DIDARP is a research initiative sponsored by the National Institution on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Our goal is to enhance our capacity to conduct drug abuse research with criminal justice populations form a public health perspective, at the University Of Puerto Rico Graduate School Of Public health. Our research development strategy centers on developing research proficiency in research in a critical mass of faculty that will cohesively pursue epidemiological, clinical, and health services research relevant to engaging and retaining in treatment inmates with stories of a substance use disorder with co-occurring HIV or ADHD. The program also develops research capacity in students at different stages in their education and encourages them to pursue drug abuse research careers.
To build a successful research program that informs policy and services addressing the health services needs of Latinos/as with a substance use problem and provides and sustains opportunities for the development and support of competent, independent Latino/a researchers.
To become significant players that contribute to applied research, which can inform services models for people with a substance use disorder that are beneficial, efficient, client-centered, and respectful of human rights.
Success in building faculty drug abuse research capacity requires the development or enhancement of research competence among investigators at various stages of their research careers through activities that are learner-centered and rely on principles and validated methods from adult learning theory.
It also requires clarification of clues that will guide research practice; a nurturing organizational culture and climate that facilitates and supports learning and inquiry; and innovative approaches to unresolved problems of public health importance.
The model underlying that training component is based on adult learning theory and the principles derived from its application. All training and development activities will be grounded in the following principles:
1. There must be a climate of respect.
2. Use of collaborative modes of inquiry.
3. Foster active participation.
4. Build on participant experience and background.
5. And activities must have a practice/application component.
Core Scientific Values...
Values guided behavior. We have adopted the following core values guiding conduct of research that were proposed by the American Academy of Health Behavior Work Group on Doctoral Research Training in 2005.
1. Generating new knowledge is a professional obligation and responsibility.
2. Researchers must be aware of their biases and communicate them openly when discussing their research.
3. Research excellence is the standard.
4. Ethical conduct and research integrity are requirements.
5. Research should focus on pressing problems of public health significance.
6. Research training should stimulate creativity and innovation.
7. Altruism is necessary to create a community of scholars to support a research training program.
8. Effective research training relies on mentorship.
9. Adherence to publication conventions is important.
10.Studies that support the null hypothesis or report negative findings should be viewed as making a potential contribution to the knowledge base.
As a training program, we all share the responsibility of procuring productive work climates that model, incentivize, and reinforce professional behavior. Under such a climate we should feel supported and respected. We have reviewed sources of information written to encourage competent, ethical, professional behavior and propose the following characteristics of professional behavior that the DIDARP group, at a minimum, should strive to uphold:
Integrity: Consistent honesty; being able to be trusted with the property of others; can be trusted with confidential information be it from research subjects, colleagues or others; revealing any real or apparent conflict of interest.
Empathy: Demonstrating respect for others; demonstrating calm, compassionate, and helpful demeanor and being supportive and reassuring to others.
Self-Motivation: Taking initiative to complete assignments; taking initiative to improve and/or correct behavior; taking on and following through on tasks without constant supervision; showing enthusiasm for learning and improvement; consistently striving for excellence in aspects of research and professional activities; accepting constructive feedback in a positive manner; taking advantage of learning opportunities.
Self-Confidence: Demonstrating the ability to trust and exercise personal judgment; demonstrating an awareness of strengths and limitations.
Respect for the person and towards the team: Listening; being polite to others, not using derogatory terms, respecting the time of others. Not undermining the team, communicating with others to resolve problems, remaining flexible and open to change.
Responsible mentoring: Help to educate, mentor, and advises students to promote their welfare and allow them to make their own decisions. Mentors should inspire their mentees to pursue research.