To continue combating substance use disorders globally, it is essential to train competent biomedical researchers worldwide. Mentored research fellowships can play a crucial role in such capacity-building efforts, including the NIDA International Program’s International Visiting Scientists and Technical Exchange Fellowships (INVEST).
In an October 2021 article in Substance Abuse titled Increasing evidence-based substance use interventions globally: The National Institute on Drug Abuse postdoctoral fellowships, the NIDA International Program Director Steve Gust, Ph.D., and IQ Solutions consultants Judy McCormally, M.Sc., and Nei-Hyun Park, M.Ed., discuss the success of the former INVEST fellows. The authors evaluated the career outcomes of 114 of the 121 INVEST fellows from 47 nations who had completed the program from its inception in 1993 through April 2020. Their analysis of the subsequent careers of INVEST fellows demonstrated this program is an effective mechanism to advance scientific knowledge, build global addiction research capacity, foster international cooperation, and promote adoption of evidence-based addiction policies and interventions around the world. The vast majority of INVEST fellows are still engaged at least part-time in addiction research, prevention, or treatment—most of them in their home countries. The former fellows also were academically successful as evidenced by the publication of 656 research papers in 2018 or 2019 by 85 fellows, often with international author groups. Moreover, the INVEST fellowship program was cost-effective, with an average cost per fellow’s publication of $19,677.
NIDA’s INVEST program continues to train highly qualified international postdoctoral fellows in the field of substance use disorders. For more information see INVEST Prevention Drug Abuse Research Fellowship.