Foundation to Award Grant Focused on Evidence-Practice Gap

In 2023, the Foundation participated in the Collaborative for Physical Therapy Education to support the goals outlined in “A Vision for Excellence in Physical Therapy Education.” This vision represents the work of multiple stakeholders who considered a range of  opinions and resources to demonstrate progress made towards these goals.

The collaborative was convened by APTA in February with the purpose of building community to advance these goals through awareness, communication, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration. Early work of the collaborative included identifying activities or projects sponsored by participating organizations that support the guiding principles of the vision.

The collaborative includes 24 participating organizations that have committed to addressing the complexities, interdependence, and transformation needed to advance physical therapy education to meet the needs of learners, the profession, and society.

The Foundation’s representatives to the collaborative are Beryl Leach, MPH and Rebecca Craik, PT, PHD, FAPTA. Considering the Foundation’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives, we have identified projects to create awareness about how our organization is addressing specific elements of the vision. We have also reviewed the efforts of other participating organizations to identify where we could align or leverage our efforts with them.

The Foundation will award a grant to design and test educational interventions to address the gap between evidence and practice. This research grant supports a researcher or research team to generate the data needed to identify the methods being used to design interventions that are considered best practices in promoting the update and use of evidence in education. Applications will be accepted for this grant starting in April 2024.

Participating organizations of the collaborative will be continuing our work in 2024:

  • Identify opportunities to make gains on the guiding principles of the vision using hindsight, insight, and foresight.
    • Activities: Prioritize opportunities to make gains, considering past, present, and future efforts; and identify goals and their metrics as appropriate.
  • Leverage our community to advance opportunities to achieve our aims.
    • Activities: Create awareness among education stakeholders about the efforts of participating organizations, e.g., through presentations, webinars, and written communications.
  • Build and support communities of interest for specific guiding principles through an accessible community-building platform.
    • Activities: Use the Hivebrite platform (successor to the APTA Hub, set to launch July 2024) to facilitate awareness, communication, and action on our efforts; and engage individual stakeholders in networking and resource sharing on specific topics.

If you have not had an opportunity to review the vision, it is accessible as a free PDF download from the Journal of Physical Therapy Education using this link.

“This work will be guided by the principle that readily accessible data and research findings will facilitate further education research to inform best practices,” said Foundation board of trustees member Rebecca Craik. “We look forward to working with our partners in the collective to advance physical therapy education.”

If you have any questions about the Foundation’s involvement in the collaborative, please contact Beryl Leach.


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