Brandeis-Harvard SPIRE Center


The Pilot and Mentoring Core of the Bandeis-Harvard SPIRE Center aims to:

  1. Expand mentoring, networking, and educational opportunities for a racially and ethnically diverse array of early career investigators interested in conducting research related to the Center's theme.
  2. Continue to advance the field by offering opportunities for early career investigators to develop new, cutting-edge research ideas related to the Center theme through funded pilot papers.

The SPIRE Center does this by offering a variety of opportunities to early career investigators, including:

SUD Systems Performance Scholars Program

Since 2023, the SPIRE Center has offered the opportunity for scholars to participate in a 1-year program to:

  • Explore systems-level issues about addiction treatment and related services, including payment, care delivery, quality, and sustainability.
  • Learn from SUD treatment systems research experts about how to shape your research agenda, build health services research and grant-writing skills, and engage in networking activities with experts in the field.

The SUD Systems Performance Scholars Program offers tailored ongoing mentorship from experienced addiction health services researchers. It supports scholars who are new to the field and who demonstrate an interest in developing a program of addiction health services research.

Meet our first cohort of Scholars


SPIRE-IRI Fellowship

Most people with substance use disorder (SUD) do not receive treatment. System-level barriers include a fragmented delivery system, low reimbursement rates, stigma, and provider and policy factors that contribute to under-treatment. Research on how best to implement innovations that address system barriers for SUD treatment is needed.


The Brandeis-Harvard SPIRE Center and Washington University's Implementation Research Institute are partnering to offer a 2-year fellowship focused on improving substance use treatment systems.

This fellowship includes:

  • Funding for travel to 3 learning events, including 2 week-long onsite trainings at the IRI Summer Institute and a 2-day site visit to the SPIRE Center
  • Tailored mentoring to help craft a competitive implementation research proposal to improve SUD treatment systems
  • Participation in SPIRE Center networking opportunities and events

Pilot Projects

The SPIRE Center's mentored pilot paper program offers support and guidance to develop and submit manuscripts.

Some examples of pilot papers funded by past Centers include:

Pilot paper awardee Title of paper Mentor (s)
Jenn Miles Changes in residential substance use treatment service access resulting from recent Medicaid section 1115 waivers Haiden Huskamp
Adrienne Sabety Opioid use in older adults and Medicare Part D Dominic Hodgkin
Morgan Shields Electronic health information exchange at discharge from inpatient psychiatric care in acute care hospitals Alisa Busch and Constance Horgan
Carrie Fry Medicaid waivers and access to behavioral health services: What is known and what can be expected Sharon Reif
Robert Bohler Predictors of US states' adoption of naloxone access laws, 2001-2017 Dominic Hodgkin and Haiden Huskamp
Shayna Mazel Virtual engagement in a social media community of mothers with substance use disorders: Content analysis Deborah Garnick and Joanne Nicholson

Mentoring Activities

The Brandeis-Harvard SPIRE Center is committed to facilitating one-on-one mentoring at national conferences, matching mentees with mentors based on research interests. Participants are invited to discuss topics that may include, for example, career development, manuscript and proposal ideas, strategies for proposal development, or balancing research and institutional obligations.

In 2024, the SPIRE Center will continue to host mentoring activities at the Addiction Health Services Research Conference.

The SPIRE Center has facilitated successful mentoring programs at AHSR and other conferences since 2017, including:

  • Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) 2023 in New York, New York
    Participants in our 2023 program endorsed their "great matches" and conversations included timely advice regarding postdoctoral training and training grants ("which was very helpful at this stage in my career!" one mentee noted) and valuable feedback on planned research.
"The emphasis on mentorship through this program is a main draw to AHSR" 
— 2023 mentor
  • Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) 2022
    While AHSR did not host a conference in 2022, the SPIRE Center continued our virtual mentor-matching program, held in the Fall around the time the conference is traditionally hosted.
  • Addition Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference 2021 (virtual event)
  • Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference 2020 (virtual event)
  • Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference 2019 in Park City, Utah.Mentoring at AHSR 2019
  • AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting 2019 in Washington, D.C.
  • AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting 2018 in Seattle, WA
  • Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference 2017 in Madison, WI.

 For more information contact Maureen Stewart.