Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program in Community Living and Participation (U-M ARRTP-CP)

The University of Michigan Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program in Community Living and Participation (U-M ARRTP-CP) provides advanced rehabilitation research training to persons with doctoral or similar advanced degrees who have clinical or other research experience, with the goal of enhancing their capacity to conduct high quality multidisciplinary rehabilitation and disability research. The program is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C. Grant Award #H133P140005, and it focuses in the areas of community living and participation. 

"I’ve learned more during these one and half years here than during my entire Ph.D. program" - Elham Mahmoudi , PhD Post-doctoral fellow, 2012-2014.  

U-M ARRTP-CP Program Objectives 

  • Provide research training in community living and participation for persons with disabilities.
  • Orient training toward advancement of rehabilitation science by promoting Community Based Research (CBR), which enables the development of sound disability policy.
  • Prepare researchers to conduct studies in community-based settings, including home, school and other environments.
  • Foster advanced research skills that will result in successful research proposals addressing issues relevant to persons with disabilities.
  • Build productive partnerships and collaborations that will lead to successful careers, addressing the critical shortage of qualified rehabilitation scientists.

Opportunities for Research Training 

Fellows are offered two-year, full-time fellowships and benefits at the University of Michigan; in certain cases, a one-year extension or a one-year fellowship may be offered.  Physician Residents and research fellows are offered research stipends to conduct a pilot project, with clinical and research mentorship as part of the University of Michigan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Resident Research Program and the ARRTP-CP. The core curriculum includes required classes, on-line courses, selection of electives and responsible conduct for research training, participation in research seminars, and journal club, and community engagement modules.  

“The training I received was invaluable. I was given freedom to pursue my interests, allowed time to accrue clinical experience in brain injury rehabilitation at the hospital, and learned about statistical methods, qualitative research design, and got my first exposure to mixed methodologies. The fellowship helped me to get my "dream job" where I could continue to do both research and clinical work." - Anthony Lequerica, PhD Post-doctoral  fellow, 2006-2008. 

Career Development Opportunities 

The ARRTP-CP is the first step to building an academic research career; this training prepares fellows for other advanced opportunities for research training such as those offered by the National Institute of Health (NIH K Awards) or other career development awards. The career development approach of the ARRTP-CP includes: 1) initial assessment of interests and qualifications, future training, and job opportunities; 2) monitoring progress towards training goals that are aligned with career goals; 3) assisting fellows in seeking opportunities to launch successful careers in community living and participation research; 4) providing opportunities for networking; and 5) providing ongoing support after the completion of training.

Clinical and Laboratory Research Experiences 

Fellows and trainees will also have opportunities to rotate through the labs and clinics in PM&R and other departments which can provide them with clinical and community based research experience. These research labs and programs offer opportunities for fellows to learn about the various aspects of clinical care that can influence community living, functional independence and participation in society.  Opportunities for these training rotations include: 

  • The Center for Clinical Outcomes Development and Applications (CODA ) - Noelle Carlozzi, PhD, and Anna Kratz, PhD.  To provide expert consultation for measurement selection and application to evaluate clinical questions and interventions. To develop new measures using state-of-the-art methods that maximize measurement validity, precision, sensitivity, efficiency, and clinical relevance. To utilize novel measurement systems and strategies to inform the creation and refinement of interventions to improve the HRQOL of those we care for. 
  • The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) - Michelle Meade, PhD. The primary goal of the TIKTOC (Technology Increasing Knowledge: Technology Optimizing Choice) RERC is to develop and evaluate mobile technology that will enhance the ability of adolescents and young adults with disabilities to manage their health and transition to independence.  
  • Direct Brain-Computer Interface (DBCI) - Jane Huggins, PhD. The UM-DBI Laboratory’s current work focuses on the development of EEG-based BCIs into practical clinical tools for use by people with physical impairments. Barriers to clinical use include signal processing challenges, selection of tasks for BCI operation, interactions between BCIs and different conditions causing impairments, and technical support issues to troubleshoot in-home BCI use. UM-DBI Laboratory studies will address many of these areas.
  • Adaptive Cognitive Assessment Laboratory (ACAL) - Seth Warschausky, PhD and  Jacqueline Kaufman, PhD. The focus of ACAL is computer system hardware including computer architecture, computer-aided design, and VLSI/circuits. ACAL has a large multi-vendor computer network that enables the sharing of high-speed test equipment and provides access to a wide array of CAD tools from a variety of vendors. ACAL has a complete hardware prototyping lab with state-of-the-art facilities.
  • Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation Robotics Lab (NeuRRo) - Chandramouli Krishnan, PhD. The goal of the Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory (NeuRRo Lab) is to develop effective and efficient rehabilitation methods for individuals with neurological and orthopedic disorders.
  • Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Systems (MSCIS) - Denise Tate, PhD; Claire Kalpakjian, PhD; Anthony Chiodo MD; and Gianna Rodriguez, MD. As Michigan Spinal Cord Injury System (MSCIS), we focus on the full range of needs of people with spinal cord injuries by providing all levels of care, and by conducting innovative research and education. Current areas of emphasis include quality of life outcomes, use of common data elements in SCI research, women with SCI, and bladder and bowel complications after SCI.

Program Administrative Coordinator in PM&R:  Diane Nicholls 

The Program Directors, faculty mentors, and community mentors and partners bring a wealth of experience in research training, disability culture and community issues.