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Scott P. Novak, Ph.D.

Principal Associate, Health & Environment

Scott P. Novak, Ph.D. Scott P. Novak, Ph.D.
Scott Novak is a highly accomplished behavioral scientist with specializations in substance abuse and mental health prevention and treatment. Within these fields he has an extensive background in prescription drug abuse, marijuana, and drug policy. He also holds subject matter expertise in program evaluation, data-driven performance management, and statistical analyses.
At Abt, he leads our health services research program, concentrating on the opioid epidemic through grants and contracts with federal, state, and pharmaceutical clients.

Before joining Abt, Novak was a senior research scientist/manager for Battelle, where he developed and implemented strategic business plan for subject matter areas involving prescription drugs and legalized marijuana.

Novak also worked RTI International for more than a decade, where he served as a senior research scientist in the Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Division. During his tenure, he served as a project director on approximately 20 separate governmental and commercial contract and grants addressing issues such as health services, policy, clinical epidemiology, public health, criminology, and economics research in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, crime, HIV and AIDS, and physical health. Novak conceptualized and implemented the first international study of prescription drug abuse in the European Union, and led the first comparative effectiveness study of medication assisted treatments for opioid use disorder in the U.S..

Novak is perhaps most recognized for pioneering the method of combining web-panel recruitment with targeted sampling as a cost effective alternative to probability studies for recruiting hard-to-reach populations into public policy evaluation research.

Before coming to RTI in 2004, Novak was an assistant professor of Community Health Policy at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

Novak holds a Ph.D. in quantitative sociology and a Master’s in medical sociology from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Harvard University, where he specialized in biostatistics and psychiatric epidemiology using community-based, mixed-methods studies using ethnography and computerized simulations via agent-based modeling. 
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  • Program evaluation
  • Data-driven performance management
  • Statistical analyses
  • Research and evaluation methods