The UTEP VIDA Project is preparing faculty and students through the implementation of specific mechanisms including research opportunities and training activities via the individual research projects, as well as workshops, seminars and conferences that bring together faculty and staff who are already involved in drug abuse research. The project recruits into collaborative drug abuse research other faculty with relevant skills that will further strengthen and expand the cross-disciplinary efforts and joint learning and discoveries. This interchange of ideas will produce more sophisticated and meaningful drug research, particularly research focused on the specificity of Hispanic drug use and vulnerability. Moreover, graduate and undergraduate students participating in our research projects are learning skills necessary to address the culturally relevant questions posed in our research. The social relevance of the VIDA Project research program is expected to motivate Hispanic undergraduate and graduate student trainees to develop a career trajectory in drug abuse research.