The Foundation for Physical Therapy finds the best qualified candidates for scholarships, research grants, and fellowships. Learn more about our funding and review process.


The Foundation funds scholarships, grants, and fellowships. This funding is made possible through the support of our Partners in Research, Friends of the Foundation, and generous individual gifts and bequests.

Our grant and scholarship review process is modeled after the National Institutes of Health. A volunteer scientific review committee composed of experts in research and education reviews all applicants. With our unique focus on physical therapy research, the Foundation has the resources and expertise to fund and sustain long-term research growth in this field.

FPTR is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.



If you meet the Scientific Review Committee Selection Criteria and are interested in joining this all-volunteer committee and serving as a reviewer – or know of someone who could serve as an application reviewer- please email for more information.


  • Must hold a PhD or equivalent degree from an accredited university
  • Must have personal experience conducting research, as evidenced by a sustained publication record in refereed, peer-reviewed journals
  • Must have received extramural, peer-reviewed grants as a principal investigator
  • Experience reviewing grant proposals on an National Institutes of Health , National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Veterans’ Administration, or other national level funding organization study panel,such as the American Heart Association study panel is desirable
  • Expertise in content areas valuable to research such as the use of outcome measurement tools and instruments and quality of life evaluations is desirable.
  • Must have knowledge about the physical therapy profession as evidenced by APTA membership, active participation at national APTA meetings, a sustained record of service at the component level, or a history of collaboration with physical therapists.
  • Knowledge of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Research Agenda is preferable (The APTA agenda can be provided for those that may have limited knowledge).
  • Demonstrated commitment to support junior investigators in their development to become successful and independent researchers.
  • Must understand that SRC members are ineligible to apply for Foundation for Physical Therapy funding during their term of service.

Updated February 2016

“The investment that the Foundation is making in the field of research has gotten returns in the millions of dollars, not only for our profession but for individuals who have made a career out of science.”

Richard K. Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA, 1989 and 1990 Doctoral Training Research Grant

“I was extremely interested in using EEG to study brain activity and movement control in infants – uncharted territory in terms of measuring active control of movement. But I needed to learn this technique… before applying it to infants. The NIFTI award allowed me to do this.”

Beth A. Smith, PT, DPT, PhD, 2011 NIFTI Fellowship

“The NIFTI allowed me to pursue my research and go full force into developing a research theme. Competition is fierce in the national training grant setting, so the NIFTI is a really valuable mechanism.”

Eric Vidoni, PT, PhD, 2009 NIFTI Fellowship