Foundation for Physical Therapy Research Enters Affiliate Agreement with the American Physical Therapy Association

The agreement formalizes a decades-long partnership for shared success and support of research.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) is now officially a related organization of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Effective January 1, 2021, FPTR and APTA have entered an agreement that formalizes a decades-long partnership. APTA and FPTR began working toward this updated agreement in late 2019 with the intention of strengthening the relationship between the two organizations. Through APTA’s support, FPTR will continue to fund research to advance the physical therapy profession and the people it serves.

“This updated relationship is designed for shared success, ownership, and support of research to advance our profession,” said APTA President Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD. “It’s also symbolic of two organizations maturing in their operations and collaboration.”

Since 1979, FPTR has awarded more than $19 million in physical therapy research grants, scholarships, and fellowships—including $370,000 in research grants and  $212,500 in scholarships and fellowships in 2020. Through these years, APTA has remained the nonprofit’s lead partner in research. APTA has also stepped in to support major FPTR-funded research initiatives such as the Center on Health Services Training and Research (CoHSTAR).

“APTA has been our leading donor throughout our history—sharing our vision for what research can do for the profession,” said FPTR President Paul Rockar, Jr., PT, DPT, MS, FAPTA. “This strengthened relationship will provide the support FPTR needs to continue funding physical therapy research using the same independent review process that we have used for years.”

FPTR awards funding using a transparent peer-review process and will remain an independent 501(c)3 led by a Board of Trustees with limited oversight by APTA’s Board of Directors. The APTA Board of Directors will bring a motion to the 2021 APTA House of Delegates to formally define related organizations within APTA’s bylaws and to establish the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research as the primary research organization to advance the vision, mission, and goals of the association.


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