Skip to main content
Sign In




Native Children’s Research Exchange                

Scholars Program

Cohort 8 | 2019-2020


The Native Children’s Research Exchange (NCRE; brings together researchers studying child development from birth through emerging adulthood in Native communities. NCRE provides opportunities for the open exchange of information and ideas and for building collaborative relationships and disseminating knowledge about Native children’s development. Mentoring early career investigators and graduate students, particularly those who are American Indian, Alaska Native, or First Nations community members, is central to NCRE’s mission.

The NCRE Scholars Program (R25DA050645; Whitesell and Sarche, PIs) provides career development support to early career investigators and graduate students interested in the impact of substance abuse on the development of Native children and adolescents. In the first seven years of this program (2012-2019), NCRE Scholars included 15 Scholars in seven cohorts, including eight postdoctoral Scholars and seven graduate students. We are now recruiting for 4 Scholars to join Cohort 8, which will launch in January 2020. Early career investigators, including junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and late-stage doctoral students are eligible to apply.​




A primary goal of the NCRE Scholars program is to help Scholars transition to the next stage of their research careers. The program includes several activities designed to achieve this goal. Common Activities will involve all Cohort 8 Scholars and are designed to develop essential research skills and to build a network of collaborators and colleagues. Tailored Activities address the specific needs of each Scholar as articulated in Tailored Career Development Plans that will be co-created by each Scholar and their mentor(s) upon acceptance into the Scholars program.

Common Activities

All Scholars will participate in the following activities:

1.     Cohort 8 Kick-Off Meeting – late January, 2020; University of Colorado Anschutz Medical, Aurora, Colorado (CU AMC Campus)

2.     Monthly group mentoring with Drs. Sarche and Whitesell – recurring meeting times TBD

3.     Monthly NCRE Writing Workshops – 2nd Tuesday of each month, 1-2 PM MT via Zoom

4.     Spring Intensive Writing Retreat – 2 days; April or May 2020; exact date TBD; CU AMC Campus

5.     2020 Society for Prevention Research (SPR) conference – May 26-29, 2020, Washington, DC

6.     Summer Intensive Writing Retreat – 2 days; June, July, or Aug 2020; exact date TBD; CU AMC Campus

7.     Short course: Responsible Conduct of Research with AIAN Communities – 1 day; exact date TBD; CU AMC Campus (in conjunction with Summer Intensive Writing Retreat)

8.     2020 NCRE conference – 2-day conference, Fall 2020; exact date TBD; Denver, Colorado

9.     Course: Writing NIH Grants for Research with AIAN Communities – 2 day; Fall 2020; exact date TBD, CU AMC Campus (in conjunction with NCRE Conference)

10.  Mentoring NCRE STaRS (Students Thinking About Research careerS) – Scholars will serve as mentors to students in the STaRS program at the 2020 NCRE conference.

Tailored Activities

Each Scholar will work with Drs. Sarche and Whitesell, at the Kick-off meeting in late January 2020, to develop a Tailored Career Development Plan (TCDP). Each Scholar’s TCDP will include at least one writing goal – either the publication of a research paper or the submission of a grant application. For postdoctoral Scholars, this may include preparing a full application for submission (e.g., a K award or R series) or developing a strategic plan for peer-review publication to build a portfolio that will support an application within two years of completing the NCRE Scholars program. Predoctoral Scholars may focus writing efforts on a manuscript for peer-review publication (for example, tied to their dissertation work) or on developing a predoctoral fellowship application (e.g., F31). The individualized writing goals will form the basis for each Scholar’s activities during the Intensive Writing Retreats and are expected to be completed within 18 months of beginning the program.

In addition to the specific writing goals, each Scholar will be able to select activities to include in their TCDPs to support their individual career development. Options for TCDPs include, but are not limited to:

1.     Attending a training related to career development goals (e.g., statistical or methodological training)

2.     Traveling to a research mentor's lab or institution, and/or to an AIAN community with whom the mentor works, to participate in data collection or analysis, meeting with other research team members and community collaborators, attending a tribal research advisory board meeting, etc.

3.     Attending and presenting research at an additional relevant national research conference (e.g., Society for Research on Child Development, Society for Research on Adolescence, American Psychological Association Division 45/The Society for the Psychology Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, etc.)



Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include students currently enrolled in doctoral programs in psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, or related disciplines, or recent graduates of such programs (within 5 years of receiving a doctoral degree).

All applicants must intend to pursue a research career focused on Native children’s development and substance use/abuse.

Application Materials

The following materials must be submitted via email to no later than 5:00 pm MDT on Monday, December 16th.

Items to be submitted by applicants:

§  Completed application form​

§  Curriculum vitae

§  Personal statement (limit 500 words) highlighting previous research experience and career goals; describing how career goals align with NCRE's mission to support substance abuse research related to Native children's development.

§  Concept proposal for paper or grant application (1-2 pages) describing a manuscript for publication or a grant application that you would develop and submit with the support of NCRE Scholars mentors, particularly utilizing the Intensive Writing Retreats, including how this writing project relates to substance abuse research and Native children's development.

To be submitted by individuals providing reference letters:

§  Two individuals – professors, supervisors, or colleagues who can speak to applicant’s research potential – should submit letters of reference directly to 

Applicants will be notified of selection decisions in late December, 2019.

Please contact Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell ( or Michelle Sarche ( for more information.​ 

Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045


© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.