History and Background

SIG is a global leader in intervention, prevention and implementation research on communicable and non-communicable diseases. SIG conducts research and training in the United States and in low and middle-income countries. SIG has designed and implemented a wide range of intervention and implementation studies domestically and globally using the state-of-the art data management systems and community partnerships.

SIG leads research efforts on co-occurring issues of HIV, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, gender based violence and trauma in diverse medical, criminal justice, and social service settings and on line communities in the United States and globally.  SIG also has been funded to conduct training programs for students, faculty and researchers.

The Social Intervention Group (SIG) was officially established in 1990 to address the growing need for research on HIV and relapse prevention with vulnerable populations.


SIG develops and implements evidence-based sustainable solutions to emerging health and social issues affecting diverse populations domestically and globally and is training the next generation of scientists from underrepresented affected communities to address these issues.


Our vision is to scale up sustainable effective solutions to emerging health and social issues in low resource underserved communities domestically and globally through state-of-art intervention and implementation science research and to train a cadre of underrepresented researchers from affected communities who can continue advancing our mission.

Job openings and other opportunities

SIG offers intensive fieldwork training for MSW students and opportunities for doctoral students to gain direct, hands-on experience in all phases of research. SIG also offers faculty and staff the opportunity to engage in rewarding careers conducting work in support of SIG’s mission and vision.

Current opportunities:

Search Columbia Jobs for future staff openings.



What did SIG research in its early years?

From 1990 to 1997, SIG participated in Project LIGHT (Living in Good Health Together), the first and largest multisite HIV behavioral intervention study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Through collaboration on this multisite trial, SIG built relationships with prominent researchers across the country and gained expertise in conducting clinical trials. During this time, SIG also tested two HIV/relapse prevention interventions—one among drug-using incarcerated women and one among men and women in methadone treatment program—and began a study examining the influence of social networks on risk behavior.

What were some of the early findings?

Findings from these early SIG projects were reported in numerous articles and presented at national and international conferences, inspiring the next generation of studies conducted.

During this time, two core areas of research emerged:

  • HIV prevention intervention research with couples
  • Epidemiological research on the co-occurrence of HIV, intimate partner violence (IPV), and substance abuse

Findings from epidemiological studies have been used to design integrated interventions that address these co-occurring problems among women and men. Several interventions that were developed and proven to be efficacious by SIG have been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be translated and disseminated for testing in community-based settings.

What research is SIG currently pursuing?

SIG is currently pursuing dissemination of evidence-based interventions to community-based organizations—both domestically and internationally—that directly serve those who need them most. SIG is also be pursuing health services research within significant venues such as criminal justice settings to examine access and utilization of services and to address systemic gaps in effective service delivery. SIG continues to grow in size and capacity, strengthening its commitment to the SIG mission by pursuing innovation, new frontiers, and collaborations.

Is there a timeline for past SIG projects?


2007-2010 NIDA U10 Long Island Regional Node of NIDA’s CTN (PI: Nunes, Co-PIs: Tross & Hien)
2005-2010 NIAAA R01 Combined Treatment of Alcohol-Dependent Women (PI: Hien)
2004-2009 Connect Two:  Intervention study testing the efficacy of a couple HIV/STI intervention with men and women in drug treatment and their primary heterosexual intimate partners.
2002-2008 NIDA U10 Multi-site PTSD Trauma Groups for PTSD among Women in Drug Treatment (Node PI: Nunes, Study PI: Hien)
2001-2006 Eban: Multi-site intervention trial testing the efficacy of a couple HIV/STI intervention to reduce risk of HIV/STI transmission between African American HIV mixed status couples.
2001-2006 NIDA R01 Cocaine Abuse, Self-Regulation, and Maternal/Child Aggression (PI: Hien)
2000-2004 Epistudy on partner violence and HIV risk among women
1998-2002 Men’s health project: Epistudy on IPV & HIV risk among men in MMTPs
1997-2000 NIDA R01 PTSD Treatment Outcomes for Cocaine Dependent Women (PI: Hien)
1996-2000 Act II: Intervention study on substance abuse (HIV Risks)
1996-2000 Epistudy on IPV & Substance abuse among women n MMTPs
1996-2000 SIG’s First couples intervention – HIV/AIDS prevention among African Americans and Latinos
1995-2000 Project Support: Intervention study on substance abuse – support networks
1994-1999 NIDA R29 Predictors for Interpersonal Violence in Inner-City Women (PI: Hien)
1994 ACT Intervention-alcohol abuse
1994 SIG moves from Interchurch to CSSW
1993-1997 Intervention Study incarcerated women & HIV risk
1992-1997 LIGHT: First multisite HIV/AIDS intervention study
1990-1994 Reap II: Intervention study on substance abuse & HIV risk (MMTPs)
1990 SIG formed to address  a need for intervention research on HIV and Drug Abuse
1987-1990 Project Reap: Intervention study on substance abuse & HIV risk (MMTPs