2018–2019 Faculty Grants

August 30 @ 9:36 pm
By Communications Office

The Columbia School of Social Work leads the social work field in the breadth and depth of its sponsored research projects, and this past academic year was a banner year in that regard. University Professor Nabila El-Bassel received an $86 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to address the opioid crisis in New York State—the largest grant in the School’s history, the largest-ever grant for Columbia University’s Morningside Campus, and the largest NIH grant in the entire University’s history. Her grant kicks off this list of highlights.


Spring 2019

Scientific Solutions to the Opioid Crisis
WHO GAVE IT: National Institute on Drug Abuse/NIH
HOW MUCH: $86 million
WHO GOT IT: Nabila El-Bassel and Louisa Gilbert of the Social Intervention Group
IN COLLABORATION WITH: Columbia’s Department of Psychiatry, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the Data Science Institute, as well as researchers from Albert Einstein School of Medicine/Montefiore School of Medicine, City University of New York, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York University School of Medicine, the University of Miami, and Yale School of Medicine.
WHAT FOR: To contribute to a multi-year study that forms part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, a trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid crisis, with the goal of reducing opioid overdose fatalities by at least 40 percent within less than four years. The team led by Nabila El-Bassel will design and support a rapid public health response to the opioid epidemic in 15 counties across New York State by working with the criminal justice system, health care organizations, emergency rooms, schools, and drug treatment programs in these counties.

Online Training in Complicated Grief Treatment
WHO GAVE IT: National Institute of Mental Health/NIH
WHO GOT IT: Dr. M. Katherine Shear of the Center for Complicated Grief, in partnership with the Center for Telepsychology
WHAT FOR: To develop an interactive online training program for clinicians interested in treating complicated grief and a patient mobile app to augment and assist in treatment.

Economic Mobility for Young Americans
WHO GAVE IT: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
WHO GOT IT: Chris Wimer of the Center on Poverty & Social Policy
WHAT FOR: To help inform the Gates Foundation’s efforts to develop a core set of metrics for its emerging work on poverty and mobility; deliverables to include five analyses and associated academic publications focusing on the changing fortunes of young adults over time.


Winter 2019

Effects of Medicaid Expansion Under the ACA
WHO GAVE IT: Harvard University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
WHO GOT IT: Heidi Allen
WHAT FOR: To create an interdisciplinary hub for policy research examining the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and its impact on mortality.

AI for Underrepresented Youth
WHO GAVE IT: AI4ALL
WHO GOT IT: Desmond Patton
WHAT FOR: To promote greater diversity and inclusion in the field of Artificial Intelligence; main deliverable is the creation of a summer program that encourages high school students from marginalized communities in New York City to enter the field of technology.

K02 Mentored Career Development Award
WHO GAVE IT: NIH
WHO GOT IT: Brooke West
WHAT FOR: To foster the development of newly independent, outstanding scientists over a period of intensive research and to enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research. Dr. West will be researching the context for substance use and HIV among high-risk women.

Microfinance and HIV Prevention for Female Sex Workers in Uganda
WHO GAVE IT: National Institute of Mental Health/NIH
WHO GOT IT: Fred Ssewamala of ICHAD and Susan Witte of CSSW
WHAT FOR: To assess the effectiveness of Kyaterekera, an intervention for female sex workers in the greater Masaka region of Uganda with the dual aims of 1) reducing new incidences of sexually transmitted infections and HIV and 2) providing alternative means of safe and sustainable income to replace sex work.

Expansion of HIV Testing in Kazakhstan
WHO GAVE IT: Elton John AIDS Foundation
WHO GOT IT: Elwin Wu of the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia
WHAT FOR: To launch BeOnLine, a program that uses popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and VK (a Russian-language social media platform), as well as dating apps and websites, to disseminate information on HIV and STI risks, HIV testing services including free HIV self-tests, and links to care. Kazakhstan is one of the few areas of the world where the number of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are rising (and HIV services are limited). The target population includes two of Kazakhstan’s most isolated—and hence vulnerable—groups: MSM (men who have sex with men) and transgender individuals.


Fall 2018

Support for Social Work in Uzbekistan
WHO GAVE IT: United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
WHO GOT IT: Timothy Hunt of the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia/Social Intervention Group (SIG)
WHAT FOR: To provide technical support and capacity building for social work education and training in Uzbekistan through an initiative called the Uzbekistan Social Work Education for Excellence Project (USWEEP).

Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections
WHO GAVE IT: Three Dogs Foundation and Laura & John Arnold Foundation
WHO GOT IT: Vincent Schiraldi of the Columbia Justice Lab
WHAT FOR: To support initiatives to reduce incarceration by adding the voices of current and former probation, parole, and community corrections administrators.

Public Archive for Pre-Poverty Tracker Data
WHO GAVE IT: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH
WHO GOT IT: Julien Teitler
WHAT FOR: To document and make available the first two panels of the New York City Longitudinal Survey of Well-being (NYC-LSW)—a panel study of approximately 5,400 New York City households, allowing for construction of both the official poverty measure (OPM) and the supplemental poverty measure (SPM) annually—on which the current Poverty Tracker study of New York City is based.

Impact of Proposed Social Safety Net Changes
WHO GAVE IT: JPB Foundation
WHO GOT IT: Jane Waldfogel
WHAT FOR: To model the impacts of changes to the social safety net—including Medicaid, SNAP or food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child Tax Credit—proposed by the White House and Congress, particularly with regards to vulnerable subgroups.


Summer 2018

Restorative Justice & Early Diversion
WHO GAVE IT: Osborne Association
WHO GOT IT: Kathy Boudin of the Center for Justice at Columbia University
WHAT FOR: To incorporate the Restorative Justice Works (RJW) curriculum and programming into the Osborne Association’s Early Diversion Project, which provides participants with opportunities to avoid prosecution and an arrest record through participating in short-term programming in the community.

K02 Mentored Career Development Award
WHO GAVE IT: NIH
WHO GOT IT: Alissa Davis
WHAT FOR: To foster the development of newly independent, outstanding scientists over a period of intensive research and to enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research. Dr. Davis will be setting up a couple-based antiretroviral therapy adherence intervention for people who inject drugs in Kazakhstan.

Universal Basic Income Modeling
WHO GAVE IT: Hopewell Fund
WHO GOT IT: Irwin Garfinkel of the Center on Poverty & Social Policy
WHAT FOR: To model a universal basic income guarantee.

Career Training for Court-Involved Youth
WHO GAVE IT: Marion E. Kenworthy-Sarah H. Swift Foundation
WHO GOT IT: Lauren Gates of the Center for Social Policy and Practice in the Workplace (Workplace Center)
WHAT FOR: To provide career preparation for court-involved adolescents with mental health conditions.

Study of Nonresident Fathers in the U.S.
WHO GAVE IT: Peter G. Peterson Foundation
WHO GOT IT: Ronald Mincy
WHAT FOR: To study growth and diversity of the vulnerable nonresident father population in the United States.


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