SUDTSR Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a primary mentor?

Review the list of primary mentors from our website who are listed under these headings: "Director and Associate Director", "Site Directors", "Executive Committee Members" and "Additional Faculty Members."

Each faculty member should have a link to their UCSF Profile that reviews their focuses, interests, awards and training. Feel free to contact the potential mentor before applying to determine if they might be a good fit or if they currently have the capacity (space, funds, time) for a trainee.

It is recommended that you submit, at minimum, three potential primary mentors with your application.

What if I like more than one faculty member as a mentor?

It’s fine to indicate interest in several potential mentors. This increases the likelihood that we will be able to match you with a faculty mentor that has the capacity for a trainee at this time. Additionally, if more than one potential mentor is interested in working with you, it is possible that they could serve as co-mentors during your traineeship.

My area of research is very specialized. What if there aren’t at least three mentors that would make sense to work with?

Selecting at least three mentors is not a requirement. It only serves to aid you in a greater chance of selection as it increases the probability we can find a mentor match that has a common focus and the capacity for a trainee.

Who are my options for co-mentors?

Co-mentors are those listed under the "Co-Mentors" and "Clinical Faculty Members" headings on our website.

Do I have to have a co-mentor?

No. However, having a co-mentor can strengthen your training while in the traineeship.

What if I want to have a faculty member that is listed under co-mentor to be a primary mentor?

People listed under the co-mentor section of the website cannot be primary mentors at this time.

What are clinical faculty mentors and how do they differ from other mentors?

They are faculty who work primarily in clinical settings but are also interested in research, and can help to strengthen your training by providing clinical expertise (e.g., skills related to working with particular populations or types of intervention). They would only qualify as co-mentors and not primary mentors.

Should I contact potential mentors with whom I’m interested in working before I submit my application?

This is recommended but not required. Contacting potential mentors ahead of time might allow you to determine if a potential mentor would be a good fit and is available to work with a new trainee.

What are the qualifications for applying to your program?

According to the NIH guidelines for the T32 training program, a trainee must be either citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.

Additionally, NIH guidelines dictate that “Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a PhD, MD, DDS, or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Comparable doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: DMD, DC, DO, DVM, OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, DrPH, DNSc, DPT, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), DSW, PsyD, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date of the training appointment is acceptable. Individuals in postgraduate clinical training, who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before completing their formal training programs, are also eligible.”

Do I have to be clinically trained to be in your program?

No. Individuals who are not clinically trained but have training in areas relevant to substance use treatment research (such as epidemiology, health policy or health services research) are welcome to apply.

Can I apply to the program before I complete my graduate degree?

Yes, but you must complete your degree before starting the program. Please see above “What are the qualifications for applying to your program” for more information.

How long is the traineeship?

Traineeships are usually for two years, with a possible third year.

What kind of a time commitment will be expected of me if I’m selected?

As part of the requirement of the traineeship, your work with the program will be full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week. There are instances where you can work in another capacity up to 25% of your time (such as in a teaching or other role), however, this has to be fully vetted and approved by your mentor(s), the program directors and the institution before it can occur.

How long after I submit my application can I expect an answer?

The length of time from application submission to acceptance decision varies based on the number of applications received, program and mentor time for review, and number of spaces available for trainees. On average it takes two to four months. You should hear back within one week from the Program Administrator with whom you submitted your application that your application has been received. If you do not, feel free to reach out to the Program Administrator to ensure receipt of your application.

Is it too late to apply?

We accept applications on a rolling basis so there is no cutoff date. We often have slots available because of our rolling application period. Please feel free to apply, or contact the program administrator to find out if there are current openings.