A History of Success
Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation (NIDILRR), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has implemented a highly effective Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) program for postdoctoral fellows over the past 25 years. To date, VCU has received $3.75 million in federal funds for the program.
Mentors have included internationally and nationally renowned, distiguished scientists from the fields of rehabilitation medicine, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, pharmacology, rehabilitation counseling and vocational rehabilitation.
The majority of ARRT’s 44 graduated fellows have extensive records of achievement in research grant funding, serving as principal investigators, and leading highly regarded research teams. VCU ARRT fellows and trainees have published over 370 peer-reviewed articles or book chapters, and delivered over 300 national and international presentations.
About the Program
The Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) program provides individualized postdoctoral training and research activities addressing the following:
- Brain injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Brain tumors
In addition to graduate courses, seminars, grand rounds and conferences, fellows take core courses in the following areas:
- Research design
- Grant writing
Our rigorous program requires fellows to commit at least 12 months to the training, with the option of a one-year extension. All fellows must spend a minimum of 32 hours per week involved in research activities, with the option of completing the requirements for licensure in their field.
- Stipend: Fellows will receive a minimum annual stipend of $47,476.
- Health Insurance: Funds are budgeted to defray the costs of health insurance.
- Tuition: Funds are budgeted to pay tuition costs for required classes.
- Travel: Funding will be available to support fellows’ attendance and scientific presentations at professional conferences.
Fellows meet individually with mentors and participate in project-focused meetings with other fellows and their mentors. Discussion topics include the following:
- Individual research training plan development
- Review of progress
- Career planning
- Identifying resources
- Successful grant writing
- Manuscript preparation
Fellows complete graduate courses and attend grand rounds at VCU Medical Center, professional meetings and conferences.
The VCU Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation offers tuition assistance and scholarships.
Fellows take leading roles in designing and implementing research projects. This involves preparing manuscripts for publication and presentation at scientific meetings.
The VCU Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation supports independent research through a small grants program.
Fellows take on a secondary, supporting role with the design and implementation of research projects, which includes preparing manuscripts for publication and presentation at scientific meetings.
Fellows have the opportunity to plan independent research, seek out support funds and successfully complete and submit a grant application.
We are not currently accepting applications for this program
Applicants, who must be U.S. citizens or hold legal admission as permanent residents and possess a clinical doctorate, MD or PhD or equivalent, should submit the following materials to Ronald Seel, PhD at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Letter of interest, including career goals
- Curriculum vitae
- Undergraduate and graduate transcripts – applicants must hold a doctoral degree or equivalent before starting the program
- Name, address, email and phone numbers for three references
We screen applicants on a rolling basis and invite those with the strongest evidence of personal achievement, scholarship, intellectual ability, professional integrity and potential for development as rehabilitation researchers to interview with members of the selection committee.
Thereafter, committee members will independently evaluate each candidate’s potential for becoming an independent researcher with the ARRT program.
We will invite select candidates to contact an approved VCU primary research mentor and together they will develop a research training plan relevant to rehabilitation research. We especially encourage interdisciplinary research.
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 executing the plan. We also invite fellows to identify and work with secondary mentors with special skills and interests matching those of the fellow.
Graduates and Testimonials
Read what past graduates have to say about the program
- John C. Bricout, Ph.D., Director and Professor, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota
- Kelli Williams Gary, Ph.D., MPH, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, VCU
- Brain D. Greenwald, MD, Medical Director, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Center for Brain Injuries, Hackensack Meridian Health, Associate Medical Director JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
- Angelle M. Sander, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Senior Scientist and Director, Brain Injury Research Center, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Department of PM&R, Baylor College of Medicine
- Ronald T. Seel, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Center for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Department of PM&R, VCU
I am very proud to have been among a cadre of research trainees that have become some of the leading rehabilitation researchers in the area of TBI, such as Drs. Angelle Sander, Stephanie Kolakowsky-Hayner, and Ronald Seel. As an individual who sustained a severe TBI, I am extremely grateful that you recognized the talents that I could bring to the ARRT program and I truly appreciate the patience, training and contacts I have received from such experienced research faculty that has allowed me to pursue my passion in research and beyond.
Kelli Williams Gary, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University
Perhaps the most important indicator of the quality of a fellowship program to my mind is its enduring influence over a long period of time. I often reflect on how my training prepared me to foster learning communities for emerging researchers in the disability field and beyond. The first-rate mentoring I received from Dr. Jeffrey Kreutzer and Dr. Paul Wehman at VCU is something that I continue to work hard to reproduce. You all were accessible and generous with your time and generous supervision. I have passed this approach on to the more than 18 doctoral student advisees, research or teaching assistants, as well as to the many junior faculty members that I have mentored over the years. I will always be grateful for what I learned as a fellow and hope that the Center will be continued so others may benefit similarly.
John C. Bricout, PhD, Director and Professor, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota
VCU is an ideal environment for interdisciplinary research training. They have many internationally known researchers and teachers in a variety of departments. In addition, they hold several ongoing neuroscience and brain injury related research grants. The projects within these grants serve as great opportunities for applied training.
Brian D. Greenwald, MD, Medical Director JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Center for Brain Injuries, Hackensack Meridian Health, Associate Medical Director JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
The training that I received at VCU has been crucial for my success in the area of rehabilitation research. The outstanding supervision that I received and the research network that I established during my training have provided the foundation for my skills as an independent researcher. I would recommend the training without reservation to anyone who wishes to develop skills as a researcher in the field of rehabilitation.
Angelle M. Sander, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, Senior Scientist and Director, Brain Injury Research Center, TIRR Memorial Hermann