SBIRT Scholars Program


What is the SBIRT Scholars Program?

SBIRT Scholars Program is a certificate program at the University of Illinois (2016-2019) for BSW or MSW students. The School of Social Work was awarded this three-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Principal Investigator, Dr. Doug Smith will train 230 students on how to provide SBIRT and Motivational Interviewing (MI) services to help identify clients who may benefit from reducing their substance use. SBIRT stands for screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment. SBIRT and MI are well-known, evidence-based treatment approaches for individuals with substance use disorders.

The SBIRT Scholar Program aims to provide intensive state-of-the-art training on these exciting treatments to our social work students. Importantly, SBIRT can be used by social workers in most direct care settings, not just settings that specialize in substance use disorder treatment. Thus, the program will give students a distinction that is increasingly appealing to a wide variety of employers. Skills learned in this program will also be increasingly more necessary for clinicians in the coming years due to major changes in health policy such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Who benefits from the SBIRT Scholars Program?

The SBIRT Scholar Program is for

  • Undergraduate students that complete Social Work 420 and complete their practicum at an SBIRT-approved field placement site.
  • Master’s level students who take Social Work 561/502  (Motivational Interviewing; 8 weeks), Social Work 561 (Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment; 8 weeks) or Social Work 504 and complete their practicum at an SBIRT-approved field placement site.

Who is eligible?

  • This program is open to any BSW students who enroll in Social Work 420
  • MSW students who enroll to take Social Work 561/502 or Social Work 504

Apply to be an SBIRT Scholar

  • SBIRT Scholar applications for the 2017-2018 academic year are now open. Apply here.


  • SBIRT sites are organizations that have signed on to host an SBIRT intern. More than twenty organizations are participating, with more joining regularly. See a complete list of SBIRT sites here.
  • Don’t see your agency? Apply to be an SBIRT site here.
  • Don’t see an agency you’d like to intern at? Reach out the SBIRT team to suggest an organization, and we’ll invite them to participate.

Google map of SBIRT sites

Simulation Training Log-in

  • Click on the “Log-in” link here
    (Chrome and Mozilla are preferred browsers over Internet Explorer)
  • Enter your NetID and Active Directory (AD) Password
  • You will now be able to launch your simulation


Please contact Dr. Doug Smith: