University of Pikeville

School of Social Work
Genesia Kilgore-Bowling
Chair, School of Social Work
MSW Program Director
(606) 218-5011


In August 2019, the University of Pikeville was awarded an Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) grant through the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This grant will allow the School of Social Work to provide a $10,000 stipend to 45 MSW students (15 per year) who are interested in behavioral health social work practice with a focus on Opioid Use Disorders (OUD) and other Substance Use Disorders (SUD). 

Stipends are subsistence allowances for the MSW student to help defray living expenses during the last 30 hours of the MSW program.  The stipends are not provided as a condition of employment, or for tuition, fees, health insurance, or other costs associated with the MSW program.  However, please note that the HRSA OWEP stipend cannot be combined with any other federal dollars except for federal loans and Veteran’s Administration benefits. No more than one year or 12 consecutive months of stipend support is allowed per full-time student.

The stipend program is an initiative of the federal government through HRSA to expand the number of behavioral health professionals with advanced training in the area of OUD/SUD across our country.  The University of Pikeville MSW program was selected as a recipient of this prestigious grant to assist in the initiative by preparing social work students for advanced work in OUD/SUD prevention and treatment across the Central Appalachian region.

Stipends are limited to MSW students in the advanced standing program (30 hours) or entering their final year of the MSW program.  Students must be in good academic standing, enrolled in the School of Social Work’s MSW program, and must be eligible to work in the United States. A student receiving support from grant funds must be a citizen of the United States or a foreign national having in his/her possession a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States.

MSW Advanced Standing (30 hour) program students should submit the HRSA-OWEP application at the same time they apply to the UPIKE MSW Program. Students who are enrolled in the Regular Standing (60 hour) program are encouraged to submit their HRSA-OWEP application during their final spring semester in the generalist foundation MSW coursework. 

Please review the application  carefully and apply only if your educational and career interests are aligned with the nature of the HRSA OWEP Stipend Program.  Please note that there are conditions associated with the award.

The HRSA MSW-OWEP Scholars are selected through an application and interview process. In addition to the application for the MSW program, students are be required to submit an additional application and two-page essay outlining their interest in becoming a behavioral health professional and working with OUD/SUD prevention and treatment, as well as in working with vulnerable and underserved populations.  The applications will be reviewed by the HRSA MSW-OWEP Scholar Selection Committee comprised of MSW faculty and community partners. Students who show promise and passion will be invited via email to an interview utilizing video conferencing with the committee. If selected, students will be notified via email. Students who are offered and accept a position as a HRSA MSW-OWEP scholar must sign a commitment letter agreeing to the conditions of the award.

The Principal Investigator for the grant is Dr. Genesia Kilgore Bowling who is the Chair of the School of Social Work and Director of the MSW program.  You can contact her at or 606-218-5011.

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This program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $750,000 with no percentage 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.

The University of Pikeville does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age or disabilities in its programs, activities, hiring or the admission of students.

The University of Pikeville School of Social Work is committed to nondiscrimination and providing equal education opportunities without regard to race, ethnicity, nationality, age, class, color, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. The School does not discriminate based on the any of the aforementioned characteristics in policies related to admission and all related academic endeavors. 

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