The Native Children’s Research Exchange (NCRE) brings together researchers studying child development from birth through emerging adulthood in Native communities, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian. NCRE provides opportunities for the open exchange of information and ideas, collaborative relationship building, and the dissemination of knowledge about Native children’s development. Mentoring early career investigators and graduate students, particularly those who are themselves American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian, is central to NCRE’s mission.

The NCRE Scholars Program provides career development support to early-stage investigators and late-stage graduate students interested in pursuing research on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development. To date, the NCRE Scholars program has supported the career development of 31 Scholars in 11 cohorts. Early stage investigators, including junior faculty and post-doctoral fellows, and late-stage doctoral students in psychology, sociology, public health, anthropology, education, or related disciplines are eligible to apply.

The NCRE Scholars program is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R25DA050645; Whitesell and Sarche, PIs).

Program Description

NCRE Scholars helps Scholars transition to the next stage of their research careers. Common and Tailored activities are designed to help Scholars achieve this goal. Common Activities, involve all Scholars in a cohort, help develop essential research skills and a network of collaborators and colleagues. Tailored Activities, specific to the needs of each Scholar, are co-created by each Scholar and their mentor(s) upon acceptance into the program.

Common Activities

All Cohort 12 Scholars will participate in the following:

ActivityLocation/Meeting TypeDate/Time
NCRE Conference*Denver, COSept. 14-15, 2023
Kick-Off MeetingTBDNov. 6-10, 2023
Monthly group mentoring meetingsVirtualrecurring meeting times TBD
Monthly NCRE Writing WorkshopsVirtual

2nd Tuesday of each month, 1-2 PM MT

Two 2-day Intensive Writing retreats TBDTBD
2023 Society for Prevention Research (SPR) conferenceWashington, DCMay 28-May 31, 2024
Course: Responsible Conduct of Research with AI/AN CommunitiesTBDTBD
Course: Writing NIH Grants for Research with AI/AN Communities TBDTBD

*Scholars will serve as mentors to students in the stars program

Tailored Activities

Each Scholar will work with NCRE program mentors, Drs. Sarche and Whitesell, to develop a Tailored Career Development Plan (TCDP). Each Scholar’s TCDP will include at least one writing goal – either the publication of a research paper or the submission of a grant application. For postdoctoral Scholars, this may include preparing a full application for submission (e.g., a K award or R series) or developing a strategic plan for peer-review publication to build a portfolio that will support an application within two years of completing the NCRE Scholars program. Predoctoral Scholars may focus writing efforts on a manuscript for peer-review publication (for example, tied to their dissertation) or on developing a predoctoral fellowship application (e.g., F31). The individualized writing goals will form the basis for each Scholar’s activities during the Intensive Writing Retreats and are expected to be completed within 12 months of beginning the program. 

In addition to the specific writing goals, each Scholar will be able to select TCDP activities that support their career development. Examples include:

  1. Participating in training related to career development goals (e.g., statistical or methodological training)
  2. Traveling to a research mentor's lab or institution, and/or to a Native community with whom the mentor works, to participate in data collection or analysis, meeting with other research team members and community collaborators, attending a tribal research advisory board meeting, etc.
  3. Attending and presenting research at an additional relevant national research conference (e.g., Society for Research on Child Development, Society for Research on Adolescence, American Psychological Association Division 45/The Society for the Psychology Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, etc.)

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include early career investigators, such as junior faculty or post-doctoral fellows, and late-stage doctoral students in psychology, sociology, public health, social work, anthropology, education, or related disciplines. 

All applicants must intend to pursue a research career focused on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development. Application materials should reflect this intent and focus.

Application Materials

Items to be submitted by applicants by email to ncre@cuanschutz.edu by Friday, June 30, 2023:

  • Completed application form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement (limit 500 words) highlighting previous research experience and career goals; describing how career goals align with NCRE's mission to support research on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development
  • Concept proposal for paper or grant application (1-2 pages) describing a manuscript for publication or a grant application that would be developed and submitted with NCRE Scholars program support. The proposal should be clear in its link to research on substance use and disorder and Native child and adolescent development
  • Two letters of reference by professors, supervisors, or colleagues who can speak directly to the applicant's research potential and need for career development support (these should be submitted directly, by the referrer, to ncre@cuanschutz.edu)


Please contact Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell or Michelle Sarche for more information. 

Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building

13055 East 17th Avenue

Mail Stop F800

Aurora, CO 80045

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