Rehabilitation Research Career Development (RRCD) Program

Please note: the RRCD Program is no longer recruiting.

About Us

RRCD Institutions

RRCD About

  • The overall goal of the RRCD Program is to increase the number of rigorously trained, extramurally competitive, and scientifically competent rehabilitation scientists who will conduct translational investigations, lead clinical research teams, and eventually mentor the next generation of occupational and physical therapy scientists.

    The Program aims to:

    1. Identify and recruit qualified occupational and physical therapy scholars who are beginning their academic/scientific careers and demonstrate an interest in and potential for independent translational and clinical research in rehabilitation science.

    2.  Develop and implement a high quality training program that will provide occupational and physical therapy scientists with the skills and mentoring necessary for productive scientific careers. The training program will engage RRCD Scholars in progressively more independent and productive mentored research activities.  

    3.  Create and maintain a supportive infrastructure for clinical and translational rehabilitation research, with a wide cadre of senior rehabilitation investigators,
    comprehensive faculty development, promotion and leadership opportunities, and extensive networks for developing successful collaboration and partnerships.


  • The RRCD provides up to three years of NIH support for physical and occupational therapists and is comprised of two phases.

    Phase 1 (Years 1-3) is designed to provide Scholars with the foundation needed for a productive career in interdisciplinary rehabilitation research. Scholars will conduct research at one of the consortium institutions under the supervision of a Lead Mentor and collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary translational team in their area of research interest. Each Scholar will prepare an Individualized Career Development Plan, along with their mentor, based on their past training and experience. The plan will consist of structured didactic training involving research methodology, specialized courses and seminars, and mentored grant writing experiences. In Phase 1, Scholars will acquire research experience, generate, analyze, present and publish research data, and become equipped to compete for independent external funding. Scholars commit at least 75% effort to research career development activities during Phase 1.

    In Phase 2 (Years 4-5) Scholars will transition to independent researcher positions and continue to devote 50-75% effort to research. They remain associated with the Lead Mentor and members of the research team, but will no longer receive salary support from the K12 award. The mentor-based training model takes advantage of the excellent resources at the consortium institutions and the program’s extensive rehabilitation research network to negotiate faculty positions in research supportive environments.

Contact Us: The RRCD is supported by the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB
Phone 409.747.1637 | Email | Follow us on Twitter: @UTMB_RehabSci