Feedback from NIH on the Preventure grant

Preventure is a program that has shown to reduce alcohol and drug use up to 80% in schools at 2-year follow up. VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies submitted a grant in February, 2017. Beacon Tree partnered with VCU from the standpoint of helping with implementation and parental consent.

These are the results of the review.

The good news is that it was not eliminated and it did receive a score and was discussed by a peer review panel of experts and will be resubmitted.

Only the top half of the applications are discussed at NIH peer review meetings, whereas the other half of the grants are eliminated from discussion and left un-scored.

In general, less than than 2% of NIH grants get funded from the first submission or make it through with no changes.

Dr. Vassileva and Dr. Conrod have already spoken and have a strategy for resubmission in November 2017. Dr. Conrod will be reviewing all her research of previous trials with Preventure to answer some of their questions and objections. In several places in this feedback were strong compliments to the team and a lot of interest in the project.

Best news of all!

Hanover County school got a small ABC grant and they attended the Preventure training in Canada. They are planning to implement Preventure on a small scale at first by running groups at The Georgetown School.  They  are very excited to implement what they learned from their training!

Nitty Gritty Details of the Feedback so get into Geek mode! 

  • The feedback was 11 pages
  • We got an impact score of 48 which was in the 36th percentile. In the grant NIH world, you want an scores below 8-10% are considered for funding
  • The team submitted for $400k each year for over 4 years
  • Highlights of notable strengths from the committee include:
  • Outstanding research team
  • High scientific rigor
  • Well documented support from the state (letter of support from the Attorney General) and from regional schools and school districts (All those letters you guys rallied for!)
  • Well-conceived Preventure intervention, the elements of which have a solid scientific premise
  • Large sample size including a large group of minorities (differs from past studies)
  • Longitudinal design that follows students from 9th to 12th grade
  • They noted that the application was outstanding
  • The study brings more of a neuro-cognitive slant to prevention than is often seen in other prevention efforts

Highlights of weaknesses from the committee include:

  • Limited detail on the personality trait-specific content of the intervention
  • Unclear plans for handling participants who meet criteria for more than one personality risk factor
  • Questionable ethics of Unclear justification for withholding the evidence based Preventure intervention from participants in the control condition
  • Unclear recruitment and consenting procedures for parents (Anne Moss will have to help with this part.)
  • There is extensive evidence from five prior clinical trials (in other countries) supporting Preventure’s efficacy, so

The intervention is well founded and another clinical trial is not necessary. However, some reviewers disagreed and considered the potential cultural differences between the US and other countries to be of sufficient interest and importance to conduct a trial in USA.