Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP)

bottle of oxycodone.

The UB School of Nursing, UB School of Social WorkUB Department of Counseling, School and Educational PsychologyUB Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions  and the UB Department of Family Medicine have partnered to bring a new and exciting fellowship program to the University at Buffalo. The Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) fellowship focuses on the interprofessional integration of interventions and/or prevention of opioid use disorder in primary care settings and interdisciplinary behavioral health setting.

On this page:

Additional information about OWEP


The Opioid Workforce Expansion Program is a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)* funded workforce education and training program, which aims to develop and expand a behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan in rural and medically underserved areas, with a focus on the treatment and prevention of opioid and substance abuse. The program aims to close gaps in access to behavioral health care services through enabling community partnerships and providing advanced training for students entering the fields of behavioral health and substance abuse.

OWEP consists of a comprehensive training program, created to supplement clinical training that students receive. This program focuses on integrated care, behavioral health, and opioid use disorder prevention and treatment. The program cohort consists of students across different behavioral health and substance abuse fields, namely psychiatric mental health nursing, school counseling, school psychology and social work. The program includes an nterdisciplinary team of interprofessional education, social work, psychology, family medicine, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, addictions medicine, psychiatric nursing and student development.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Mental Health Counseling (MS), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP), Rehabilitation Counseling (MS), School Counseling (EdM), School Psychology (MA), Counseling/School Psychology (PhD) or Social Work (Master's) students entering their last year of clinical or field practicum and in good standing (as defined by the respective program).
  • U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or foreign national with a visa permitting permanent residence.


Students whom are a part of the OWEP will:

  • Receive an enriched education, training and career development opportunities, focused on interprofessional development and the prevention and treatment of opioid use and substance use disorder.
  • Receive an annual stipend commensurate with their degree level.

Program Requirements

Students must:

  • Maintain a course load and good academic standing in their appropriate school and fulfill predetermined requirements for their program.
  • Complete the enhanced training program on behavioral health with a focus on opioid and substance use disorder.
  • Commit to seeking employment related to behavioral health in high-need and high-demand areas, including rural, vulnerable, or underserved communities, following graduation.
  • Commit to providing contact and employment information following graduation.
  • Complete a competitive OWEP scholars application process. 
  • See the application for more information.

Application Process

1. Complete the OWEP Application and email it to the faculty coordinator for your department, along with the required personal statement and resume.

  • Mental Health Counseling (MS): Tim Janikowski: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Rehabilitation Counseling (MS): Scott Sabella: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP): Friday, April 30, 2021
  • School Counseling (EdM): Tim Janikowski: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • School Psychology (MA): Tim Janikowski: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • School Psychology (PhD): Tim Janikowski: Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Social Work (MSW): Laura Lewis: Thursday, April 1, 2021

2. The selection committee for your department will review applications and select candidates for interviews.

3. Following interviews, the selection committee will select fellowship candidates and once a student has accepted the fellowship, the team will work with you to select an appropriate placement.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact the OWEP Coordinator Joshua Altemoos, Project Director Yu-Ping Chang or your program coordinator:

*This program is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T98HP33411 and titled Opioid Workforce Expansion Program – Professional for $1,350,000 with 0% financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. government.