The University of Michigan Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program in Community Living and Participation (U-M ARRTP-CP) will provide advanced rehabilitation research training to persons with doctoral or similar advanced degrees who have clinical or other relevant experience, with the goal of enhancing their capacity to conduct high quality multidisciplinary rehabilitation and disability research to improve outcomes for those with disabilities in the areas of community living and participation.  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 NIDRR ARRT #H133P140005.

“I’ve learned more during these one and half years here than during my entire Ph.D. program” - Elham Mahmoudi – PhD Post-doc 2012-2014

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.

“I am so grateful for the great education: statistics classes, statistics and IRB workshops, seminars and visits to CSCAR; being invited to write manuscripts with my mentors, Dr. Denise Tate and Dr. Claire Kalpakjian; writing and working on manuscripts; publications; consultations with experts in the field of PM&R; attending conferences and seminars and meeting PM&R researchers and working with great faculty, staff members and post-doctoral fellows of U- M, Department of PM&R….You have shown such excitement and joy while I was learning all of the nuances of becoming a researcher. Dr. Denise Tate is a great director…I am extremely grateful to her for the opportunity that she has given me.” - Cianni Kwon, PhD Post-doc 2007-2009

Opportunities for Training

The Community Engagement (CE) Program of MICHR will play a central role in the community-based experience of fellows. The CE Program works to involve the community’s expertise and knowledge in improving the quality of research and to produce outcomes that measurably benefit the health of the local community.  In addition to the MICHR/OPIS experience, fellows will have an opportunity to receive training through the Detroit URC. This center is managed by Julia Weinert, MPH.

Fellows are offered two year, full-time fellowships; in certain cases, a one-year extension or a one-year fellowship may be offered.  Physician resident trainees 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.  Upon entering the program, post-doctoral fellows will complete self-assessments of their current level of competence in the core areas of the training program. This evaluation forms the foundation for the development of an Individualized Research Training Program (IRTP) to be developed by each fellow with assigned mentor.  The core curriculum includes required classes, on-line courses, selection of electives and responsible conduct for research training, seminar 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. The CSCAR courses were amazing opportunities that are not easy to come by (I wish I were still there to take a few classes now that I'm finding the need for knowing additional statistical techniques). CSCAR also proved invaluable as consultants.” - Tony Lequerica, PhD Post-doc 2006-2008

Career Development Opportunities

The ARRTP-CP is the first step to building an academic career; the training may be followed by other advanced opportunities for training such as National Institute of Health (NIH K Awards) or other career development awards. These opportunities are discussed with program directors and mentors when fellows first begin the program to best prepare them for pursuing such 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) creating a showcase ePortfolio for potential employers; 5) providing opportunities for networking; and 6) providing ongoing support after the completion of training.

“Having the time at UM to focus on learning grant writing and establishing a history of funding has benefitted me greatly.” - Cara Lewis, PhD Post-doc 2006-2008

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 research experience, leading into community based research.  These labs offer opportunities for fellows to learn about the various aspects of clinical care that can influence community living, functional independence and participation in society. Clinical Labs include:

These labs also provide opportunities to learn how functioning can impair community living and participation.

“The rehabilitation research training helped me to develop the research foundation I needed to go forward in my chosen career path including declaring my area of specialization, starting my own private practice, and entering the field of academia as an educator and researcher in the fields of counseling and psychosocial occupational therapy.” - Debra Farrell, PhD Post-doc 2007-2009

Program Directors

Denise G. Tate, PhD ABPP

Claire Kalpakjian, PhD

Program Administrative Coordinator in PM&R:  Angela Lee
Coordinator Liaison at SPH:   Julia Weinert, MPH
Coordinator Liaison at MICHR:  Tricia Piechowski-Whitney, MPH, MSW, MA

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

Application Information

Access the online application at:


Download the application guide book here.