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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.

View IR Grant Recipients

2020-2021 Implementation Grant:

Two Options

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.
  • Note: Post-doctoral Research Fellows are not eligible to apply.

AOTF will give preferential consideration to applications that utilize common data elements and include in their grant applications where appropriate.  NIH encourages the use of common data elements (CDEs) in clinical research, patient registries, and other human subject research in order to improve data quality and opportunities for comparison and combination of data from multiple studies and with electronic health records. 

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.

Tentative Timeline for 2020-2021 IR Grant

May 2020

  • May 1st— 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 applications.

July 2020

  • July 15th— Online submission site for Letter of Intent opens- TBD

August 2020

  • August 31st— Letter of Intent deadline 11:59 p.m. PST.

September 2020

  • September 15th— 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.

November 2020

  • November 30th— Application deadline 11:59 p.m. PST.

March 2021

  • Summary statements and award notifications are sent to applicants.