Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training

UCF School of Social Work

The Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training (CBHRT) was established in 2017 as the first center within the School of Social work focused on promoting interdisciplinary research and training in health and behavioral health.

Our Mission:

To expand expertise and scientific discovery in evidence-based prevention programs and strategies, with the goal of improving clinical practices and behavioral health outcomes for local, national, and global communities.

Our Vision:

To foster interdisciplinary collaborative partnerships to address a broad range of complex behavioral health problems and health disparities while creating cutting-edge and innovative solutions for improving the health and well-being of diverse populations.

CBHRT Services

The CBHRT has various experts available to facilitate research collaborations and promote behavioral health training.

Trainings on behavioral health topics
Research partnerships
Grant Writing, Program Planning and Evaluation
Research Assistants
Seed Grant Funding

Commitment to Improving Research

Our expert faculty’s research serves the community by providing training and research through the CBHRT on a variety of health and behavioral health topics aligned with Florida’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP).

Research Expertise

Faculty have expertise on a broad range of health and behavioral health topics:

e.g., health equity, education access/quality, health care access/quality

e.g., adolescent & young adult, refugees, military veterans, suicide

e.g., intimate partner violence, human trafficking, child injury, adverse childhood experiences, suicide

e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease, Related Dementias, and Other Aging Issues

e.g., nutrition, physical activity

e.g., animal-assisted therapies, fit-bit, Dr. Hologram

e.g., Black Deaf Feminism, LGBTQ+, etc.

Active Funded Research Projects

Implementation and Evaluation of Zero Suicide, in partnership with the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention, Department of Health, SAMH, Florida Behavioral Health Association and other state-level departments and BH providers throughout FL (5-year, $3.5 million SAMHSA-funded LEADS project)

SEED Grants to Fuel Interdisciplinary Research

With the dual goals of fueling scientific discovery and expanding professional expertise, the CBHRT awards interdisciplinary teams competitive stipends to conduct pilot research projects that seek to address emerging behavioral health topics.

Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a clear plan and shows the potential for pilot data to be harnessed into large-scale studies.

Applications are reviewed once a year, interdisciplinary teams are encouraged to apply!

To apply, teams must submit a proposal
Must meet basic eligibility requirements
The CBHRT awards recipients between $2,000—$5,000 per interdisciplinary team.

2021-2022 SEED Grant Recipients:

Compressed Exposure Therapy for Post-Intensive Care Syndrome: Pilot Study

Principal Investigator:
Brian C. Peach, PhD, RN, CCRN

Jean W. Davis, PhD, DNP, EdD, APRN, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Mary Lou Sole, PhD, RN, CCNS, CNL, FAAN, FCCM
Deborah C. Beidel, PhD, ABPP
Reshawna Chapple, PhD, LCSW, QS
Rui Xie, PhD

Project Period:
04/04/2022 – 06/30/2022

Awarded Amount:


Understanding the mechanism of anxiety and depression in lung cancer patients

Principal Investigator:
Wencai Zhang, MD, PhD

Eunkyung “Muriel” Lee, PhD, RDN
Sharon Wang, PhD, MSW

Project Period:
04/04/2022 – 06/30/2022

Awarded Amount:


Collaborate and Get Involved in Innovative Research!

Interdisciplinary collaboration is key to research! That’s why our Research Assistants (RAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) come from different health and behavioral health course of studies.

RAs and GRAs support faculty with research-related tasks, like data-collection, input, etc. all while gaining valuable research experience.

Are you interested in becoming an RA or GRA? Or are you faculty who needs assistance with research?

Request a Service

The Center is a collaborative research space and is here to support faculty, students and community partners from a variety of disciplines to find synergies and advance behavioral and physical health.

We invite you to contact us and let us know how we can provide our services to help you toward your research goal!

Our Leaders

CBHRT Co-Directors

Kimberley Gryglewicz's profile picture at UCF

Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D., MSW

Associate Professor, Center Co-Director
Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training, Social Work
Location: HS I Room: 249
Phone: 407-823-2954
Susanny Beltran's profile picture at UCF

Susanny Beltran, Ph.D., MSW

Assistant Professor, Center Co-Director
Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training, Social Work
Location: HS I Room: 247
Phone: 407-823-4662


Lisa Borntrager's profile picture at UCF

Lisa Borntrager, MSW

Program Coordinator
Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training, Social Work
Location: Barbara Ying Center Room: 125
Phone: 407-823-4302
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