Robert Broadhead, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Sociology (Affiliate)

Research Overview

Dr. Broadhead’s areas of specialization include the sociology of health, deviance, drugs and society and qualitative methods. His research interests include innovative methods to combat HIV and related diseases among injection drug users and methodological approaches to accessing and studying “hidden populations.” Along with Douglas D. Heckathorn, Dr. Broadhead is credited with developing the “peer-driven intervention” (PDI) outreach model. Since 1988, he has served as the principal investigator of several multi-year HIV-prevention community demonstration projects sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Open Society Institute. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Broadhead directed a field project, adapting and testing variations of the PDI model in three cities 4-5 hours northeast of Moscow, Russia, in Yaroslavl province: Bragino, Rybinsk and Tutatev, . The PDI model developed in Russia has since been adopted by the International AIDS Alliance-Ukraine and is presently operating in some 18 city-sites for injection drug users, and 3 city-sites for commercial sex workers. Dr. Broadhead also directed pilot studies of the PDI along the border in Ha Giang, Vietnam and Guigang, China. Dr. Broadhead was the recipient of a five-year, Independent Scientist Award (K02) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, beginning in 2005. Dr. Broadhead continues to consult with the International AIDS Alliance-Ukraine, and also with the Open Society Institute’s Academic Fellowship Program, helping strengthen the graduate program in the School of Public Health, National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy.


Ph.D., University of California-San Francisco, 1978 (sociology)
M.S., Portland State University, 1974 (sociology)
B.S., University of Oregon, 1969 (sociology)

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Sociology
344 Mansfield Road, Unit 2068
(Manchester Hall, MAN)
Storrs, CT 06269-2068