AOTF Mid-Career Research Excellence Award

Established in 2018.


To recognize and support investigators who have contributed to advancing knowledge in the field of occupational therapy.


  • Nominee must be a certified occupational therapist.

  • Nominee must be a certified occupational therapist.

  • Nominee must have a research-based doctoral degree or clinical doctorate with demonstrated research experience.

  • Nominee must be 6-15 years post-completion of doctoral degree.  If the nominee has more than one doctoral degree, the 6-15 year post-doctoral degree requirement will begin from the first doctoral degree.

  • If nominee has had an interruption in career path during the 6-15 year eligibility timeframe, a one page letter detailing this interruption may be submitted and considered to determine nominee eligibility for this award.

  • Current AOTF Academy of Research members are not eligible to apply for this award.

  • Nominee must show research accomplishments that contribute to advancing knowledge in the field of occupational therapy as demonstrated by grant awards, publications, presentations and impact of work to improve practice and health (e.g., body of work makes a difference in the field or for people receiving occupational therapy).

  • Candidates may self-nominate.

  • Individuals nominated but not selected may be re-nominated in succeeding years if eligible.

Nomination Procedures

Open date for nominations: June 17, 2024

Close date for nominations: September 6, 2024

Please include:

  • Completed nomination form. Download the form here.
  • Letter of nomination from nominator (must include as an addendum to the nomination letter a short paragraph of no more than 100 words to appear in professional publications citing the nominee’s contributions).

  • A statement of approximately 500 words in length outlining the nominee’s research contributions to advancing knowledge in the field of occupational therapy and/or rehabilitation science (For example, did the nominee’s work result in the adoption of a measure, intervention, approach to practice, policy or paradigm shift, etc. nationally and/or internationally?  How has the work been viewed, accepted, and incorporated into research, practice, or education?).

  • Three (3) letters of support.

  • The nominee's current curriculum vitae must include a list of publications and/or presentations (seminars, symposia, workshops, scientific papers, awards, and honors).

  • Reprints of three (3) publications (examples of the nominee’s scholarship/contribution in the field) from peer-reviewed journals.

  • A recent photograph of the nominee suitable for reproduction (hi-resolution 300 dpi or greater .jpeg).

Expectation of Award Recipient:

  • Receive a $10,000 honorarium;
  • Attend the AOTA Inspire Annual Conference & Exposition and make a 30-minute presentation on research accomplishments to date at the AOTF Research Excellence Symposium.
  • Submit a manuscript of their presentation for possible publication in OTJR:  Occupation, Participation & Health, subject to the policies of OTJR and with final approval of its Editor-in-Chief.

Contact AOTF Awards Program Manager.

AOTF Mid-Career Research Excellence Award Recipients


Sook-Lei Liew, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA


Elizabeth Pyatak, PhD, OTR/L, CDCES, FAOTA, Director of the Lifestyle Redesign® Knowledge Mobilization Initiative, and Associate Professor, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California


Juleen Rodakowski, OTD, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida


Elizabeth A. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA, Associate Professor, Temple University