About RETI

Primary Investigator: Celia B. Fisher (Fordham University). Supported by NIDA Grant #R25DA031608-01. 


Now in its seventh year, the Fordham HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) is a training grant sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (#1R25DA031608-01, Principal Investigator, Celia B. Fisher, Director Center for Ethics Education). The RETI provides early career investigators in the social, behavioral, medical and public health fields with an opportunity to gain research ethics training. A major function of the RETI is also to conduct institute-funded research on ethical issues in HIV and drug use research. In doing so, RETI addresses the urgent need for HIV investigators who can identify and address ethical issues, engage drug-using and other at-risk communities in the construction and evaluation of population-sensitive research protections, and generate empirical data to inform ethical practice and policies for HIV prevention science. Through their funded Mentored Research Project (MRP), RETI fellows generate empirical data, publish their findings in a variety of high-impact academic journals, and are trained to apply for increasing grant opportunities.


The program’s aims are to: (1) increase trainees’ knowledge of and capacity to address key ethical issues in HIV and drug abuse prevention research; (2) increase trainees’ capacity to ethically engage participants and communities in the construction of participant protections that reflect the values and merit the trust of all stakeholders in HIV and drug abuse prevention research.; (3) increase trainees’ capacity to conduct research that will generate data to inform HIV and drug abuse prevention research practices and policies; and (4) create and sustain an information and communication network for trainees, faculty and others in the field for enhancing ethical knowledge, ethical dialogue and future professional collaborations in HIV and drug abuse prevention research ethics.


The 5-year grant will include 4 cohorts of approximately 6 trainees each. Each trainee will commit to 2 years of training. The program includes: (a) a structured intensive summer institute for trainees in their 1st year of the institute; (b) a 2-year individually mentored and financially supported research pilot project on an ethical issue in HIV and drug abuse prevention research; (c) an advanced summer seminar for trainees in their 2nd year, including tailored curriculum on professional and community dissemination of their mentored research project, and grant writing incorporating the mentored project as a pilot study for a grant supplement or new grant; and (d) access to web-based platform for HIV prevention ethics resources and collegial exchange. The summer institute is held at Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education, NYC. The program has outstanding diverse multidisciplinary faculty with experience in the conduct and ethics evaluation of national and international HIV and drug abuse prevention research.

Publications describing the multidisciplinary RETI program in detail can be found below: