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with clear roles and responsibilities for the participation of each institution; and
NIDA and NIAAA should explore the possibility of providing bridging support for promising young investigators to assist in the transition from K01 and R29 to R01 funding.
To encourage clinical research on the problems of addiction, the committee recommends that:
The federal government should establish a debt deferral or forgiveness program for scientists conducting clinical research in drug addiction or treating persons with drug abuse in publicly funded settings; and
Federal funds should be made available from NIH, SAMSHA, HRSA, or AHCPR to provide training for primary care physicians (e.g., obstetricians, family physicians, and internists) to recognize, treat effectively, or refer patients with drug abuse problems.
In light of the recent advances in the field and the importance of collaborative and integrative research efforts to address the problems of addiction and relapse, the committee recommends that:
Funding institutions, such as the government and private foundations, should develop program funding mechanisms (e.g., Requests for Applications [RFAs], annual conferences, symposia) to foster collaborative exchanges of information and research, such as the scientific breakthroughs that occur during drug development;
Universities with faculty engaged in addiction research should undertake a comprehensive review of the support and resources available for collaborative efforts within and outside the university, particularly those collaborative efforts which involve multiple disciplines; administrators should develop a plan to share resources and facilities both within and across institutions and specify criteria for access;
Funding agencies, such as the government and private foundations, should focus on new integrative opportunities (e.g., drug addiction etiology and medications) through using the combined strengths of the participating institutions, including government, industry, private foundations, multidisciplinary centers, and Academic Centers of Excellence;
NIH should review the composition of Initial Review Groups (IRGs) to ensure that there is appropriate representation across necessary disciplines;
NIDA and NIAAA should consider establishing additional mechanisms or expanding R03 awards for individual investigator awards that support innovative, high-risk, interdisciplinary research; and