Doctoral Student Small Grant



RSA Doctoral Student Small Grants Program:  A total of five (5) MD, PhD, or MD/PhD students will each receive $5,000 to support their projects. Qualified international students are welcome to apply. At least one of these awards will be for support of a diversity applicant’s project. Funding will be for one year, beginning promptly after the application has been awarded; grant period timeline extensions will not be considered.

Early October (1st week) each year, a request for Letters of Intent will be distributed; with a submission deadline of late October (last week).

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be sponsored by an RSA regular member (in good standing) and the topic of the proposal must be relevant to the mission of RSA to “provide a forum for communication and career development among alcohol researchers, to attract and support the next generation of alcohol researchers, and to disseminate scientific knowledge regarding alcohol use”. Students that currently have independent research support from NIH (F30 / F31 fellowship or Diversity Administrative Supplements), NSF, or another national organization (e.g., APA minority fellowship), are not eligible to apply for this award. For those with a T32 grant, you may apply but should not budget for additional salary beyond the salary being received from the T32.


  1. The Letter of Intent (LOI) is limited to a single page (file upload as PDF or PDFX) with .5-inch margins and 11-point Arial font, maximum 650-word count. The LOI should include ALL of the following components:
    • Descriptive title of the proposed research (suggested word count = 25)
    • Name, address, email, and telephone number of the applicant
    • Participating institution
    • Brief Summary of the proposed research (suggested word count = 400)
    • Brief budget justification* (suggested word count = 200)

      *Note that funds may not be used to support indirect costs to universities, so applicants should confirm that either a) the university will not charge indirect costs to awardees, or b) the applicant’s unit will cover any indirect costs to the university. Applicants are also encouraged to ask their units for matching funds to provide further support for their project.

  2. *Confirm that either a) the university will not charge indirect costs to awardees, or b) the applicant’s unit will cover any indirect costs to the university.

  3. Indicate YES if you have a T32 grant.

  4. Submit a Curriculum Vitae (CV) to accompany their LOI.  File upload as a PDF or PDFX only.

THE INITIAL REVIEW PROCESS: Letters of intent will be reviewed by the RSA small grants program review committee and the most promising applicants (10 or more) will be asked to submit a full (4 page) grant proposal into a new online module. The review criteria for the letters of intent will mirror those used in evaluating the full proposals and the committee will seek to balance funding for pre-clinical and clinical/psychosocial studies.

Letter of Intent Submission


Previous recipients of this award are:

Michael Bremmer
Investigating the Effects of Endogenous Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 (GLP-1) on Alcohol Subjective Response, Craving, Demand, and Attentional Bias in the Human Laboratory

Erika Mehrhoff
Identifying Differentially Expressed Genes in the Liver of a GCKR P446L Mouse Model Related to Alcohol Behaviors and Metabolic Conditions

Melissa Nance
Combining Ecological Momentary Assessment and Qualitative Methods to Construct a Theoretical Model of Acute Alcohol Use and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: A Mixed Methods Study

Jacqueline Soja
Sleep Characteristics in Adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Xueyi Xie
Operant Alcohol Self-Administration and Extinction Memories Are Encoded by Distinct Groups of Engram iMSNs in the Dorsomedial Striatum

Ardhys De Leon
The Effect of Sociocultural Factors on Alcohol Use Behaviors: An Ecological Momentary Study Among a National Sample of Hispanic/Latinx Drinkers

Jordan Jurinsky
AUD is a Family Matter: The Dynamic Link Between Family Functioning and Adolescent AUD Recovery

Nadia McLean
Selectively Targeting Cerebellar Adaptations During Alcohol Withdrawal as Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Benjamin Shepherd
An Intersectional and Longitudinal Analysis of Intraminority Gay Community Stress and Risky Alcohol Use in Young Gay And Bi+ Men: The Roles of Belonging and Social Anxiety

Sha Neisha Williams 
Alcohol and Aging Reduces Autophagy and Impairs Lysosomal and Mitochondrial Biogenesis Via Impaired TFEB Function in Hepatocytes Which Promotes Liver Inflammation and Injury in Aged Mice
Youra Moeun
A Biomimetic Approach to Elucidating the Role of Stiffness in Alcoholic Liver Disease

Natalia Van Doren
Characterizing the Role of Affect in Substance Use in Daily Life: A Novel Application of Latent Profile Analysis For Daily Diary Data

Jack Waddell
A Mixed Methods Analysis of Subjective Effects of Simultaneous Alcohol and Cannabis Use: Integrating Qualitative And Event-Level Quantitative Data

Mingxin Yang
Elucidating the Role of Ethanol-Responsive Vagal Neurons in Ethanol Intake And Reward

Lea Zillich
Acceleration of Biological Age In Postmortem Human Brain Samples Associated With AUD: Evidence From DNA-Methylation And Telomere Data

Hannah Carlon
Finding the Positive in Alcohol Treatment and Recovery: Development of The Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning And Accomplishments for Alcohol Use Disorder (PERMA AUD) Scale

Dulce Frausto
Impact of Alcohol-Induced Intestinal Microbiota Dysbiosis in A Rodent Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Ashmita Mukherjee
Effect of Nicotine Pre-Treatment in an Alcohol Interoceptive Conditioning Paradigm

Melissa Schick
Associations Among Affect, Alcohol Use, and Risky Sex: A Daily-Diary Study of First Nation Adults

Mallory Stephenson
Shared Genetic Liability for Alcohol Use Disorder and Suicide Attempt: Evaluating the Role of Impulsivity

Holly Boyle
Simultaneous Use of Alcohol and Marijuana: Mixed-Methods to Understand Determinants, Mechanisms, and Consequences

Yeonhee Cho
The Fate of Neutrophils After Alcohol-Induced Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (Nets) Release in Alcoholic Hepatitis

Erin Ferguson
Impact of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness on Demand for Alcohol and Marijuana Among Co-Users

Margaret Minnig
Involvement of Prelimbic Cortex Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Polypeptide in Alcohol Consumption

Pratik Adhikari
Functionally Relevant Plasticity Genes for Ethanol Tolerance in Drosophila

Molly Bowdring
Alcohol and Perceived Attractiveness

Julianne Price
Retrospective Longitudinal Analysis of Hair Cortisol Concentrations Among Treatment-Seekers With Alcohol Use Disorder: The Role of Cognitive Training on Stress Systems

Kathryn Przybysz
Moderate Prenatal Alcohol Exposure on Gestational Day 12 Sex-Dependently Impairs Social Behavior In Adult Offspring: The Role of The Basolateral Amygdala-To-Prelimbic Prefrontal Cortex Projection