Each year, the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) awards scholarships, fellowships, and grants to promising physical therapist researchers. Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I & II Scholarships fund post-professional doctoral students, who, having completed one full year of coursework, wish to continue their studies or have entered the dissertation phase of their post-professional doctoral program. In recent years, FPTR has also offered the New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI), a fellowship of up to $100,000.

This year, FPTR will direct funds from the NIFTI to support one combined PODS II/NIFTI. This new funding mechanism will better assist post-doctoral students pursue a mentored research position. Additionally, this change has the potential to allow the FPTR to increase the number of PODS scholarships awarded in the 2021 funding cycle.

“I am so excited by this new funding mechanism that combines our traditional PODS II with our traditional NIFTI funding to provide up to three years of support for the development of outstanding new investigators,” said Stuart A. Binder-Macleod, PhD, PT, FAPTA, the Chair of FPTR’s Research Committee. “This approach will, for the first time, allow physical therapists to select and shape their post-doctoral training based on their needs and interests and not on the available funding of a mentor’s existing project. This will free the trainee to work with their mentor to identify new and exciting projects of their interest and impact related to rehabilitation.”

The new PODS II/NIFTI funding mechanism will offer up to $115,000 in support of the final year of the post-candidacy phase in addition to the first two years of the research fellowship (as defined by applicant’s institution(s).

In addition to the goal of meeting a need in research, the FPTR Board of Trustees anticipates that this change will encourage both more applicants and a greater diversity among applicants. FPTR awards funding based on a rigorous peer-review process modeled after the National Institutes of Health, a process which sets FPTR apart from other organizations conducting similar work.

FPTR is also accepting applications for its PODS I & II Scholarships. Applicants from all specialty areas are encouraged to apply.

Applicants can review guidelines, instructions, and important dates for all FPTR funding at

The Foundation for Physical Therapy was established in 1979 as a national, independent nonprofit organization to fund physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in research grants, fellowships and scholarships. Many of today’s leading physical therapy researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with this support. Foundation-funded researchers have gone on to secure more than $824 million in follow-on funding.

To donate or learn more, visit or call 800/875-13678.




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