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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 Conference and Exhibition while others are undertaken throughout the year.



Summer Institute of Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy

AOTA and AOTF announce the first annual Summer Institute of Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy, a one-day program that will match potential student scientists with doctoral and post-doctorate mentors. Program participants will meet with leading occupational therapy scientists to address topics such as possibilities within OT science, considerations when evaluating potential doctoral programs, and career opportunities as a scientist. Participants will also attend the 2-day Annual AOTA Research Summit at the University of Pittsburgh.

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 20 entry-level students will be selected to participate in the one-day Institute on May 20, 2016 and the two-day Annual OT Research Summit on May 21-22, 2016. The facilitators and mentors of the Institute will be comprised of faculty from established research programs and doctoral/post-doctoral students from research programs around the nation. Selected students will earn a scholarship that will cover economy flights, ground transportation, hotel (shared with another student). Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Selected participants are expected to arrive on Thursday, May 19, 2016 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.
  • All interested students are invited to apply. Priority will be given to students whose programs do not have a history of independent, externally-funded research and students from diverse geographic locations.

Program Requirements

Students who participate in the Institute are expected to continue in the field of scientific research in occupational therapy. As such, participants will be asked to complete an annual survey to report on the progress they have made in their scientific pursuits.

Application Information

See the AOTA website for application and submission information.

Applications are due January 29, 2016. They will be reviewed by a committee of leading scientists in the field of occupational therapy. Selected scholars will be notified by March 1, 2016.

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 will be working 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 are particularly interested in having researchers submit information on their more recent research, particularly grant funded projects.   We will be finalizing the data for analysis at the end of December.  Thus, if you have not already submitted your research projects, we invite you to enter this information as soon as possible so we have an accurate representation of research in the profession. 

Deadline for submission: December 28, 2015.  Click here for more information and to submit your research project. 

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 Evidenced-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.