Objectives and Research Strategy

Research conducted at the IBR is intended to (1) generate and disseminate knowledge that impacts state, national, and international policy decisions in the addictions field, (2) provide critical methodological and substantive research training for graduate students, (3) help IBR and collaborating scientists achieve their highest scholarly potential, and (4) raise the research reputation and visibility of Texas Christian University (TCU) through scientific and public health contributions.

Science is intended to be programmatic and incremental, thereby requiring a strategy to help maintain focus and build a systematized knowledge base. In the addiction treatment field, the emphasis on “evidence-based” interventions and procedures for quality control and improvement dictate scientific discipline—both in the short- and long-run—when seeking grants and publishing findings. The IBR therefore strives to be strategic and deliberate, emphasizing its heritage in evaluation research, staff strengths, and knowledge gaps that need to be filled. A key operational principle has been to be scientifically selective in requests and commitments for research funding. The IBR scientific strategy is organized around conceptual frameworks synthesized from existing knowledge and represented by the TCU Treatment Process and Outcome Model and the TCU Program Change Model. These frameworks help staff visualize the foundations of our treatment and organizational research protocols, identify emerging issues that deserve attention, and integrate new findings with existing knowledge.

Implementation of field-based studies and the innovations they produce depend on establishing reliable partnerships with treatment systems and honoring commitments to address their needs. Providing useful and valid feedback to research partners, funding agencies, policymakers,
and other researchers is an important element of science. In particular, scientific publications
are strategically planned at the IBR, integrated with other studies from the appropriate literature, and structured to effectively communicate salient findings. Finally, “products” from funded research—including intervention manuals, assessments, presentations, and integrative summaries—are expected to be prepared and made available without cost to treatment providers, interested researchers, and the general public. Dissemination and sustained implementation of scientific-supported innovations deserve as much attention as “discovery.”