The Society’s key goals are to promote effective policy and practice, and to support the development of stronger addiction science. Through its Academic Fellowship scheme, launched in 2012, the Society is enabling high-calibre early and mid-career addictions researchers to develop further and we are pleased to offer also our ‘SSA Addictions Professorship’ scheme to further strengthen addictions research in the UK.

In the UK, the number of leading addictions scientists and their level of support needs attention and falls far behind many other countries. The Society seeks to support senior addictions academic growth through its ‘SSA Addictions Professorship’ scheme[1] in order to create new addictions professorial positions in collaboration with co-funding host universities.

How it works

The ‘SSA Addictions Professorship’ scheme aims to support individuals who are already senior academics with established expertise and who wish to move to become part of UK academic growth in addictions research, but who would face potential barriers in making this change without SSA-led support. Through this four-year fellowship, they will have special support to make a career change; for example to help an already recognised overseas senior addictions ‘star’ to move to the UK and to establish themselves, or to help a senior figure in a related field to establish new mainstream addictions research credentials, or a change in balance of responsibilities (e.g. from clinician with secondary research interests to a primarily research role).

The scope of area of study of the applicant will be such as to have a good fit and clearly articulated contribution to the aims of the Society and its commitment to improving understanding of treatment, rehabilitation and other interventions, and in the ability through these activities to increase public good.

The ‘SSA Addictions Professorships’ will be co-funded appointments between the hosting university and the Society. A shared funding commitment between the Society and the host university will involve the Society providing 75% in Year 1, 50% in Year 2, and 25% in Year 3. Appointments to be for a period of at least four years, with the host university funding 100% of the position in Year 4 and thereafter.

We will include, as part of the SSA Addictions Professorship package, the potential for funding support for a linked three-year PhD student. This will further help the transitioning senior academic to find their feet in the UK addictions research field over their initial years.

It is proposed that there will be one appointment per year. Thus, the Society may be providing funding support to a maximum of three SSA Professors at any single point in time.

Responsibilities of the ‘SSA Addictions Professor’

The appointed SSA Addictions Professor must adhere to the principles of the Society and will contribute actively through the programme of research to the work of the Society.

They will also contribute actively to the work of the Society e.g. regular materials for the website, workshops for the conference, mentoring of Academic Fellows, etc.

The SSA Addictions Professor will provide periodic reports to the Society in a form suitable for placing on the SSA website; and will make presentations of findings from their research, when requested, to the Society’s annual conference, and other events.


We anticipate that applicants would typically be at Professorial level. (see footnote[1] re option of appointment at Reader or Senior Lecturer level). The scheme will be implemented flexibly to meet the particular circumstances of the appointee.

How to apply

All appointments will be of established research-productive individuals who wish to transition into the UK addictions research field, for whom a period of protected transitional support will enable them to become familiar with, and to establish themselves within, the UK addictions research funding environment.

Application – next steps

Candidates are advised to make initial contact with Professor Eilish Gilvarry ( or Professor Sir John Strang ( for initial discussions about the scheme and the necessary prior commitment from the proposed co-funding host University as well as to obtain an application form.

NB: application deadline for 2020 was 30 September.


[1] If the most appropriate applicant is not considered appointable at professorial level, it is proposed that appointment may proceed at senior lecturer or reader level, with option of later progression to professorial level, when appropriate.