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Native Children’s Research Exchange 
Scholars Program 
Cohort 9

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 Native Hawaiian community members, is central to NCRE’s mission.

The NCRE Scholars Program provides career development support to early career investigators and late-stage graduate students interested in pursuing research on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development. In the first eight years of this program (2012-2020), NCRE Scholars has included 19 Scholars in eight cohorts, including ten postdoctoral Scholars and nine graduate student Scholars. We are now recruiting 4 Scholars to join Cohort 9, which will launch in September 2020. Early career investigators, including junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and late-stage doctoral students in psychology, sociology, public health, anthropology, education, or related disciplines are eligible to apply.

The NCRE Scholars program is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R25DA050645; Whitesell and Sarche, PIs).



NCRE Scholars helps Scholars transition to the next stage of their research careers. Common and Tailored activities are designed to help Scholars achieve this goal. Common Activities will involve all Cohort 9 Scholars and help develop essential research skills and build a network of collaborators and colleagues. Tailored Activities address the specific needs of each Scholar as articulated in Tailored Career Development Plans (TCDPs) co-created by each Scholar and their mentor(s) upon acceptance into the Scholars program.

Common Activities

Due to current physical distancing guidelines and restrictions on travel, in-person Scholar meetings in the summer and fall of 2020 will shift to a virtual format. Adjustments will also be made to plans for each Scholar to support career development under these constraints. 

All Scholars will participate in the following activities:

1.   Cohort 9 Virtual Kick-Off Meeting – TBD September/October, 2020

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.   Two Intensive Writing Retreats – 2 days each; dates TBD; CU AMC Campus or virtual as needed

5.   2021 Society for Prevention Research (SPR) conference – Washington, DC

6.   Short course: Responsible Conduct of Research with AIAN Communities – date and format TBD

7.   2021 NCRE conference – 2-day conference, September, 2021; exact date TBD; Denver, Colorado

8.   Course: Writing NIH Grants for Research with AIAN Communities – 2 day; Fall 2021; exact date TBD, CU AMC Campus (in conjunction with NCRE Conference) 

9.   Mentoring NCRE STaRS (Students Thinking About Research careerS) – Scholars will serve as mentors to students in the STaRS program at the 2021 NCRE Conference

Tailored Activities

Each Scholar will work with Drs. Sarche and Whitesell, at the Kick-off meeting, 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.   Participating in 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 early career investigators, including junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and late-stage doctoral students in psychology, sociology, public health, social work, anthropology, education, or related disciplines. 

All applicants must intend to pursue a research career focused on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development . Application materials should reflect this intent and focus.

Application Materials

The following materials must be submitted via email to​ no later than 5:00 pm MDT on Friday, August 14, 2020.

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 use and disorder 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 would be developed and submitted with NCRE Scholars support. The connection of this writing project to substance use and disorder research and Native children's development should be described.

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 mid September 2020.

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


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