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Rehabilitation Sciences for Engineers and Basic Scientists: An Advanced Training Program

The Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab have established an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) program funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR, Project Number 90AR5031) entitled, Rehabilitation Sciences for Engineers and Basic Scientists: An Advanced Training Program to prepare qualified postdoctoral trainees to undertake high-level research in areas relevant to rehabilitation and disability. The goal of this program is to increase the number of postdoctoral engineers and scientists who are trained to perform research aimed at solving problems of persons with disabilities. To meet this objective, we will train scientists and engineers in three areas of special expertise that involve a large number of people with disabilities: Neurologic Disorders, Musculoskeletal Injuries, and Prosthetics and Orthotics. 

About the Program


The primary objectives of this ARRT training program are:

  1. Provide quality training in rehabilitation research including state-of-the-art experience in planning and conducting rehabilitation research, with an emphasis on experimental design, biostatistics and the performance of clinically relevant research
  2. Educate basic scientists and engineers in the pathophysiology of neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders seen in the course of rehabilitation practice, and to instruct them in some of the key problems faced by clinicians providing rehabilitation care
  3. Train fellows in the methods and instrumentation required for the study of neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders, including problems faced by those with limb loss.


The ARRT training is designed for individuals who have a PhD, MD, DO, ScD, or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. We will especially seek to recruit and train postdoctoral fellows who have disabilities or are from minority backgrounds to ensure that research will be reflective of, and responsive to, the full range of needs and experiences of persons with disabilities.

 Career Preparation

The ARRT is intended to create an environment that fosters a range of academic and applied research and training opportunities to meet the needs of fellows who wish to pursue traditional academic careers, as well as those who choose careers in applied research or industrial settings. The ARRT will train a cadre of scientists to become capable of assuming faculty positions in schools of engineering, basic science, allied health, public health and medicine, and of performing research relevant to the welfare of persons with disabling illnesses. The trainees will also be well-qualified to pursue careers in applied research settings, such as in industry or hospitals.

 How to Apply

For questions about the ARRT program, please contact the Principal Investigator, Steven A. Gard, PhD.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.

Contact Us

Steven A. Gard, PhD

Steven A. Gard, PhD

Principal Investigator

sgard( at )


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