Are you interested in learning more about research that addresses issues in addiction and/or mental health?

The Center for Brain and Behavior Research (CBBRe) offers a multi-disciplinary summer research program aimed at providing USD undergraduate students with an opportunity to conduct high-quality, mentored, hypothesis-driven research in fields related to substance use, abuse and related or underlying mental health issues. The program aims to introduce first generation college students from rural backgrounds to addiction and mental health research, but all USD undergraduate students are encouraged to apply.

The program incorporates a wide range of experimental methods with human or animal subjects, including cognitive, behavioral, systems, neuropharmacological, electrophysiological and molecular approaches.

Summer Events

Research Details

Students will work with a faculty mentor for 12 weeks over the summer on a dedicated research project. Faculty involved in this program are members of the departments of biology, psychology, addiction studies, psychiatry and pediatrics, the division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, the School of Business and Sanford Research.

In addition to the day-to-day research with a faculty mentor, the summer program will involve an initial orientation day, training in responsible conduct of research, weekly meetings with the students and faculty in the program, seminars presented by invited speakers in the area of addiction and mental health, and a career fair to inform student of potential careers in addiction and mental health research. 

After the summer of research, students will present their work at a program poster session. Students will also present their work at IdeaFest.

Students in the program will receive a $4,800 stipend for the 12-week program and the faculty mentor will receive $1,000 to support the student’s research project or students’ travel to a meeting to present their work.

Application Details

Eight students are selected for the program based on a competitive application process. Students who have previously participated in SPURA are not eligible to apply again. Learn more and apply by February 15th.

Contact Brian Burrell at for further information or assistance with the application process.

This summer program is funded by a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant number R25-DA033674.

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