Research Grants

VCBH research includes randomized clinical trials and outpatient laboratory studies on a wide range of topics related to drug abuse and other health behaviors, behavioral economics and behavioral pharmacology. For more information on our large center awards, please see the TCORS and COBRE webpages.

Our research includes the following grant support:

P50DA036114 (PI: Stephen T. Higgins)   Agency: NIH/FDA

Vermont Center on Tobacco Regulatory Science


The overarching goal of this application is to establish a Vermont Tobacco Center on Regulatory Science (TCORS). This multidisciplinary center will be located at the University of Vermont but will work closely with collaborators and consultants from Brown University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Minnesota, and University of Pittsburgh. The Vermont TCORS will address one of the crosscutting and two of the specific research priorities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. The crosscutting priority will be researching tobacco products in vulnerable populations, including women of childbearing age/pregnant women, individuals with comorbid other substance use disorders, and individuals with comorbid serious mental illness. Each of these populations is at an increased risk for tobacco use and dependence or tobacco-related adverse health outcomes. Yet despite these serious vulnerabilities, these populations are typically excluded from tobacco regulatory studies. For the FDA to effectively execute its tobacco regulatory responsibility, having a sound scientific evidence on how new tobacco products impact vulnerable populations is critically important. Our goal is for the Vermont TCORS to assist in providing the FDA with that evidence. Regarding specific priorities, the Vermont TCORS will research (a) reducing the addiction potential of cigarettes and other tobacco products by reducing their nicotine content and (b) examining the impact of new products on biomakrers of exposure and health outcomes in vulnerable populations. Regulating the nicotine content of cigarettes and other products is an important responsibility of the FDA that has tremendous potential to reduce smoking prevalence and improve the U.S. public health. The Vermont TCORS will be organized around four primary aims. First, we will establish an Administrative Core that will provide the leadership, administrative and intellectual infrastructure, and organizational oversight necessary to develop and sustain a multidisciplinary center of research and training excellence. Second, we will complete three multi-site research projects evaluation the effects of very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarettes in vulnerable populations. Third, we will establish a program to support sensitive research priorities. Fourth, we will develop and exemplary predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in tobacco regulatory science. Overall, this proposal has the potential to establish a multidisciplinary center capable of providing the FDA with critically important empirical evidence relevant to its regulatory responsibility, while also contributing new scientific knowledge on reducing the addictiveness of tobacco products and associated adverse health consequences in vulnerable populations.

1RO1HD078332 (PI: Stephen T. Higgins)  

Agency: NIH/DHHS

Behavioral Economic Approach to Reducing Maternal Smoking in Disadvantaged Women



T32DA007242 (PI: Stephen T. Higgins)

Agency: NIDA

Training in Behavioral Pharmacology of Drug Abuse



R01HDA075669 (PI: Stephen T. Higgins)

Agency: NICHD

Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation among Disadvantaged Pregnant Women



R01DA031928 (PI: Sarah Heil)

Agency: NIH

Testing the Reliability and Validity of Pupil Diameter in Opioid-Exposed Neonates



R01DA036670 (PI: Sarah H. Heil)

Agency: NIDA

Improving Effective Contraceptive Use among Opioid-maintained Women: Stage II



U01DA041148 (PI: Hugh Garavan)

​Agency: NIH

ABCD - USA Consortium: Research Project



U54CA163303 (PI: Brian Sprague)

Agency: NIH

​Vermont PROSPR Research Center



A17021S (PI: Richard Rawson)

Evaluation of the Vermont Hub-and-Spoke System for the treatment of opioid use disorders



R01CA192940 (PI: John R. Hughes)

​Agency: NIH

Does Abstinence From E-cigarettes Produce Withdrawal Symptoms?



R01CA1673176 PI: John R. Hughes)

Agency: NIH

​A Test of Two Clinical Methods to Prompt a Quit Attempt Among Smokers