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Selected Joint Initiatives with AOTA

AOTF works closely with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to support a variety of programs designed to advance research, education, and leadership in occupational therapy. Several of these joint initiatives are undertaken during the annual AOTA Annual Conference while others are undertaken throughout the year.

Summer Institute for Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy

AOTA and AOTF are pleased to announce the fourth annual Summer Institute of Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy. The program will introduce select students to a career in research, connect them with mentors in the occupational therapy scientific community, and immerse them in a research-focused professional experience, the Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars at the Medical University of South Carolina. Applications will open Monday, October 15 and close Friday, November 30, 2018. Learn more about the program and application process.

Purpose of the Institute

The purpose of the Institute is threefold: 

(1) to identify potential scientists in entry-level education programs; 

(2) to connect potential entry-level scientists with mentors in the occupational therapy scientific community; and 

(3) to develop a peer network.

Who is Invited?

A cohort of entry-level students will be selected to participate in the 1-day Institute on June 20, 2019 and the 2-day Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars on June 21-22, 2019. The facilitators and mentors of the Institute will be composed of faculty and doctoral/post-doctoral students from established research programs around the nation. Selected students will earn a scholarship that will cover economy flights, ground transportation, and hotel (shared with another student). Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Selected participants are expected to arrive on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, to be ready for the Institute the following morning.


  • To apply, you must be a current student in occupational therapy with an interest in science and research in the field of occupational therapy.
  • The intent of the program is to train and mentor future occupational therapy scientific researchers who may have limited exposure to research opportunities at their current institution, therefore, students attending research intensive institutions and/or institutions with a heavy research mission are not eligible (e.g., DRU-VH Carnegie Classification). If you are unsure of your eligibility, email edleadership@aota.org.  Final decision as to eligibility rests with the OT Summit of Scholars Selection Committee.

Congratulations to the 27 student scientists chosen to attend the 2018 Summer Institute for Future Scientists. 

Aryana Behmardian   Stanbridge University
Melinda Blais   University of Southern Maine
Paige Brown   Cleveland State University
Jason Bulger   D'Youville College
Elsie Bush   Western Michigan University
Danielle Cafiero   The University of Scranton
Colette Chapp   Western Michigan University-Grand Rapids
Davina Chau   Stanbridge University
Kathryn Coffer   Belmont University
Amanda Fortuna   Dominican College
Leah Glodowski   Carroll University
Azalia Gonzalez   Davenport University
Amy Hart   Eastern Michigan University
Erica Hellerstein   University of the Sciences 
Lauren Henderson   Rush University
Sarah Jossart   Huntington University
Stephany Kuzminski   Brenau University
Sydney Larson   University of North Dakota
Kerstin Ladage   Florida Gulf Coast University
Devlynn Neu   D'Youville College
Loretta O'Brien   Long Island University Brooklyn
Miranda Rennie   Towson University
Rebecca Skarohlid   Winston Salem State University 
Evelyn Tang   Dominican University of Claifornia
James Tatti   San Jose State University
Charmaine Uy   Belmont University 
Stephanie Voss   Rush University 

AOTA-AOTF Occupational Therapy Researcher Database

AOTF and AOTA hope to facilitate the creation of strong research networks and better understand the research assets we have in the profession.  An important step is to gather information regarding occupational therapy research and grants.  A couple of years ago, AOTA-AOTF launched a research database for this purpose.  

AOTF worked with Indiana University in January 2016 to conduct asset mapping of the database around research priority areas to build our profession's research capacity and make it easier to connect people. We will be finalizing the data for analysis at the end of December. 

Accelerating Clinical Trials and Outcomes Research (ACTOR) Conference

December 1–2, 2011

This conference was designed to address the insufficient number of published clinical trials and outcomes research in occupational therapy and related discipline. It increased scientists’ understanding of the design and conduct of rigorous clinical trials and outcomes research and increased the research capacity in occupational therapy and related disciplines by providing them with tools and collaborative opportunities. Click here to view ACTOR conference videos.


The International Conference on Evidence-based Practice in Occupational Therapy

July 11-14, 2004

The purpose of this project was to marshal the efforts of the international community of occupational therapists to enhance dissemination of research information for evidence-based practice and to identify and address gaps in research.

Twenty-six participants from thirteen countries convened with an agenda focused on the needs of the global occupational therapy community. Three major topics were addressed by task groups:  

  • critical review and synthesis of the literature, knowledge transfer, and practitioner education. Each group identified one or two priority goals, which included: securing international financial support for an existing evidence data-base currently supported in Australia; 
  • facilitating establishment of the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) website as an entry point for materials related to evidence-based OT; establishing a web portal for dissemination of teaching materials for educational programs;  
  • creating a catalog system for evidence that is based in the ICF and occupation frameworks; and developing standard guidelines for critically-appraised papers and topics. 

Specific tasks were identified for each goal, as well as timelines for accomplishing the tasks and persons or groups who would assume responsibility for each task. Mechanisms for on-going electronic communication also were identified. 



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