The Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research (DEPR) promotes and supports applied, translational, and methodological research on the epidemiology and prevention of hazardous alcohol consumption and related behaviors, alcohol use disorder, alcohol-related mortality and morbidity, and other alcohol-related problems and consequences. DEPR advances its mission by:
- identifying scientific opportunities and gaps in current knowledge;
- setting research priorities;
- stimulating and supporting research, training, and career development;
- encouraging collaborations among researchers (particularly those of diverse backgrounds), funding organizations, interest groups, and institutions;
- monitoring trends and addressing disparities in alcohol use, misuse, and related problems; and
- disseminating research findings through scientific and lay publications, public reports, and scientific conferences.
Featured Funding Opportunities
Current DEPR-sponsored funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) are listed and linked below. We also accept applications submitted in response to the NIH parent FOAs, and we participate in many FOAs with other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) – some of which are highlighted below. When planning your application, please contact a staff member, either from the list of program officers below or the person listed under “Scientific/Research Contacts” in the FOA, to learn more.
Consortia and Centers
The Alcohol Research Group's Alcohol Research Center has contributed major conceptual and methodological advances for over 40 years. The Center studies the complex interactions between drinking patterns across the life-course, demographic characteristics, sociocultural and drinking contexts, community and policy factors, and alcohol-related problem and services outcomes, both in the general population and with attention to high-risk groups.
The Prevention Research Center's long-running Alcohol Research Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to prevention research that emphasizes integration across theories from the biological to the behavioral and social sciences to enhance understanding of the causal impacts of drinking environments on drinking patterns and problems. Over the past four decades the Center has led research into the development of community-based approaches to the prevention of alcohol abuse and related problems, focused upon assessments of the impacts of local, state and national alcohol policies on alcohol sales and population outcomes related to use (e.g., motor vehicle crashes and violence), and developed social ecological models of youth and adult use and problems that elucidate the impacts of environmental conditions on youth, young adult, and adult problems related to alcohol. These contributions have directed research toward the fundamental contributions that alcohol and other drug environments make to population and individual risks for heavy alcohol use, abuse, problems and alcohol use disorders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whom should I contact within DEPR about my research proposal?
Answer: A list of program officers and their areas of research focus appears in the next section. The best way to contact a program officer whose interest aligns with your own is through email. Alternatively, if you would like to speak by phone, please indicate this in an email and a program officer will contact you soon thereafter.
Does my research idea align with the mission and priorities of DEPR and NIAAA?
Answer: Contact a program officer, either from the list in the next section or the scientific/research contact(s) listed in a particular FOA to discuss your research interests before preparing your application. This will help you determine whether your proposal is of potential interest to NIAAA and will help you in preparing your grant application.
What is the process for applying for funding?
Answer: Application instructions appear in the FOA. Detailed guidance, instructions, and forms are provided through the NIH Office of Extramural Research’s How to Apply – Application Guide. Additional information on the NIH grant process is available at Grants Basics, Grants Process Overview, New and Early State Investigator Policies, and the Center for Scientific Review’s Applicant Resources.
The NIAAA Application Process page provides information and links about applying for grants and the peer review process, including details specific to NIAAA.
Are you doing human subjects research? Learn about the NIH policies and federal requirements at Human Subjects Research, Clinical Trials, and Basic Experimental Studies Involving Humans as well as the NIAAA data sharing initiative to create a data repository of NIAAA-funded studies that include human subjects.
Do you think my grant will get funded?
Answer: Funding for research grants is highly competitive. The first step to funding is to achieve an excellent score in peer review. For applications with top scores, other factors enter funding decisions as well, such as program priorities, portfolio balance, and availability of funds. Given current budget constraints, when preparing an application give careful consideration to the budget you are proposing. See NIAAA Funding, NIAAA Funding Procedures, and the NIAAA Success Rate History and Funding Curves. Talk with a program officer to discuss how to improve your application’s chances of success in peer review and subsequent funding decisions.
|Ralph Hingson, Sc.D., M.P.H.||
|Bob Freeman, Ph.D.||
Acting Deputy Director
Conference grants; HIV/AIDS; Interpersonal violence, suicide, firearms-related violence; Sexual assault and intimate partner violence; Sexual behavior
|Tatiana Balachova, Ph.D.||
Family-based prevention; Prevention among women of child-bearing age; Reproductive and perinatal epidemiology; Screening and brief interventions
|Gregory Bloss, M.A., M.P.P.||
Burden of illness; Center grants; Community-wide prevention trials; Economics; Harms to others; Impaired driving; Policy; Systems science; Training program grants
|I-Jen Castle, Ph.D.||
Adult drinking, older adults, and life course; Chronic disease; Epidemiology of combined alcohol and drug use
|Bradley Kerridge, Ph.D.||
College and college age drinking; HIV/AIDS; Media, social media, and advertising; Mobile prevention; Sexual minorities
|Beverly Ruffin, Ph.D.||
Health disparities; Pre-college drinking
|Wenxing Zha, Ph.D.||
Data collection improvements; Development and validation of measurement; Psychiatric comorbidity; Secondary analysis; Statistical analysis tools
* Health disparities are an important research priority for DEPR. Awards with this focus area are distributed among project officers’ various portfolio categories rather than concentrated in the portfolio of one project officer specializing in that area.
1. White AM, Castle IP, Powell PA, Hingson RW, Koob GF. Alcohol-Related Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA. 2022 Mar 18:e224308. doi: 10.1001/jama.2022.4308.
2. Maisto SA, Freeman R, Bryant K; Syracuse University; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol-related Behavioral Research and its Integration into Primary and Secondary HIV Preventive Interventions: Introduction. AIDS Behav. 2021 Dec;25(Suppl 3):233-236. doi: 10.1007/s10461-021-03420-8.
3. White AM, Castle IP, Hingson RW, Powell PA. Using Death Certificates to Explore Changes in Alcohol-Related Mortality in the United States, 1999 to 2017. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2020 Jan;44(1):178-187. doi: 10.1111/acer.14239.
4. Freeman RC. Guest Editor's Introduction. Special Issue on Recent Developments in Understanding and Preventing Alcohol-Related Sexual Assault, Violence Against Women. 2018 Sep;24(11):1259-1278. doi: 10.1177/1077801218787929.
5. Freeman R. Guest Editor's Introduction. Special issue on Advances in Understanding Alcohol-Related Interpersonal Violence, Violence Against Women. 2018 Aug;24(10):1115-1131. doi: 10.1177/1077801218781924.
6. Hingson R, Zha W, Smyth D. Magnitude and Trends in Heavy Episodic Drinking, Alcohol-Impaired Driving, and Alcohol-Related Mortality and Overdose Hospitalizations Among Emerging Adults of College Ages 18-24 in the United States, 1998-2014. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2017 Jul;78(4):540-548. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2017.78.540.
7. Hingson RW, Zha W, White AM. Drinking Beyond the Binge Threshold: Predictors, Consequences, and Changes in the U.S. Am J Prev Med. 2017 Jun;52(6):717-727. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.02.014.
8. Scott M. Commentary: Perspectives on Alcohol-Related Gene and Environment Interplay in Diverse Populations. Am J Addict. 2017 Aug;26(5):526-531. doi: 10.1111/ajad.12584.
9. Breslow RA, Castle IP, Chen CM, Graubard BI. Trends in Alcohol Consumption Among Older Americans: National Health Interview Surveys, 1997 to 2014. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2017 May;41(5):976-986. doi: 10.1111/acer.13365.
10. Hagan JF Jr, Balachova T, Bertrand J, Chasnoff I, Dang E, Fernandez-Baca D, Kable J, Kosofsky B, Senturias YN, Singh N, Sloane M, Weitzman C, Zubler J; Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure Workgroup; American Academy of Pediatrics. Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Pediatrics. 2016 Oct;138(4):e20151553. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-1553.
11. Xuan Z, Naimi TS, Kaplan MS, Bagge CL, Few LR, Maisto S, Saitz R, Freeman R. Alcohol Policies and Suicide: A Review of the Literature. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 Oct;40(10):2043-2055. doi: 10.1111/acer.13203.
12. Freeman RC. Toward Development of Enhanced Preventive Interventions for HIV Sexual Risk among Alcohol-Using Populations: Confronting the 'Mere Pause from Thinking'. AIDS Behav. 2016 Jan;20 Suppl 1:S1-18. doi: 10.1007/s10461-015-1179-7.
Primary Areas of Research
DEPR supports a wide range of epidemiologic and prevention research on alcohol-related behaviors and outcomes, as well as studies to advance the tools and methods available to conduct such research. Prospective grant applicants are urged to consult with a program officer (see above) early in the process of developing an application to determine the prospects that a given project is consistent with the mission and research priorities of NIAAA and DEPR.
Alcohol Policy Information System
The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) is an online data resource that provides authoritative, detailed, and comparable information on alcohol-related policies at the state and federal levels in the United States based on primary legal research on the statutes and regulations. APIS was developed by DEPR to facilitate research on the effects and effectiveness of alcohol-related public policies. APIS provides detailed coverage, including exact effective dates and legal citations, for 36 specific policy topics in 10 categories. For every policy topic, APIS provides detailed comparison tables showing both up-to-date policy information and policy changes over time with exact effective dates. APIS also provides descriptive overviews, maps and charts, summaries of relevant federal law, and detailed explanatory notes. APIS also covers laws and regulations addressing cultivation, sale, and use of recreational (i.e., non-medical) cannabis in states that have legalized these activities. Special coverage is also provided of state policies affecting alcohol availability adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Surveillance Reports and Epidemiologic Resources
Surveillance Reports periodically examine trends in apparent alcohol consumption, underage drinking among youth ages 12–20 years, and liver cirrhosis mortality in the United States. Alcohol Epidemiologic Data Reference Manuals are statistical compendia of alcohol-related data useful to researchers and others interested in alcohol problems. The Alcohol Epidemiologic Data Directory provides a listing of surveys and other relevant data suitable for epidemiologic research on alcohol. Most data sets described in this document are national in scope. In some cases, however, select specialized data sets may be included. Information on the availability of and access to the data sets is provided.
Last reviewed November 2022