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About us

Since its foundation in 2006, the "Utrip" Research and Development Institute has been working comprehensively in the field of prevention and advocacy, particularly in the areas of alcohol and tobacco policy, illicit drug policy, various forms of behavioural (or non-chemical) addictions, the prevention of a wide range of risky behaviours in children, young people and adults, and social and emotional learning.

As a non-governmental and non-profit organisation, we have public interest status in the fields of health care and youth work, and in 2022 we were granted consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which is granted by the United Nations to non-governmental organisations to enable them to participate more actively in the various activities of the United Nations.

Due to our broader coverage of prevention and advocacy, we cooperate with a very wide range of international networks and institutions, in particular we are active in the European Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD), the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), the International Confederation of Alcohol Research Institutions (IARI), International Confederation of Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug (ATOD) Research Associations (ICARA), Movendi International, World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) and European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare).

In 2017-2018, we were the World Bank's advisory institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of prevention advocacy, and in 2021, we were also an advisory institution to the Inter-American Drug Control Commission (CICAD), which is part of the Organisation of American States (OAS).

We are also full members of the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA), the European Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Association (EUFASD) and the European Alcohol Policy Network (APN). We are also actively working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in particular through the international prevention campaigns "Listen First", "Science of Care" and "Science of Skills", and the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) and the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR).

UTRIP is (has been) a lead or key partner in a number of (over 25) European projects co-funded by the European Commission under various programmes, in particular in the fields of health, home affairs and justice, education and youth, and the European Social Fund (ESF). We are the national centre for the kindergarten prevention programme "Lubo", the school prevention programmes "Unplugged", "Good Behaviour Game" (GBG), "Lions Quest", "Learning to Be" (social and emotional learning), "Teaching to Be" (teachers' psycho-physical well-being) and "Boys and Girls Plus", the school prevention programme for parents EFFEKT, the family prevention programme "Strengthening Families Programme (SFP)" by prof. Karol Kumpfer) and the (local) community-oriented programmes "Communities That Care" (CTC), "STAD in Europe" and "Club Health".

UTRIP runs a national (substantive) network with the support of more than 40 Slovenian NGOs and other institutions in the field of prevention and advocacy "Preventive Platform"(www.preventivna-platforma.si), which is mainly co-financed by the Ministry of Health.

Vision

Matej Kosir
Matej Kosir

Matej Košir is the Director of the Institute for Research and Development "Utrip" (UTRIP) and has been working in the field of prevention and advocacy for almost 25 years.

He has authored, co-authored and peer-reviewed scientific papers and evaluated European projects in the fields of health, social innovation and research. He is a lecturer and trainer in prevention and advocacy.

In 2015-2016, he worked at Oxford Brookes University in the UK as the leader of their European project on prevention science ("Science for Prevention Academic Network - SPAN"). In 2017-2019, he was the external advisor to the World Bank Group in Bosnia and Herzegovina on alcohol and tobacco policy and prevention, and in 2021, he was the external advisor to the Inter-American Drug Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organisation of American States (OAS). Prior to UTRIP, he worked at the Ministry of the Interior, the General Police Directorate, the Government Office for Drugs and the Ministry of Health, where he was the National Coordinator for Alcohol Policy.

For more than 10 years, he has been leading the "Preventive Platform" network (www.preventivna-platforma.si) in Slovenia, in which more or less 40 different (mainly non-governmental) institutions and organisations actively participate or support the network. Since 2006, he has been involved in more than 25 European projects in the fields of health, home affairs and justice, education, youth work and research, as a project or workstream leader. He is co-author and co-developer of the European Prevention Curriculum (EUPC) published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in 2019 and contributor to the updated edition of the International Drug Use Prevention Standards published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018.

In 2017, he received the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) "Leading European Prevention Science Practitioner Honour". In 2020, the American Society for Prevention Research (SPR) awarded him and his wife (Sanela Talic) the prestigious International Collaborative Prevention Research Award for their contribution to prevention science and research. He is a PhD candidate in the Prevention Science PhD programme at the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation, University of Zagreb (Croatia).

From November 2021, he is President of the International Confederation of Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug (ATOD) Research Associations (ICARA) and from March 2020, he is Vice-Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC).

Sanela Talic
Sanela Talic

Sanela Talić is Head of Prevention Programmes at the Institute for Research and Development "Utrip" (UTRIP).

Since joining the Institute in 2009, she has been involved in a number of European research and development projects, particularly in the fields of prevention, health, social and emotional learning and education.

She is a PhD candidate in Prevention Science at the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation, University of Zagreb (Croatia).

She is the Master Trainer for the school prevention programmes "Unplugged", EFFEKT, "Good Behavior Game" (GBG), "Lions Quest" and "Boys & Girls Plus" and the National Coordinator and Master Trainer for the family prevention programme "Strengthening Families Program" (SFP) by prof. She was Secretary of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) for two consecutive terms.)

She has been involved in a number of prevention studies at home and abroad and has authored and co-authored scientific papers and publications. She is a regular speaker at international and national conferences, particularly in the field of school and family prevention and social and emotional learning in the school environment. She is co-author and co-developer of the European Prevention Curriculum (EUPC), published in 2019 by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), and contributor to the updated edition of the International Drug Use Prevention Standards, published in 2018 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


In 2018, she received the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) Early Career Award for "one of the most promising international prevention professionals" (Early Career Award). In 2020, the American Society for Prevention Research (SPR) awarded her and her husband (Mate Košir) the prestigious International Collaborative Prevention Research Award for their contribution to prevention science and research (International Collaborative Prevention Research Award).

External collaborators

Ana Bogdan Zupančič
Ana Bogdan Zupančič

Dr Ana Bogdan Zupančič is a social pedagogue with "heart, head and hands". She started her career in primary school, where she worked as a supplementary support and counselling worker for over a decade.

During this time, she regularly received professional development and shared her knowledge in lectures or workshops for parents and practitioners. She has regularly participated actively in international and national congresses, trainings and conferences in the field of education and has obtained the certificate "Transactional Analyst - Counsellor, Implementer of the Programme for Positive Self-Evaluation of Children and Adolescents" (Reasoner) and completed the FamilyLab basic training.

She is still actively involved in training in (group) psychotherapy and psychodrama, and is also interested in holistic prevention programmes, theatre pedagogy and helping with the arts.


Since 1 October 2017, she has been working at the Faculty of Education, University of Primorska. She started her academic career as an assistant professor in the field of social pedagogy, and after completing her doctoral studies, she will become a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Pedagogy in the academic year 2021/2022. In addition to researching social pedagogical discourses and concepts within the primary school context, her research interest is primarily focused on developing the theoretical basis of social pedagogy in Slovenia.


In addition to collaborating with colleagues from foreign and national faculties, lecturing and actively participating in training courses at home and abroad, she is also a member of expert groups within European and national projects, which adds further breadth to her work. In her "spare time" she is a mother of two teenagers, a partner and a lover of nature, mountains, running, books and good films. Her personal and professional interest is above all the well-being of (vulnerable) individuals, groups and society as a whole.

Lea Augustine
Lea Augustine

Lea Avguštin graduated in pedagogy, andragogy at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana.

Since 2010, she has been working in a public educational institution as a lecturer and project coordinator, where she participates in various European projects and delivers workshops on a holistic approach to well-being, stress management and career management.

It cooperates with various institutions (the "Utrip" Institute, the Community of Higher Professional Schools, the Higher Professional School of Cosmetology and Velnes Ljubljana). She is a lecturer at a higher vocational school in the field of "Stress Management and Relaxation Methods" and "Mental Activity and Personal Relaxation".

She has a degree from the International Yoga Federation and is a yoga teacher (CYT 300, RYT 500, Yoga Therapy-Mental Health), which she also teaches. She is also a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, currently enrolled in a one-year meditation course through the American Veda Center. She likes to use her free time to backpack around the world and write her impressions in a travel blog.

Prizes and awards

Leading European Prevention Science Practitioner Honour
Leading European Prevention Science Practitioner Honour

In September 2017, Matej Košir was awarded the "Leading European Prevention Science Practitioner Honour" by the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) at the 8th Annual Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Early Career Award
"Early Career Award"

Sanela Talic received the International Society of Substance Abuse Professionals (ISSUP) Early Career Award for "one of the most promising international prevention professionals" at the 4th Annual Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2018.

International Collaborative Prevention Research Award
International Collaborative Prevention Research Award

In 2020, Matej Košir and Sanela Talić were jointly awarded the prestigious International Collaborative Prevention Research Award by the Recognition and Honors Committee of the American Society for Prevention Research (SPR).

This prize is awarded to an individual or group for their contribution to international cooperation. They will receive the award on 23 July 2020 at a (virtual) ceremony at the end of the 28th SPR Annual Meeting.

International Alliance for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD Alliance)
International Alliance for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD Alliance)

In February 2020, the Slovenian Association for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (UTRIP is one of the co-founders of the Association) received an award from the International NCD Alliance for "equipping young people for advocacy in the field of chronic non-communicable diseases in Slovenia" at the closing event of the 3rd NCD Alliance Global Forum in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates).

Documents