NIH – Improving Health Disparities in Alcohol Health Services (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

January 4, 2021 by


This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits applications on health disparities and health services-related research focusing on: 1.) access to treatment; 2.) making treatment more appealing; 3.) costs; 4.) dissemination and implementation. All Applications are expected to emphasize health disparities in addition to the other four areas of focus mentioned above.


Alcohol consumption in the United States includes a wide spectrum of drinking types, ranging from occasional and moderate to chronic, heavy drinking. Approximately 65 percent (144 million) of adult Americans consume alcohol in a given year. Of those, almost 27 percent, (59 million) exceeded heavy drinking limits and close to seven percent (15 million) adults were diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Unfortunately, of those 15 million, only one in 10 received formal treatment for their disorder and those that did typically were offered limited options for evidence-based treatment, including FDA-approved medications for AUD.

Research shows that there are myriad reasons why so few individuals with AUD receive treatment, including problems with access to care, health care coverage/payment options, employment, childcare, stigma, and awareness of care options, along with the misconception that treatment does not work. Critically, health disparate and vulnerable populations face unique and intersecting barriers to treatment. In all studies, at all levels of investigation, efforts will be made to include participants that reflect the diversity of the population at large. Given this focus on diversity, applications should demonstrate attention to diversity in study design, linguistic and health literacy needs of the target population, investigator expertise, and planned data analyses.

Addressing this critical public health problem requires significant advances in the field of addiction health services research.

Research Goals: NIAAA and the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research are seeking to expand our portfolio to address these needs and to advance five main areas in health services research. These five areas include accessibility, increased treatment appeal, costs, dissemination and implementation, and health disparities. We are particularly interested in applications addressing the interaction between one or more of these five areas and those using study designs extending beyond standard randomized clinical trials, e.g., effectiveness-implementation hybrid, Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART), and multiphase optimization study (MOST), and studies proposing culturally-informed adaptations of existing evidence-based interventions. Specific goals for these given topics include:

Increase accessibility to treatment. Research shows that, annually, less than 10 percent of the U.S. population with AUD sought formal treatment for this disorder. Improving this deficiency requires a better understanding of barriers to treatment and strategies to overcome them. Identified solutions must address the needs of a diverse population of individuals with AUD and across varied treatment settings. Examples of research topics include:

  • Identification and development of strategies to reduce specific barriers to treatment access across the continuum of care for AUD; barriers could include those at the individual, organizational, community, and policy levels, and should attend to factors specific to health disparate and vulnerable populations
  • Evaluation of specific strategies to increase access to treatment, taking into account initial engagement with and sustained treatment across the continuum of care.

Key Dates:

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): February 15, 2021
Letter of Intent Due Date(s): February, 15, 2021
Application Due Date(s): March 15, 2021

URL for more information:

Filed Under: Funding Opportunities