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University of Colorado Denver

Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health


Supporting the career development of junior scholars embarking on research careers focused on Native children’s development, particularly as it relates to emergent substance use, is central to NCRE’s mission.  The NCRE Scholars Program (NIDA HHSN271201200692P; PIs: Whitesell and Sarche) provides mentoring and training opportunities to postdoctoral and graduate student scholars, to help them launch independent programs of research. 
The NCRE Scholars program is open to individuals from a variety of disciplines across the social, behavioral, and health sciences.  Cohorts 1 and 2 were limited to postdoctoral Scholars; with Cohort 3, the program will be extended to graduate students.  Eligible applicants must document a commitment to developing a career in substance use research with tribal communities, particularly from a developmental perspective (birth through emerging adulthood).  American Indian and Alaska Native individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.
NCRE Scholars are assigned a program mentor as well as a substantive mentor (a senior researcher whose work aligns with the interests/goals of the scholar).  Scholars meet regularly with both their program and substantive mentors.
Mentorship and Career Development Activities
NCRE Scholars participate in both common activities required of all scholars and in selected activities tailored to the individual needs of each scholar. 
Common activities
  1. Monthly group phone meetings with fellow scholars and NCRE program mentors,
  2. Monthly one-on-one phone meetings with program mentor (either Dr. Sarche or Dr. Whitesell) and substantive mentor
  3. NCRE annual meeting and NCRE Scholars preconference (next meeting is in fall 2014) attendance and active participation (e.g. presenting a paper or poster and/or moderating a conference session and networking with other NCRE Scholars and conference participants)
  4. Analysis of existing data and manuscript submission during the first year of funding
  5. Grant application and mock review in the second year of funding
  6. Peer mentor to subsequent cohorts
Tailored activities (2-3 per scholar, based on career development needs, goals, and interests)
  1. Present research at a relevant national conference
  2. Attend a national training workshop related to identified career development goals
  3. Travel to substantive research mentor's lab or institution, and/or to an tribal community in which the mentor works
  4. Conduct a small pilot study (doctoral level scholars); support for dissertation research (graduate student Scholars)
Funding is provided for Scholar travel to the NCRE conference, and to support selected activities within each Scholar’s tailored mentorship plan.  Each Scholar is required to submit a proposal and budget for career development activities, in consultation with program and substantive mentors.
Application Process
The first cohort of NCRE Scholars was selected in 2012, and the second cohort in 2013.  Application materials for the third cohort will be available in early summer 2014, and will be posted on this website.  Please contact Drs. Nancy Whitesell ( or Michelle Sarche ( for more information. 
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