Title: Multicenter Career Development Program for Physical and Occupational Therapy The Comprehensive Opportunities in Rehabilitation Research Training (CORRT) program includes a national network of eight training sites that was developed over the last two K12 funding cycles. The overall goal of this program is to help junior Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) faculty members to become independent investigators and leaders in rehabilitation research. This integrated national network of Universities helps new investigators acquire the skills to address the need for research that validates rehabilitation approaches, optimizes treatments, and incorporates new technologies to address the NIH mission to enhance health and reduce illness and disability across the age span. CORRT has been developed primarily through the collective efforts of eight universities; three lead institutions (Washington University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Delaware) and five partnering institutions (Emory University, the University of Iowa, Boston University, University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado State University). The training network has a distributed model of leadership with transparent decision making based on established and accepted criteria. CORRT benefits from established multidisciplinary leadership teams; an Executive Committee consisting of Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists from the core institutions, and an Advisory Committee formed by an interdisciplinary mix of rehabilitation scientists from the participating institutions, external Universities, and from Professional Organizations. Diverse and qualified scholars are recruited and selected (Aim 1) from institutions across the country. Training experiences (Aim 2) are directed by senior level, funded mentors with established histories related to rehabilitation science at the eight CORRT Universities. Our communication network (Aim 3, CORRTNet) will continue to develop and support the communication and networking needs of our growing physical network of institutions and scholars. CORRT scholars, leadership, and mentors participate in teleconferencing opportunities and an annual on-site workshop to enhance team building and interaction between scholars and training sites. Our training of PT and OT Program Directors will be expanded to enhance the scientific capabilities of a broader range of rehabilitation research in Universities beyond the current CORRT network. Extensive and multifaceted Program Evaluation (Aim 4) assures that outcomes are consistent with the goals of CORRT and includes regular monitoring of scholar productivity (i.e., grants and publications), annual standardized surveys, quarterly phone conversations between scholars, and periodic qualitative interviews. Continued funding will allow us to help develop the next generation of independent rehabilitation researchers and leaders to address the priorities outlined by the National Center of Medical Rehabilitation Research.
The overall goal of this career development program for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists is to develop an integrated national network of training sites targeted to new investigators in rehabilitation research. Enhanced expertise in rehabilitation research is needed to maximize the functional ability of the millions of people affected with physical and cognitive limitations from chronic disease and injury.
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