TTPAS: Details of the Program

This training program is geared for students interested in trans-disciplinary training in the Addictions Sciences who are enrolled at an early stage of a BU doctoral program participating in TTPAS.

Program Details – see key features of TTPAS video below.

  1. Eligibility: The program is for doctoral level training in Addiction Science for students enrolled and at an early stage in a BU doctoral program. Students will typically apply in their 1st year  and begin the trans-disciplinary training and research in the summer. Details as well as the application can be found here.
  2. Degree Earned: Fellows in TTPAS will earn a PhD in the Program/Department of their choice as well as a Certificate in Addiction Sciences.

Steve&Sue-2.faculty-studentCore Components

  • Fellows will fulfill the requirements of their home PhD program
  • Fellows participate in formal coursework, laboratory and clinical rotations, workshops, and seminars through the TTPAS program that provide interdisciplinary training in quantitative and laboratory-based addiction research.
  • Fellows together with their mentors (from multiple disciplines) will formulate an Individual Development Plan dictated in part by that student’s background, research interests, and home program requirements.
  • Clinical module enabling Fellows to experience people in addiction treatment/recovery.

Training Plan

Boot CampAlcoholic brain.resize

For two weeks during the summer incoming TTPAS Fellows (and other interested PhD students) are invited to participate in an immersion experience that focuses on fundamental concepts of population and biomedical sciences (e.g., epidemiology, genetics, psychology, pharmacology).

Rotations

In the Fall of Year 1 in the program, Fellows select a laboratory of one of the TTPAS mentoring faculty not from the home program to engage in a 10-week research experience. Laboratories include settings conducting “wet” (bench laboratory) and “dry” (quantitative/computational) research.

Clinical Module
TTPAS Fellows are required to observe and participate in clinically related activities during the first semester of their second year in the program. Clinical experiences of TTPAS Fellows may take place at one of four locations. (1)  The Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs (ADTP) at the Jamaica Plain and Causeway Street campuses of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System; (2) Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit; (3) The Clinical Studies Unit at BUSM’s Division of Psychiatry;  (4) The Center for Addictions Research and Services in SSW and (5) Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA).

Unifying Project

Farrer-Images for website

The additional trainee rotation requirement provides the students with unique exposure to training in both basic and population/quantitative research in addiction science.


Interdisciplinary Bridging Exam
ng the summer after Year 1,. Fellows undertake a Unifying Project which is more focused than a dissertation and engages participants with a relevant scientific question related to addiction for which the “solution” is at the interface of both basic and population / quantitative approaches.

Fellows are required to complete the bridging exams of their home program as well as an oral exam incorporating their unifying project for the TTPAS program.

Journal Club and SeminarsMaria-MNS-poster

Journal clubs are student driven.   Fellows select the papers to be discussed, decide on the order of presentation and generally engage in a dialog on recent research.  Scheduled seminars are staggered with journal club.  Invited speakers  alternate from individuals within the BU community to renowned addiction researchers from other institutions. Trainees have the opportunity to interact with the speakers at student lunches.

Retreat

The boot camp focuses on didactic learning and development of core competencies while the retreat  focuses on demonstrating core competencies through presentation and discussion of research.

Key features of TTPAS presented at the Transdisciplinary Research in Addiction Science: Launch of University-Wide Training Program for Doctoral Students on Thursday, February 14, 2013.