Program Curriculum

The RAM Scholar will receive training and guidance at an annual retreat in Boston and at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) meeting.

Babak Tofighi, MD, shares his research project while gaining feedback.

The curriculum covers major advances in the field of clinical Addiction Medicine research presented through retreat-based didactic and workshop sessions, as well as research-in-progress and content-driven webinars.

Patrick O’Connor joins with Judith Tsui on a Research in Progress webinar

Mentoring will be provided by the RAMS Program’s National Advisory Committee (NAC). Participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with NAC mentors to discuss their research project and work with a research methodologiest to develop an analytical plan.

Co-Directors and NAC Mentors, Jeffrey and Patrick with Scholar, Zoe Weinstein

In addition to sessions held among the CPDD program sessions, Scholars will attend several additional program sessions during the conference that focus on networking and career development.

The curriculum includes:


  • Epidemiology, neurobiology, and genetics
  • Pharmacology of substances of abuse
  • Relationship of HIV, HCV and substance use


Mary Tara-Roth, leading, The Basics on Human Subjects Protection, Ethics, IRB & Getting Your Study Approved

  • Explore career opportunities that incorporate
    Addiction Medicine research
  • Review of clinically relevant Addiction Medicine research
  • Human Subjects Research Training


  • Develop a research project in the field of Addiction Medicine
  • One-on-one meetings with program faculty (including a research methodologist) to advance research idea
  • Financial support is available to help facilitate the implementation of research idea (e.g. data collection, data analysis, course work)


  • Provide training for institutional mentors at Scholars’ institutions
  • Review goals and approaches for effective mentoring
  • Actively participate in Scholars’ research projects


Mentor, Amy Bohnert, and Scholar, Allison Lewei Lin during the 2015 Boston Retreat

  • Participants will receive a variety of valuable resources, including RAMS slide presentations and up-to-date reference materials, and will have access to RAMS faculty during their scholarship
  • Additionally, scholars will receive a subscription to that contains current, concise summaries of the most up-to-date substance use research in the field.



RAM scholars are expected to participate in ongoing evaluation to help us gauge the effectiveness of the program. The evaluation process includes a baseline survey as part of the application; feedback surveys and discussion groups while at the two Boston retreats and two College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPPD) conferences; six quarterly mentoring logs during the course of the program; a first alumni follow-up within two months of “graduation,” and a second followup approximately 18 months after completing RAMS. Responses to surveys and logs are confidential, and data are aggregated across participants.

See the RAMS Program Timeline for further information