Julie Yeterian, a student in Suffolk’s PhD in Clinical Psychology program, has received a prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award is a first for the Suffolk doctoral program.

“Receiving this competitive award shows that the grant reviewers recognized Julie’s potential contribution to the field,” said Dr. Krisanne Bursik, associate dean and Julie’s research sponsor. “It is a vote of confidence that she has the ability to become a significant researcher in the future and is worth investing in.”

Yeterian’s research focuses on the role of religion and spirituality in substance abuse treatment for adolescents. She has already contributed to ten journal articles and six book chapters.

The grant provides two years of funding for tuition, additional coursework, and research-related expenses. It will also enable Yeterian to continue her work at theCenter for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. John Kelly, a nationally renowned substance abuse researcher and associate director of the Center, serves as her co-sponsor.

“It is a privilege to work alongside such a respected scholar,” says Yeterian. ” John has been immensely supportive in helping me to develop my own research interests.”

Yeterian, who expects to complete her PhD by 2016, ultimately sees herself working in a hospital setting where she can do both clinical work and research—similar to Dr. Kelly. In the meantime, she says, “This fellowship is going to help me to increase my knowledge base and better prepare me to be an independent researcher.”

Yeterian credits the Suffolk Psychology department and her colleagues at MGH with helping her to win this award. “My Scientific Writing course, my classmates, and my faculty mentors all encouraged me.”