Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship

Congratulations to the 2018 Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship awardee: 

Amber Angell, PhD, OTR  

Using an Interest-based Approach with Young Adults with Autism: An Exploratory Mixed Methods Study

Dr. Angell is a postdoctoral research fellow in Translational and Community-Engaged Research in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  

Mentors: Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA and Susan Magasi, PhD. 




To honor its namesake Nedra Gillette, the Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship award is in support of a postdoctoral researcher's foundational occupational therapy study into the human condition. This one-time award of $1,500 does not have any specific restrictions on its use other than it must support the research efforts of the postdoctoral fellow. For application information.

The Fellowship seeks to support interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research into the human condition as it is influenced by health, participation in valued roles, and social justice with special interests relevant to:

  • extensions of theoretical foundations of occupational therapy, including client-centered, occupation-based innovations and/or
  • refinements in therapeutic use of self to further client engagement in the treatment process. 

Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship Awardees

2017 Jaclyn Stephens, PhD    Factors that Influence Adolescents' Performance and Participation in Sports and Recreation.  Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University    Mentor: Stacy Suskauer, MD

Nedra Gillette

For over 60 years, Nedra Gillette, MEd, OTR, ScD (Hon), FAOTA, has been dedicated to building occupational therapy's capacity to engage in, and benefit from, scientific inquiry. She created a firm foundation from which the profession continues to evolve its science and spawn future researchers, educators, and practitioners. 

Wilma West nominated Ms. Gillette to be AOTF's first Director of Research in 1979. Ms. Gillette continued in that capacity until her retirement in 2006. Working with her Research Advisory Council and its Research Development Committee, she became the architect of AOTF's and the profession's research agenda. Together they created an extensive  grants program, a network of colleagues to mentor the next generation of researchers, developed resources for faculty development and research, spearheaded the doctoral fellowship/dissertation research programs, assembled a network of researchers to create the clinical reasoning study, designed the process through which the Centers for Scholarship and and Research and the Center for Outcomes Research and education (CORE) were selected, instituted a series of grant writing workshops, and established the Academy of Research. She brought together occupational therapists from 13 countries for the International Conference on Evidence-based Practice and implemented three Gordon-style research conferences around the construct of habits as they affect behavior and health. 

Ms. Gillette's career before AOTF included being the chief of OT at the US Naval Hospital in St. Albans, New York, Director of OT at the Hall Brooke Sanitarium in Connecticut, and teaching at the University of Illinois - Chicago, Columbia University, and St. Louis University. She has served in numerous boards and committees, published many papers, and has spoken at both OT and non-OT conferences.Ms. Gillette was awarded the AOTA Award of Merit in 2006 for her lifetime of service to occupational therapy and was named one of the 100 Influential People of Occupational Therapy by AOTA. 

Ms. Gillette is currently enjoying her retirement as a Master Gardener, community volunteer, and grandmother and sees this fellowship as a way to continue to support the future of occupational therapy.

Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship Application Information

The applicant must:

  • Have a doctorate in OT and currently be a postdoc in an OT or non-OT department OR Have a doctorate (PhD, MD, ScD, etc.) in a field other than OT, and currently be a postdoc in an OT department.
  • Have an appropriate mentor. 
  • Have an IRB for the research study. 
  • Conduct research at US academic institution
  • Be a US citizen or have appropriate residence/visa documents

     2019 Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship is closed. 

    APPLICATION    DUE October 29, 2018

    Required documents with application (download and complete forms, send all attachments with application in one email to research@aotf.org): 

    1. Applicant biosketch  (sample biosketch)
    2. Mentor biosketch
    3. IRB
    4. Letter of Recommendation from Mentor
    5. Hi-resolution .jpg of applicant.

Questions? Contact research@aotf.org.



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