for projects in the United States at an accredited medical school, medical center, or institution affiliated with a university teaching program. The awardee, with the direction of the mentor, will make all arrangements for conducting the proposed projects.

Liability of SAHM and National Institute on Drug Abuse: SAHM and NIDA assume no financial liability if patient care responsibilities of any kind are undertaken by the NIDA applicant or mentor. The mentor, the applicant, and their respective institution(s) acknowledge that NIDA and SAHM are not legally liable for the conduct of the applicant or the mentor and associate faculty.

Patent Policy: The mentor, the applicant, and their respective institution(s) acknowledge that if a patentable invention or discovery is conceived, or conceived and reduced to practice by the award during the term of the award year, NIDA and SAHM must be apprised of the invention and the institution’s plans for protecting such invention under existing institutional patent policy. SAHM defers to institutional policies where they follow those of the federal government. NIDA and SAHM reserve the right where the institution has no patent policy, or policies not in compliance with those of the federal government, to claim rights and interests in the invention or discovery consistent with FAR Clause 52.227-11, Patent Rights-Ownership by the Contractor.

Project Guidelines and Examples

For the Mentor-Facilitated Training Award, NIDA and SAHM encourage clinically relevant applications with a focus on treatment of SUDs and the dissemination of research findings of evidence-based practices into clinical settings. To this end, awardees will develop and execute a plan designed to increase their own clinical knowledge of the management of SUD, especially OUD. They will then design and complete a project aimed at the dissemination of existing SUD treatment research findings.

This award cannot be used to conduct basic or clinical research studies or trials.

Secondary data analysis of treatment research datasets may be completed in pursuit of award goals, provided the project proposed is eligible for Institutional Review Board (IRB) exemption and displays merit to impact on or increase the adoption of evidence-based practices.

Examples of appropriate activities and projects:

  • Identify curriculum training gaps in SUD and choose research findings and/or products developed by NIDA or other professional associations that could bridge such gaps. Disseminate the identified information through a series of lectures, seminars, etc. For example, a previous awardee identified a lack of the use of buprenorphine in Emergency Departments (EDs) and designed a curriculum for ED physicians and nurses that presented evidence-based information on the benefits of starting buprenorphine in the ED across the hospitals for the training program.
  • Develop materials that could be used for quality improvement or integration of an evidence-based approach or process in the management of SUD in a medical setting and conduct activities for quality improvement. For example, a previous awardee identified that stigma impacts on the quality of care for persons with substance use disorders. This project included ways that stigma can be addressed using evidence-based materials.
  • Analyze de-identified data from completed clinical trials such as those found on the NIDA Data Share website to inform dissemination efforts; characterize the availability of data on substance use or practice patterns; identify gaps in the provision of evidence-based practices; and identify needs for dissemination.

Additional examples of recent dissemination projects created by awardees are available on request.

Program Activities and Requirements

MFT Individual Meeting: The awardee and mentor(s) will participate in a virtual meeting to discuss the expectations of the program.

Check-In Meetings: Awardees are required to participate in three virtual group check-in meetings to discuss the progress of their dissemination projects.

Progress and Final Reports: The awardee and mentor(s) are required to submit a 6-month narrative progress report and a final narrative report at the end of the performance period. Failure to provide the report may negatively impact your institution’s ability to apply for future awards. These reports will be submitted to the Sponsoring Organization for subsequent submission to NIDA. If the awardee’s project is not completed at the end of the designated performance period, and appropriate approvals to continue have been granted, the final report must still be submitted as an outline of work done and projections for work/expenditures remaining.

Institutional Annual Meeting: Attendance is expected at the Sponsoring Organization’s annual meeting, where the awardees will present a poster abstract of their work following the completion of the award. Award funds may be used to pay for travel and lodging expenses.

NIDA CTN Steering Committee Meeting: The awardee is expected to attend the NIDA CTN Steering Committee Meeting. Mentors are also encouraged to attend. Award funds may be used to pay for travel and lodging expenses.
Publications: Publications will acknowledge the support of NIDA and SAHM. All work supported by the NIDA CTN Mentor-Facilitated Training Award should be made available to the public and scientific community through approved scientific channels such as national meetings and peer-reviewed publications. Two reprints of each publication should be forwarded to SAHM for subsequent submission to NIDA.


View a FAQ sheet for guidance on the appropriate use of the stipend. 

Support Facilities

The applicant must submit letters of support if the proposed project uses facilities not routinely available to or directly under the supervision of the sponsoring institution.

Institutional Support

The applicant assumes responsibility for conducting the project and the mentor for supervising the work and advancing the education of the applicant and associates. The application must show that adequate and appropriately equipped space will be available during the funding period.

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