AOTF Intervention Research Grant Program

The American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) awards Intervention Research Grants as part of its mission to advance the science of occupational therapy to support people's full participation in meaningful life activities.The purpose of this grant program is to lay the necessary groundwork for larger intervention studies and support the profession's Centennial Vision of occupational therapy as science-driven and evidence-based. The intent of the IRG program is to provide seed funding for the development of new and/or novel ideas in order to generate preliminary data as proof of concept. Most larger funders, including federal sources and most of the major nonprofit foundations, require this data in order to apply to them, yet sources to fund this preliminary work are limited at best. The AOTF IRG occupies a very important niche and fills a critical gap by investing in the development of ideas and data in the early state of the occupational therapy research enterprise. 

The Intervention Research Grant program receives major funding from The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the St. Catherine Challenge.  The IRG application process is based on the NIH grant process.  Click here for a comparison. 

A listing of Intervention Research Grant recipients is available here including the 2019 awardees.


Mary Ellen Stoykov, PhD, OTR/L, Rush University, a 2014 IRG recipient for her study, Bilateral Priming for Upper Extremity Hemiparesis in Older Adults, created this video (click on photo) showcasing one of her success stories.


The AOTF Intervention Research Grant (IRG) is 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. The PI must also 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. The PI must be a credentialed occupational therapist (or a non-OT investigator with a primary academic appointment in an occupational therapy department).  See the RFA below for more information.


Boston University's Pi Theta Epsilon Chapter -- Omicron -- interviewed IRG recipients on their research for a webinar series.  


Questions: Contact the AOTF at (research@aotf.org).  Please note: it may take a few days for a reply.

2019-2020 AOTF Intervention Research Grant Links

 Letters of Intent Submissions Open 9/15/19! Register to submit your LOI at: https://aotf.smapply.io/.


2019-2020  Intervention Research Grant RFA 
2019-2020  Intervention Research Grant Award Guidelines 6.27.19

Timeline for 2019-2020 Applications

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 site for Letter of Intent opens.

October 2019

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

November 2019

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

December 2019

  • December 2: 11:59 a.m. Application deadline

March 2020

  • Summary statements and award notifications are sent to applicants.