Advanced Rehabilitation Research

VCU provides a highly effective advanced rehabilitation research training program (ARRT) for individuals with advanced degrees, committed to a career in rehabilitation research. Neurobehavioral recovery and intervention is the ARRT’s focus. Training and research activities address brain injury and other neurological disorders including Parkinson’s, stroke, and brain tumors. Individualized research training plans emphasizing scientific rigor guide fellows’ choices of training activities. Outstanding multidisciplinary mentors, didactic experiences, and collaborative and independent research activities provide the foundation for the VCU ARRT program. Mentors include internationally and nationally renowned, distinguished scientists from the fields of rehabilitation medicine, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, and vocational rehabilitation. Core courses on ethics, biostatistics, research design, and grant writing are complemented by graduate courses, seminars, grand rounds, and conferences. All fellows will complete and submit a grant application during the second year of their fellowship.

The ultimate goal of the VCU ARRT is to benefit rehabilitation practice and outcomes by increasing the number of highly skilled research professionals. Our potential for success is indicated by the fact that a number of our graduated fellows have obtained extensive research funding, are serving and have served as principal investigators, and are employed as prominent members of highly regarded research teams. 

Training Activities

  • Mentorship (3-5 hours/week): Fellows will meet individually with mentors and participate in project-focused meetings with other fellows and their mentors. In either case, discussion topics will include development of individual research training plans, review of progress, and career planning. Problem solving related to research projects, identifying resources, successful grant writing, and manuscript preparation will also be discussed. Individual or project-focused meetings will also focus on special topics (e.g., choosing appropriate statistical software, techniques for dealing with missing data, effectively recruiting research participants).
  • Didactics (3-5 hours/week): Completion of graduate and other courses and attendance at VCU Medical Center grand rounds, professional meetings and conferences. The VCU Office of Postdoctoral Services (OPS) offers tuition assistance and scholarships. 
  • Independent Research (12-16 hours/week): Design and implementation of projects for which fellows take the leadership role, includes preparing manuscripts for publication and presentation at scientific meetings. VCU OPS supports independent research through a small grants program.
  • Collaborative Research (10-12 hours/week): Design and implementation of projects for which fellows take a secondary, supporting role, includes preparing manuscripts for publication and presentation at scientific meetings.
  • Grant Writing (4-6 hours/week): Planning independent research, seeking out support funds, and successfully completing and submitting a grant application.

Fellows will be required to commit no less than two years to the training program. As desired, some fellows may extend their fellowship for another 12 months. Ideally, fellows will commit 100% of their effort to research. Nevertheless, some fellows may wish to complete the requirements for licensure in their field, and they will be permitted to do so. Still, all fellows will be required to spend no less than 32 hours per week involved in research activities. Where fellows expend some of their effort in clinical activities, their salary support will be provided from clinical sources. 

Application Process

We are currently accepting applications

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold legal admission as permanent residents and possess a clinical doctorate, M.D., or Ph.D. degree or its equivalent.

Phase I: Initial Application

Applicants must send a letter of interest, including career goals, and a curriculum vitae to Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Virginia Commonwealth University, at jeffrey.kreutzer@vcuhealth.org. Provide a copy of undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Also include the name, address, email, and telephone number of three individuals who may be contacted for references. Applications are being accepted now.

Phase II: Initial Screening

Screening of applications will be completed on a rolling basis, once the application file is complete. Applicants showing the strongest evidence of personal achievement, scholarship, intellectual ability, professional integrity, and potential for development as rehabilitation researchers will be invited to interview with members of the selection committee. Thereafter, members of the selection committee will independently evaluate each candidate’s potential for becoming an independent researcher. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree or equivalent before starting the program. All candidates will be notified of the committee’s decision.

Phase III: Mentor Selection

Selected candidates will be invited to contact an approved VCU primary research mentor and together develop a research training plan relevant to rehabilitation research. Assistance will be provided for those candidates who have not already selected a primary mentor. Interdisciplinary research training is especially encouraged. The primary mentor will then provide the selection committee with verification of their willingness to accept the candidate as a research trainee, description of the proposed research training plan, and assurance that necessary resources will be available to assist the candidate in execution of the plan. Fellows will also be invited to identify and work with secondary mentors, that is faculty with special skills and interests that match those of the fellow.

Inquiries about the program should be addressed to:

Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Program Director
jeffrey.kreutzer@vcuhealth.org

Details

  • Stipends – Fellows will be provided with an annual stipend of $42,840, subject to federally mandated increases.
  • Health Insurance – Funds are budgeted to defray the costs of health insurance.
  • Tuition – Funds are budgeted to pay the tuition course costs for classes which will be required of each fellow.
  • Travel – Funding will be available to support fellows’ attendance and scientific presentations at professional conferences.
  • More information about resources for VCU postdoctoral fellows can be found at the web site www.research.vcu.edu/postdoc/

Contact information

Jeffrey Kreutzer, Ph.D.  
Director, neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
jeffrey.kreutzer@vcuhealth.org