Ce-PIM houses and supports pilot research studies that are conducted by new investigators, facilitate scholarly excellence and productivity of these pilot studies through mentoring, and promotes the development of new research initiatives by supporting those conducting pilot studies to develop and submit R01s to the NIH or R01 equivalents to the NIH sister agencies. Please click on the awardee name to be directed to their institutional profile.


Completed Ce-PIM Pilot Projects:


Justin (JD) Smith, Ph.D., Oregon University
Primary Mentor: Dr. Thomas Dishion (Arizona State University)
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Willy Prado

The COACH rating system for assessing fidelity of implementation to the Family Check-Up and related interventions
This pilot study will empirically improve and refine the COACH fidelity of implementation system for use with the ecological approach to family intervention and treatment model. This will be accomplished through a two-phase pilot study aimed at

  1. increasing the reliability of the measure
  2. evaluating the validity of the model to accurately differentiate between levels of training and implementation support and pinpoint whether viewing shorter segments of sessions can reliably capture fidelity to the model as well as viewing full sessions.

he results of this pilot study will be used to improve psychometric properties of the COACH and will greatly inform future use of the system, particularly in terms of a fidelity of implementation feedback monitoring system and real-world assessment of fidelity in upcoming scale-up endeavors.


Current Ce-PIM Pilot Awardees:


Cady Berkel, Ph.D., Arizona State University
Primary Mentor: Irwin Sandler (Arizona State University)
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Hendricks Brown

Pilot Testing Behavioral Observation Measure to Assess Multiple Dimensions of Implementation in an Effectiveness Trial
This proposed pilot study seeks to lay the foundation for a NIDA R01 grant submission by examining effective and efficient methods of assessing fidelity, adaptations, and quality of the New Beginning Program (NBP), currently being tested in an effectiveness trail. The goals of this pilot study are: 

  1. The PI will pilot the measures that will be submitted in the R01 on a subsample of videos collected as part of an efficacy trial. Ce-PIM will facilitate working with a consultant(s) with long-standing expertise in the coding of these dimensions in a school-based substance use prevention program.
  2. Ce-PIM director, Dr. Hendricks Brown, will assist in the development of an analytic plan to assess the most efficient and effective sampling plan for identifying sessions/activities to code.

Melissa Davey-Rothwell, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Primary Mentor: Dr. David Holtgrave (Johns Hopkins University)
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Larry Palinkas

Facilitators and Barriers in Implementation of Evidence-based Program for Drug Users
This proposed pilot study will focus on implementation of the SHIELD intervention. The SHIELD intervention is a 6-session intervention designed to train former and current drug users to be peer educators for members of their social networks. The SHIELD intervention is currently being disseminated through the CDC’s DEBI’s program. Guided by implementation science frameworks, the proposed pilot research goals are to:

  1. To examine organization, provider/staff, and intervention factors associated with stages of implementation of a social-network based peer education intervention (the SHIELD intervention).
  2. To identify barriers and facilitators that agencies encounter in each stage of implementation.
  3. To explore strategies to overcome barriers in each stage of implementation.

Data will be collected from a nationally representative sample of community agencies (n=50), such as CBOs, drug treatment centers, and faith-based organizations, that have been trained to conduct the SHIELD intervention by the CDC. Semi-structured interviews will be administrated by telephone to assess stages of implementation of SHIELD and multi-level features associated with each stage. Facilitators and barriers encountered during each stage will also be examined.


Jennifer Stewart, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Primary Mentor: Dr. Loretta Jammot (University of Pennsylvania)
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Gina Wingood

Adaptation of an Evidence Based HIV Risk Reduction Intervention for Young African American Women in Church Settings
The overall objective of this pilot study is to adapt an evidence based HIV prevention intervention for young African American women ages 18-25 in church settings, which can be implemented effectively and promote sustainability. The goals of the pilot study are:

  1. Explore the HIV related behavioral and psycho-social risks and adaptation needs of young African American women, their pastors and church leaders.
  2. Use “theater testing”, an innovative method of pretesting, to adapt an evidence base HIV prevention intervention and gain critique and feedback regarding adaptation needs.
  3. Pilot test and explore the feasibility, acceptability and process of implementation of the adapted evidence based HIV intervention in the church setting.

Courtenay Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Primary Mentor: Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell (Johns Hopkins University)
Ce-PIM Mentor: Drs. Gina Wingood, Thomas Valente

HIV Prevention Implementation Science for Women in Domestic Violence Shelters
This pilot study aims to do the following:

  1. Adapt an EBI for reducing HIV risk, Sisters Informing Sisters about Topics on AIDS (SISTA), for women in domestic violence (DV) shelters.
  2. Examine the DV shelter providers’ level of adoption and implementation fidelity of the adapted SISTA HIV prevention intervention for DV shelter women.
  3. Examine organizational-level (culture, climate and structure) and trainer-level mediators (e.g., trainer knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and self-efficacy) for implementing the adapted SISTA intervention as well as shelter staff and residents’ perceptions of the acceptability, adaptability and appropriateness of the adapted SISTA for DV shelter women using social network analysis.

Shan Qiao, Ph.D., Wayne State University School of Medicine
Primary Mentor: Dr. Xioming Li (Wayne State University)
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Greg Aarons

A Pilot Study of Feasibility and Readiness of Implementing a School-Based ChildCARe Program
This pilot study proposes to examine the feasibility and readiness of implementation of ChildCARe program by trained teachers in school setting in China. Adopting mixed methods design, we plan to analyze the process evaluation data (both qualitative and quantitative) and 3-wave intervention outcome data collected in the efficacy trial and collect additional qualitative data from school teachers, school principals and government officials to examine the function of implementation factors in moderating intervention outcome and to identify the readiness and resources needed in teacher implementation of school-based ChildCARe program. The current study is guided by knowledge translation model to link the efficacy trial and school-based implementation of ChildCARe program in a culturally and developmentally appropriate way for children affected by HIV. This pilot study will lay the foundation for a R01 or equivalent grant application of teacher implementation trial of school-based ChildCARe.


Brian McCabe, Ph.D., University of Miami School of Nursing
Primary Mentor: Dr. Victoria Mitrani
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Lillian Gelberg

Electronic Alcohol Screening Intervention (EASI)
This is a proposed pilot implementation of an intervention, EASI (Electronic Alcohol Screening Intervention), in a university primary care clinic. The project addresses the lack of implementation of evidence-based alcohol screening interventions in primary care practice and the prevalence of risky binge drinking in college students. The proposed pilot study will develop a screening and feedback preventive intervention based on SBIRT principles for the primary care setting, and will test the preliminary acceptability, reach, and effectiveness of the brief Electronic Alcohol Screening Intervention (EASI) program in the University of Miami (UM) College Student Health Center. This proposal is a mixed methods approach to a small randomized, controlled pilot study in a sample of 250 students comparing EASI to standard care.


Dr. Kar-Hai Chu, Ph.D., University of Southern California
Primary Mentor: Dr. Louise A. Rohrbach
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Thomas Valente

Using Social Network Analysis to Assess and Improve the Implementation of Evidence-based Alcohol and Drug Prevention Services
This pilot study will examine the efforts of 50 service agencies across Los Angeles County that are implementing community-focused, evidence-based alcohol and drug abuse prevention efforts. Each agency is using the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). This study will use social network analysis (SNA) to assess the effectiveness of how agency coordinators and directors communicate, in both inter-organizational and intra organizational settings, in implementing their agency’s services. The goals of this pilot study are:

  1. identify the social networks for each of the representatives of the different agencies
  2. apply SNA to explore how members are communicating, identify emergent social structures and other network characteristics that might support or hinder the success of policy implementation
  3. combine results with other evaluation measures to develop short and long term plans on improving the likelihood of successful policy implementation
  4. Prepare documentation for wide-scale audience dissemination. These goals will help lead to a potential R01 in larger scale studies that can apply SNA to similar efforts of combatting drug and alcohol abuse.

Dr. Jessica Williams, Ph.D., University of Miami
Primary Mentor: Dr. Julie Barroso
Ce-PIM Mentor: Dr. Willy Prado

Trauma-informed decision-making between providers and victims of intimate partner violence during HIV testing: A qualitative study.
The purpose of this study is to explore the process of implementing an HIV testing program at an intimate partner violence (IPV) service agency from the client, provider, and organizational perspectives. A qualitative descriptive approach will be used to guide this study. Semi-structured, qualitative interviews will be conducted with key informants, namely, women with a history of IPV, HIV service providers, and IPV service providers (e.g., advocates). The results of this study will be used to inform:

  1. strategies to improve the implementation of HIV testing in agencies that serve individuals with a history of IPV
  2. the development of a decision support intervention to increase trauma-informed decision-making between providers and victims of IPV during the HIV testing process