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Implementation Research Grant

The American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) awards Implementation Research (IR) Grants as part of its mission to advance the science of occupational therapy to support people's full participation in meaningful life activities. The IR grant specifically supports research that is focused on helping occupational therapists take evidence-informed practice from theory to reality in their practice setting. This research grant develops and evaluates the processes used to implement, sustain, and or scale-up evidence-based practice into routine care with an end goal to improve the quality and effectiveness of care.

2 options for an Implementation Research Grant

Justification for either stream should be clearly included in the Timeline/Work Plan and Budget Justification.

IR Pilot Study Option #1: 

Includes pilot studies examining an occupational therapy-related question in Implementation Research 
Funding Required: $100,000 per grant. These studies may run up to 2 years.

IR Pilot Study Option #2: 

Includes pilot studies examining an occupational therapy-related question in Implementation Research
Funding Required: $50,000 per grant. These studies may run up to 1 year.  

Eligibility Criteria

The AOTF IR Grant is ideally targeted to principal investigators who:

  • Do not currently have substantial extramural research awards as an independent principal investigator (e.g., R01, PCORI, Research Program Project Grant, Veterans Administration Merit Award, Field-Initiated Project). Typically, the principal investigator (PI) will have a funding history associated with early stage, emerging, or early midcareer investigators that may include small research grants and training related or mentored career awards. 
  • Have a commitment from an experienced research mentor who has an established record of substantial extramural grant funding, peer-reviewed publications, and supervision and mentoring of researchers. Eligible applicants are not required to be occupational therapists.  However, as the goal of this grant is to improve care in the domain of occupational therapy, the research application must have an occupational therapist(s) as key personnel and he/she must be an integral part of the design and execution of the project.  Co-PI applications are accepted as long as an OT is one of the Co-PIs.

Application Summary

Projects submitted for funding should include one or more stages of implementation of an evidence-based program into a specific clinical practice and/or method to assist practitioners, patients, caregivers, health systems, and additional members of trans-disciplinary teams to develop and implement best evidence into their practice. These activities can be aimed at a specific clinical situation in a single practice setting with the purpose of improving practice at that site.  This funding application strongly encourages this type of application.  The application can also assess activities to improve methods to develop and implement programs into practice on a more global level.

Implementation research must be grounded in the needs of clinicians, patients, caregivers and/or health systems.  Hence, stakeholders must be an integral part of the development and execution of the proposed project.  To this end, all projects must include stakeholder partners who are explicitly and clearly integrated into the planning and implementation of the project. Preference will be given to projects that have at least one stakeholder as a Co-Investigator.

The Implementation Research grant program receives major funding from The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®). 

Questions: Contact the AOTF.  Please note: it may take a few days for a reply.

Timeline for 2019-2020 IR Grant

August 2019

  • August 16: RFP announced
  • RFA and award guidelines are posted on AOTF website. Review the research priorities, objectives, approaches, and eligibility criteria found in the RFA.
  • Review award guidelines.
  • Develop the initial framework for a Letter of Intent and an application.

September 2019

  • September 15: Online submission for Letter of Intent opens. Submit your LOI.

October 2019

  • October 15 11:59 p.m. CST: Online submission for Letter of Intent deadline.

November 2019

  • November 11: Invitations to submit an application are extended to principal investigators who meet eligibility criteria and whose LOI is accepted by AOTF. Invitees can begin application.

December 2019

  • December 9 11:59 p.m. PST: Application deadline.

March 2020

  • Summary statements and award notifications are sent to applicants.