TADA Fellowship Program

Eligibility for a TADA Fellowship is open to Emory doctoral students who…

  • are enrolled – in good standing – in one of the following programs:
    • RSPH: Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences
    • RSPH: Health Policy and Management
    • RSPH: Global Health
    • RSPH: Epidemiology (Social)
    • Psychology
    • Sociology (Health)
    • Economics (Health)
  • have passed comprehensive exams, or plan to complete in the near future.
  • have an outstanding record of academic accomplishment, and an established history of engagement in research and interventions into SUDs or related harms (e.g., overdose, HIV, HCV).
  • are committed to a research career applying advanced data analysis methods to study and intervene in SUD-related harms.
  • are in-residence during the first year of fellowship.
  • and are a US Citizen or Permanent US Resident.

How are TADA Fellowships funded?

  • TADA is funded by a training grant (T32DA0505552; PI: Cooper and Waller) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the purpose of developing the careers of promising junior researchers.
  • TADA is also funded by Spark @ Emory, the Rollins Program in Substance Use Disorders.

Students accepted into the TADA Fellowship Program are required to participate in all TADA training activities, including:

1. Required Courses

a. Two-Semester TADA course sequence with lab (4 credits/semester) 

  • Designed to embed data science methods into the social and behavioral science (SBS) research lifecycle for substance use disorders (SUD).
  • Introduce advanced data analytics in the framework of SBS theory to both link SBS trainees to data science and also to link data science trainees to SBS research and data challenges.
  •  Structured in a series of modules, each of which will explore one SBS theory that has been used to study or intervene in SUD-Related health outcomes, and examine how a particular advanced data science method could strengthen related research or interventions.

b. Two advanced, graduate-level courses in chosen track (min. 2 credits each).

Tracks include: 

  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Harmonizing and analyzing large administrative databases
  • Machine Learning
  • Genetic and Environmental Influences and Interactions
  • Social networks

2. Individual Development Plan (IDP)

  • TADA Fellows are required to set academic and professional goals for his/her fellowship training.
  • IDP is part of the fellow’s professional responsibility to chart goals and success in the TADA program and assist with ensuring timely progress.
  • You will receive a TADA-Specific template for the IDP
  • Within 2 months of starting the TADA fellowship,  the TADA fellow should:
    • Complete a first draft of the IDP
    • Meet and discuss the IDP with TADA mentors. Schedule one meeting with both TADA mentors and directors present.
    • Revise the IDP as necessary after meeting with mentor(s). 
  • Sign and submit the completed IDP to  TADA program manager within 3 months of starting the TADA fellowship
  • IDPs are reviewed by the Program Directors every 6 months thereafter – beginning of academic year and at mid-year (Jan/Feb)
    • Funds expenditure/balance also discussed at 6-month review

3. Mentoring

  • TADA co-directors will match each trainee with 2 TADA-Certified mentors:
    • One with substantive expertise in SBS approaches to studying or intervening in SUD-Related harms,
    • the other with expertise in an advanced data science methods.
  • TADA training in Menteeship

4. Regularly scheduled meetings to advance scholarship & professional development

  • Bi-weekly dissertation and professional development workshops
  • Journal clubs (3-4 per semester)
  • Annual research symposium
  • Bi-annual distinguished visitor lecture

  5. Dissertation Submission

  • At least One Aim must focus on big data science + One (or same) Aim on a drug-related outcome.

6. Mentored Research

  • In addition to coursework, for four semesters, all students will serve as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) with a faculty mentor to gain hands-on SBS research experience.
  • CDC or GDPH Summer Research Rotation

7. $5,000 dissertation grant

  • Each funded trainee will receive up to $5,000 to support dissertation-related research expenses.


*Within each track students will be required to earn a grade B or above in two advanced, graduate-level courses in that method (minimum of 2 credits each), dedicate at least 75% of their Emory-based research rotations to that track and dedicate a summer rotation to that track.