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Call for Proposals: Drug Policy Research Incubator Pleasure and Self-Regulating Drug Use

Updated: Aug 29

Editor’s Note: We’re double-posting today for an exciting reason. See below for a call for proposals from the Drug Policy Alliance that may be of interest to readers. Act fast – proposals are due in one month. 

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The Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Academic Engagement is committed to improving drug policy research. Through a project called Unbounded Knowledge: Re-envisioning Drug Policy Research (UBK), we have worked with researchers over the past two years to identify gaps and opportunities in the field with the intention of fostering interdisciplinary research and improving the evidence base that informs drug policy in the U.S.

Researchers in the UBK project noted the deficiency of research in the United States on unproblematic drug use and/or drug use motivated by the desire for pleasure and recreation. One of the recommendations from that project was to examine a key factor that shapes U.S. drug research: the pervasive belief that some drugs are inherently harmful and addictive, a position that influences research questions and populations studied, as well as the outcomes that are measured.

• What might we learn from studying non-problematic, normative, or self-regulating drug use? • What skills, knowledges, choices, and routines do non-problematic drug users employ? • How might we capture a more representative sample of the complex diversity of people who use drugs? • What is the role of pleasure in drug use choices? • How is poly-drug use part of the pleasure equation? • What other questions will help us better understand pleasure as part of non-problematic drug use?

We invite applications for researchers from all disciplines to join us for a one-day meeting to develop research projects focused on the topic of non-problematic drug use and pleasure. We envision an exciting, creative session wherein scholars from a breadth of fields come together to generate research ideas to advance our understanding in ways that could best influence policy change. Our goal is to use this session to discuss specific research proposals that will then be further developed and circulated to funders.

To apply, please submit: •  A CV •  An 800-word statement describing: • Your specific research interest in this area and your background, if any, in related issues • How your specific research interest would benefit from an interdisciplinary approach • Any experience you have working collaboratively across disciplines

We are particularly interested in: • Proposals that center people who use drugs and people directly impacted by the war on drugs in research design, development, and publication • Applied projects that are policy-relevant • Projects requiring an interdisciplinary approach • Scholars who are willing to “think outside the box” with innovative methods to work beyond the limits of most research currently funded by the public sector

The Drug Policy Alliance will cover all associated travel and lodging costs. This meeting will be held in conjunction with (the day before) DPA’s biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference, and participants are encouraged to stay and attend the conference.

Email materials to Jules Netherland ( and Ingrid Walker (

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#research #pleasure #Drugs #conference #DrugPolicyAlliance #Callforproposals


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