Founded in 1987, PIRE’s Chapel Hill Center specializes in designing and implementing innovative evaluation studies of programs and policies that address a variety of pressing behavioral health issues. The Center houses numerous ongoing projects that evaluate substance abuse prevention programming and policy initiatives designed to reduce and prevent underage drinking, prescription drug misuse and other substance use behaviors, harmful consequences of opioid misuse, substance abuse disorders, HIV/AIDS, and other behavioral health-related problems. Evaluation projects include both rigorously controlled experimental studies, as well as a variety of quasi-experimental designs used to enhance implementation fidelity and assess effectiveness of ongoing programs and policies implemented by federal, state and local agencies. Chapel Hill Center investigators serve as evaluators for numerous state agencies across the nation that fund school- and community-based interventions to prevent substance abuse and its consequences, many of which are federally funded and require standardized data collection procedures and participation in cross-site evaluations. In recent years Chapel Hill investigators have become increasingly engaged in prescription drug and opioid related prevention and harm reduction projects, including state, community, and tribal based projects funded by SAMHSA, NIH, and CDC.
Epidemiological studies conducted by Chapel Hill investigators focus on patterns and trends in health behaviors and outcomes, including the correlates, etiology, and developmental trajectories of substance use, violence victimization, risky sexual behavior, and other health risk behaviors, particularly among adolescents, young adults, and women. Chapel Hill’s portfolio of projects also includes research in international settings that focus on behavioral health issues including HIV/AIDS prevention among at-risk adolescents and young adults, and ethical issues related to informed consent and disclosure that may arise in the implementation of these types of studies.
PIRE, Our Parent Company
PIRE is an independent, nonprofit organization merging scientific knowledge and proven practice to create solutions that improve the health, safety, and well-being of individuals, communities, and nations around the world.
The mission of PIRE is to promote, undertake, and evaluate activities, studies, and programs that improve individual and public health, welfare, and safety. In support of this mission, we create and support an environment within which skilled, innovative, and dedicated researchers and practitioners work to extend the leading edges of their respective fields. For over 43 years, PIRE has been awarded grant- and contract-funded work, ranging from primary research and program evaluation to service delivery (technical assistance and direct service)—guided by PIRE’s mission and commitment to the application of science for the public good.
Founded in 1974, PIRE has a longstanding reputation for research integrity. Funded with a balance of National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, federal contracts, and foundation awards, we currently have over 50 active NIH awards. We have held a NIAAA Center Grant since 1980 with a robust Postdoctoral Training Program. We have primed multimillion dollar contracts with the Department of Defense, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Veterans Health Administration. We also have significant international NIH and contract work.
Today, PIRE has a significant national presence in the area of applied science, with funded research projects at its centers on prevention, treatment, and policy research. PIRE scientists and practitioners continually focus on the design and implementation of complex program evaluation strategies and the conduct of research related to health and social issues, and criminal justice. PIRE practitioners and scientists provide training and technical assistance in many health-related areas to states and communities that are attempting to improve public health.