CTN Minority Interest Group (MIG)

Chair: Kathleen Burlew, PhD

Meetings: Monthly – 1st Monday 3 pm ET

Substance use disproportionately impacts the lives not only of racial/ethnic minorities who use substances but also their families and communities. The NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) is uniquely positioned to contribute to the knowledge base on effective treatments for substance use among specific racial/ethnic minority subgroups. Moreover, the CTN can play a pivotal role in opening the pipeline for increasing the number of racial/ethnic minority researchers.

Accordingly, one objective of the Minority Interest Group is to maximize the knowledge base on effective substance use treatment for specific racial/ethnic minorities. A second objective is to foster opportunities for racial/ethnic minority scholars especially early career scholars to engage in substance use treatment research. To accomplish those objectives, the MIG engages in the following activities:


  • Supports minority participation at all levels of the CTN – from research assistants to LIs and PIs.
  • Encourages research on treatment gaps for specific racial/ethnic minority groups, and specifically research on improving earlier engagement, better retention and better treatment outcomes.
  • Encourages funding for research on other treatment issues disproportionately affecting specific racial/ethnic minorities.
  • Advocates for strategies to expand the pipeline by increasing racial/ethnic Investigators’ access to research opportunities and funding.
  • Encourages culturally appropriate research methods for conducting research on racial/ethnic minorities.



  • Proposes and conducts randomized clinical trials to investigate the effectiveness of substance use treatments with specific racial/ethnic subgroups.
  • Develops secondary data analysis studies from existing CTN studies with large databases to explore the effects of treatments on various racial/ethnic minority groups.
  • Encourages research on cultural adaptations that would increase the efficacy of evidence-based treatments for specific racial/ethnic minority subgroups.
  • Investigates the effectiveness of interventions to increase the number of racial/ethnic investigators in substance use treatment research.
  • Providing input to results from CTN Protocols.
  • Serve as a resource to CTN investigators to help them design studies that ask important questions to racial/ethnic minorities.
  • Supporting dissemination of research and research-to-practice findings on racial/ethnic minority populations.