Newsletter Article

Research on HIV Risk Awarded Funds from UW Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Neil Gleason and graduate advisor Dr. William George received a one year, $20,000 research award from UW Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute for their work titled "A Mixed-Methods Examination of HIV Risk in Men Who Have Sex with Men: Effects of Alcohol and Sexual Compulsivity." Learn more about Neil below! 

Let's start with the basics. Where are you from and where did you complete undergrad/masters?

Headshot of Neil Gleason

I am originally from Buffalo, MN and I completed my undergrad at St. Olaf College and masters degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

How did you wind up at UW/why did you apply here?

I applied here because of the overlap betwen my research interests with Dr. George's research - and chose to come here because - of course I chose to come here! It's UW! 

What is your research interest and how did you get into it? What inspires/motivates you?

My research interests fall into three overlapping domains: 1) understanding individual differences in sexuality and "problematic" sexual behaviors, such as sexual compulsivity and sexual risk behavior; 2) assessing and addressing mental and sexual health disparities in LGBTQ+ individuals (HIV in particular); and 3) understanding the contributions of substance use to these domains. I am also developing a strong interest in qualitative and mixed-methods research. 

How did you learn about your funding opportunity? Tell us about the application/waiting process.

This is a well-known funding opportunity in my lab, and I was encouraged to apply for it by my advisors and fellow graduate students. 

How did you feel when you learned that your application was accepted and that you will receive funding? 

Fantastic! It meant that the project I have spent years devloping is finally taking off!

What is the name of your project and the funding source?

 A Mixed-Methods Examination of HIV Risk in Men Who Have Sex with Men: Effects of Alcohol and Sexual CompulsivityUW Addictions, Drug, and Alcohol Institute Small Grant

Do you have any advice/tips/suggestions for others who may apply to this opportunity? About graduate study in general?

It's a lot of work - plan ahead!

What do you like doing in your spare time?

I've become an avid hiker since moving to the pacific northwest! On a sunny weekend you can usually find me wandering around in the woods. 

What do you plan to do once you complete your PhD?  

I'm hoping to keep researching! I'm also passionate about providing therapy to individuals with sexual problems and hope to continue doing this and working to make these treatments better.  


Our Department's graduate programs continue to be a top destination for prospective students. Gifts to our graduate fellowships and student support funds allow us to attract and retain a more diverse, well-rounded cohort of students. Support the training, research, and professional development of underrepresented graduate students in the Department with a gift to the Psychology Diversity Fund.