Summer Research Institute


An intensive program for undergraduates interested in substance use and co-occurring disorders

Application Deadline is April 4, 2021 at 11:59pm.

The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida is dedicated to research and education related to substance use and related disorders. FMHI invites undergraduate students to apply for a highly selective Summer Research Institute that is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).


The Summer Research Institute (SRI@FMHI) is designed for students interested in building their research skills within the context of substance use and co-occuring disorders to help them prepare for a Senior Thesis and/or graduate school.


The SRI@FMHI is an 11-week hybrid program. Remote Learning: May 27, 2021 to June 25, 2021 and In-Person Instruction: June 26, 2021 to August 5, 2021.

Program Structure:

The SRI @ FMHI program involves Remote Learning (also known as Online Learning, Distance Education, Virtual Instruction or Remote Training). Therefore, it is expected that all participants have access to the appropriate technology to complete the program. Appropriate technology includes but may not be limited to: computer (desktop, laptop, tablet), video capability (web camera), audio capability (microphone, speakers, headset, headphones, etc.) and Internet access. Please note, the SRI @ FMHI program is intended to be delivered via a hybrid model (Remote Learning and In-Person Instruction), beginning with 5 weeks of Remote Learning followed by 6 weeks of on-campus learning experience in Tampa, FL. The Program Directors reserve the right to deliver the entire 11-week SRI program via Remote Learning should Federal, State, Local or University policies prevent the on-campus learning experience.

The SRI@FMHI consists of four components: an independent research project conducted with guidance from a distinguished faculty mentor; research seminars; professional development seminars; and skill-building workshops. The research seminars will complement the research that students are conducting with their faculty mentors. Throughout the 11-week period, students will work intensively with faculty mentors on their research projects. In addition, students will gain experience with research ethics and IRB practices. Students will be required to write a research report describing their research project, present the report at a Research Symposium and Poster Session, and submit the completed paper for consideration at an Undergraduate Research Conference or Symposium. Because of the intensity of the summer program, students must participate.

Student Application and Selection Process:

Applications must be received no later than April 4, 2021. Students accepted to the program should be notified by April 16, 2021.

Up to 12 students will be selected for the SRI@FMHI. Because each SRI Scholar will be matched with a faculty mentor, primary consideration will be given to those applicants whose area of interest is closely aligned with the expertise of a faculty member who is available to provide mentorship during the summer. Typically, students will be considered for the program if they have begun coursework in their academic major, completed a minimum of 60 hours of college coursework, and have an expected graduation date no earlier than December 2021. Courses in statistics and research methodology are required to be eligible. The application form may be obtained at or by contacting An official transcript and letter of recommendation from a faculty member are required.

Student Support:

All students who are accepted for the program will receive the following benefits:

Students are responsible for paying for the cost of housing and food. On-campus housing is available at USF.

Potential Faculty Mentors:

George Burruss, Ph.D. (Criminology) focuses his research on criminal justice organizations, including policing, homeland security, and juvenile courts.

Annette Christy, Ph.D. (Mental Health Law & Policy) studies the interaction of behavioral health and criminal justice and is director of the Florida Baker Act Reporting Center.

Bryanna Fox, Ph.D. (Criminology) investigates psychological and developmental risk factors for criminal behavior. She is a former Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Kim Johnson, Ph.D. (Mental Health Law and Policy) conducts research focused on quality improvement and implementation science in behavioral health.

Micah Johnson, Ph.D. (Mental Health Law and Policy) conducts research on behavioral health and health disparities: the effects of childhood psychological trauma, the epidemiology of polysubstance misuse in pediatric populations, social inequalities, and health disparities among adolescents in the juvenile justice system.

Kristin Kosyluk, Ph.D. (Mental Health Law and Policy) primarily researches issues related to on mental illness and psychiatric disability, with a special interest in social justice issues and stigma.

Maayan Lawental, Ph.D., M.S.W (School of Social Work) works in the area of substance abuse related to women's health and mental health, and trends in club drug use.

Oliver Massey, Ph.D. (Child & Family Studies) examines substance abuse prevention and treatment, with emphasis on implementation of evidence-based practices, and behavioral health services in schools.

Kathleen Moore, Ph.D. (Mental Health Law & Policy) conducts research on co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders with emphasis on treatment drug courts.

Richard Moule, Ph.D. (Criminology) focuses his research on criminological theory, the influence of technology on social life, and the perceptual and micro-social dimensions of crime and crime control.

Roger Peters, Ph.D. (Mental Health Law & Policy) examines assessment and treatment of substance use and co-occurring disorders in the justice system.

Ráchael Powers, Ph.D. (Criminology) work focuses on causes and consequences of violent victimization, and how victims interact with the criminal justice system.

Khary Rigg, Ph.D. (Mental Health Law & Policy) examines prescription drug and opioid misuse, and focuses on rural communities, and club drug use among young people. He also examines prevention strategies and rural-urban differences in the opioid epidemic.

Svetlana Yampolskaya, Ph.D. (Child and Family Studies) is interested in research related to prevention adverse outcomes for children in the child welfare system as well as advanced analytical and methodological approaches.


Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute USF College of Behavioral & Community Sciences The National Institute of Drug Abuse
Student researchers