The Academy of Physical Therapy Research recognizes excellence in physical therapy research annually through a variety of awards and provides opportunities to both student and regular members via competitive awards.

The Awards Committee of the Academy of Physical Therapy Research (APTR) is seeking nominations for APTR support for the following APTA national awards:

• Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy
• Eugene Michels New Investigator Award
• Jules Rothstein Award
• Helen J. Hislop Award

To view descriptions and guidelines of the APTA awards, please visit the Honors and Awards page on the APTA website.

Please send nominations by November 1 to

APTA Emerging Leader Award (Nominated by each component)

Purpose: To identify and honor one physical therapist or physical therapist assistant “emerging leader” from each APTA chapter or section, who has demonstrated extraordinary service early in his or her physical therapy career. The individual should have made exceptional overall accomplishments and contributions to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the component, and the physical therapy profession to advance APTA’s vision. 


  1. The nominee must be a current member of APTA for at least 5 years and no more than 10 years from formal graduation. 
  2. The nominee must have current or prior service on one or more appointed or elected groups at the component or national level. 

Criteria for Selection:

One “emerging leader” from each chapter and section will be recognized annually, provided the component has submitted a nomination using the procedures outlined below. 

The following information must be provided in the submission letter: 

  1. A description of the nominee’s contributions. 
  2. Examples of demonstrated service to the Association, component, or physical therapy profession. 
  3. Explanation of the potential for future contributions to APTA and the physical therapy profession. 
  4. Examples of how the nominee has advanced activities at the component level. The nomination should include a description of the outcome of the contributions and how the contributions align with the component or APTA goals, objectives, and vision. 

Procedure for Nomination 

  1. The chapter and section president or their respective awards committee chair is responsible for submitting the name of the nominee and supporting information to APTA’s Component Services Department. 
  2. Nominations must be received by May 15 for recognition in the fall of the same year. 
  3. The materials submitted for the nomination shall include the following: • A detailed nomination letter addressing the criteria for selection. • A copy of the nominee’s Curriculum Vitae. 

Please note that this is a Academy of Physical Therapy Research Award; not to be confused with APTA’s Maley Award.

Criteria for Selection

  1. Outstanding contributions to leadership in research over a sustained period of time
  2. Results of the leadership must be documented
  3. Individual must show evidence of sustained contact and interest in research in physical therapy


  1. Nomination may be by any member of the Academy of Physical Therapy Research.
  2. A letter of nomination for the candidate, a current curriculum vitae, and names of three other persons to be solicited for support letters are to be submitted. These persons shall be able to make judgments about the nominees contribution as a leader in physical therapy research
  3. Nominations should be submitted to the Awards Committee of the APTR no later than September 1.
  4. The Awards Committee reviews the materials and makes a recommendation to the APTR Executive Committee.
  5. The decision of the Executive Committee will be final and the reasons for the decision will not be disclosed. In the case where members of the Awards Committee or the Executive Committee are closely associated with the nominee, those so associated will voluntarily abstain from participating in the review and selection process.
  6. A maximum of one award will be given at each Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA.
  7. Nominees may have the materials resubmitted in the following year for reconsideration. New materials must be submitted for any subsequent nomination. 

Nominations must include:
• CV of the candidate
• Preliminary letter of support from the nominator (electronic submissions only)
• Names of others that will provide support letters (if appropriate)

Please send nominations by December 1 to

This award is open to Academy of Physical Therapy Research members only.

The purpose of this program is to facilitate direct interactions between junior and senior investigators. The program will allow up to 3 separate fellows to travel to the lab of their choice. Fellows will be responsible for defining the scope of the work to be completed during their visit. The expectation is that they will participate in structured research experiences designed to meet their specific long-term research program objectives. 

Awards will be limited to $3,500 per fellow. Applications are due by April 1.

Traveling Fellows Application

Traveling Fellows Rubric (reference)

The Academy on Research Student Travel Awards were created to recognize and reward DPT and PTA students who intend to pursue their research interests after graduation.

Up to three awards of $500 each will be given for both National Student Conclave and Combined Sections Meeting to subsidize travel and registration costs.

Applicants must be Academy on Physical Therapy Research members and currently enrolled in a (CAPTE-approved) DPT or PTA program. Highly regarded applicants will have a strong interest and experience with research and evidence based practice along with plans to continue be active in research in their physical therapy career. Preference will be given to applicants with a record of service to the APTA and the community and an appreciation of how attending a national conference will further their education and career path. 

Student Travel Awards Application

For the list of past award recipients, please click here