Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Addiction (SPURA)

Are you interested in learning more about research that addresses issues in addiction and/or mental health?

The Center for Brain and Behavior Research (CBBRe) will be offering a multi-disciplinary summer research program in 2015 aimed at providing USD undergraduate students with an opportunity to conduct high-quality, mentored, hypothesis-driven research in fields related to substance use, abuse and related or underlying mental health issues.  The program aims to introduce first generation college students from rural backgrounds to addiction and mental health research, but all USD undergraduate students are encouraged to apply.

The program will incorporate a wide range of experimental methods with human or animal subjects, including cognitive, behavioral, systems, neuropharmacological, electrophysiological and molecular approaches. 

Faculty involved in this program are members of the Departments of Biology, Psychology, Addiction Studies, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics, Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, School of Business, and Sanford Research.

Students will work with a faculty mentor for 12 weeks over the summer of 2015 on a dedicated research project, and will present their work at the poster session of the Annual CBBRe Symposium held at the end of the summer (see the CBBRe webpage for more details about the symposium). Students will also present their work at IdeaFest in April of 2016.

In addition to the day-to-day research with a faculty mentor, the summer program will involve an initial orientation day, training in responsible conduct of research, weekly meetings with the students and faculty in the program, seminars presented by invited speakers in the area of addiction and mental health, and a career fair to inform student of potential careers in addiction and mental health research.

Students are selected for the program based on a competitive application process (how to apply). Applications are due February 15th 2015. Eight positions will be available for the summer of 2015.

Students in the program will receive a $4800 stipend for the 12 week program and the faculty mentor will receive $1000 to support the student’s research project or student’ travel to a meeting to present their work.  The program will run from May 18th to August 7th. 2015.

Contact Dr. Brian Burrell (brian.burrell@usd.edu) for further information or assistance with the application process.

This summer program is funded by a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant number R25-DA033674.