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Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training: Interventions for Neurologic Communication Disorders

The Advanced Rehabilitation Training Program provides rigorous, in-depth research training to postdoctoral fellows from programs in communication sciences and disorders. It is designed to prepare them for careers as independent scientists who have the skills necessary to conduct high-quality, interdisciplinary research addressing the rehabilitation of acquired communication or swallowing disorders that accompany neurological conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury or Parkinson’s disease.

Postdoctoral fellows will complete an intensive, two-year training program that will allow initiation of their own research agenda, scholarly papers as first author and grant development with potential for receipt of extramural funding. Applicants must commit to pursuing their research training for two years and on a full-time basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the overall program.

This project is supported by an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Award #90ARHF0007 from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

About the Program

 Core Elements

  • Didactic classroom training in core scientific research methods
    • Selected courses from the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program, which provides rigorous education in quantitative and ethically sound methods needed for design, implementation, analysis and publication of clinical and translational research studies
  • Clinical mentorship to provide clinical experience/exposure to persons with neurological  disorders to better understand the impact of a communication or swallowing impairment on the person's quality of life
  • Primary scientific mentorship to model research lab methods concerned with the science of speech, language, cognitive aspects of communication, and swallowing
  • Secondary scientific mentorship to facilitate access to methods that augment the development and evaluation of original and innovative interventions and are relevant to the fellow's individual research project.  Examples include brain stimulation, neuroimaging, EEG, eye tracking, robotics, and sensors.  
  • Hands-on supervised experience with development and implementation of a rehabilitation research project and dissemination of research results
  • Collaborative group workshops for development of grant writing skills


Applicants must have completed a doctoral degree prior to the awarding of the fellowship. Fellows must have a PhD in communication sciences and disorders or a related field. An equivalent degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution may also be acceptable. Certification by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution that all requirements for the doctoral degree have been met is required.

 How to Apply

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Fellowship applicants must submit:

  • Official graduate and undergraduate transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Detailed personal statement describing career objectives and how your background, experience and training, in conjunction with the fellowship training, will lead to professional contributions in rehabilitation research; include how your research interests align with those of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.

Interviews are required for all applicants. Selection criteria include prior academic training and professional experience, the extent to which the applicant’s research interests relate to the strengths of the fellowship, the strength and commitment of the applicant to a career in rehabilitation research and the applicant’s potential to contribute significantly to the field of rehabilitation of acquired communication and swallowing disorders.

Applications may be directed to:

Leora R. Cherney, PhD


We welcome emails and phone calls from prospective applicants. We encourage applications from women, minorities and candidates with disabilities who require accommodations. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Cherney at or 312-238-1117.

Contact Us

Leora Cherney, PhD

Leora Cherney, PhD

Program Director

lcherney( at )


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