From Synapse to Society

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About The Team

The Center Team is comprised of five independently functioning units that combine to address the growing rural drug use crisis. The Center Team includes a Leadership Team and Administrative Core , a rotating group of Project Leaders, an Internal Mentoring and Advisory Committee, an External Oversight and Evaluation Team, and a new Longitudinal Networks Core facility.

The Leadership Team and Administrative Core leads, implements, and supports RDAR's evolution toward a sustainable, nationally recognized Center dedicated to understanding the challenges and harms of rural drug use and developing appropriate interventions. The Leaders/Core find and fund new projects, plan and track the professional development of Project Leaders, and work to link the research results of the Center to other researchers, caregivers, and policymakers in the Great Plains region.

Project Leaders develop and oversee the fundamental research of the center. These early career professionals come from a range of academic disciplines and pursue research that ranges from synapse to society. This group grows as current project leaders achieve funding for their research from sources outside the Center, and new Project Leaders are selected to take their place.

The Internal Mentoring and Advisory Committee monitors the progress of Project Leaders and provide guidance and oversight to their research projects. Together with their Project Leader mentees they develop and adjusting mentoring plans, help guide professional development, and put their own research networks to work for the early career researchers in the Center.

The External Oversight and Evaluation Team monitors Center progress across all domains, using document review, surveys, and on-site visits to ensure that the Center is meeting is long and short term goals toward effectiveness and sustainability.

The Longitudinal Networks Core is the research arm of RDAR itself. This core facility houses nationally known experts in research with “hard-to-reach” populations such as drug users, homeless populations, and victims of violence. The LNC also develops technology that facilitates and enables that research, including new cell phone-based software for the recruitment and surveying of rural drug users.