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Research-Intensive Programs in Physical Therapy

RIPPT lttrhd-final-04282020

ACAPT's Research-Intensive Programs in Physical Therapy (RIPPT) consortium promotes academic excellence by strengthening the community of research-intensive physical therapy programs.  RIPPT is specifically designed for PT education programs that also offer a PhD degree.


The purpose of the Research Intensive Programs in Physical Therapy Consortium is to:

  • Promote the importance of organized research to contribute to improved health care and excellence in physical therapy education.
  • Establish a forum for research-intensive programs to share strategies for organizing, building, and supporting their research enterprises.
  • Develop an exchange that will promote research collaborations across institutions.
  • Serve as a resource for programs that are attempting to develop into research-intensive programs.
  • Develop a set of accepted benchmarks of research activity.

RIPPT meetings are held annually at the Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) and Combined Sections Meeting (CSM).

PhD directory

  • A list of PhD programs suitable for preparing physical therapists to become independent investigators who can succeed at RIPPT programs.
  • Ability for RIPPT members to edit or enter the above information.

Seminar series

A monthly RIPPT Seminar Series provides an interactive forum on topics of interest to the community of PT researchers & rehabilitation-related fields.

ACAPT partnered with APTA on a "Why pursue a PhD?" podcast featuring a PhD candidate & asst professor

The Research Intensive Programs in Physical Therapy (RIPPT) is a group of PT programs where the promotion and tenure requirements include major accomplishments in research as a requirement for those on that track.  These are programs where faculty are involved in the training of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, and one or more faculty are funded federally at the R01 level. 

Among many of these programs:

  • Multiple faculty have substantial funding and there are multiple laboratories supported.
  • There may be training grants and core facility support grants. 
  • Faculty in these programs balance their activities in research and professional service with their participation in the entry-level education of physical therapists. 
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students in these programs often have the opportunity to work alongside faculty for specialization in research or a dual degree DPT/PhD. 
  • Intensive involvement in research is typically optional, not required, for DPT students in RIPPT programs because there are PhD students for long-term projects.

RIPPT members voted for the following positions recently.  Please click the "Leadership" tab for details:

  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary
  • Nominating Committee member

To learn more about RIPPT, what we do, and the kinds of memberships, please review these RIPPT guidelines.

RIPPT holds regular business meetings twice a year, once at the Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) - typically attended by all program directors, and at the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) - typically attended by PTs with active research programs.

RIPPT holds elections in the spring-summer during the ACAPT election cycle.  If you are a RIPPT member, you are registered to vote. If you have not yet joined the RIPPT, do so now by clicking on the "Request to Join" Box above. As with any organization, formation of a leadership team is representative of its members who vote.

Persons elected to a leadership position serve two-year terms and are expected to attend the annual ACAPT Educational Leadership Conference (ELC), where RIPPT's annual business meeting will be held.

  • May 3, 2021:  Polls closed on the first Monday of the month. 
  • June 2021: Candidates informed of election results.  Those elected are encouraged to book their hotel for ELC immediately.

RIPPT members can view the 2021 candidate slate for the positions below.  RIPPT members will receive an email with instructions for voting on Monday, April 5. If you don't receive the email, feel free to contact acapt@acapt.org.

  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary
  • Nominating Committee member

Position descriptions

The Vice Chair shall assume the duties of the Chair at the request of the Chair or in the absence or incapacitation of the Chair and oversee RIPPT ad hoc committees or work groups as a voting member.  The Vice Chair shall serve as the Parliamentarian during the meetings at national conferences. 

The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping the minutes of all RIPPT meetings of members and/or officers, prepare and submit written reports of the activities of the consortium to the ACAPT Board of Directors, notify members of the date, time and place of meetings, and make minutes available to membership through the RIPPT page on the ACAPT website.

The Nominating Committee shall consist of three (3) members, each serving two-year terms.  The senior member of the committee shall serve as Committee Chair for the last year of her/his term. The nominating committee shall prepare a slate of one (1) or more names for each office to be filled.  The slate (i.e. list of candidates) shall be published on the RIPPT website and distributed to the membership prior to the election.  The Nominating Chair will provide the slate, together with the information on each candidate, at least 30 days in advance of the election.  Members of the nominating committee direct and conduct elections by electronic mail.  The nominating committee chair notifies the candidates of the results of the election maintains a record of their consent to service for future considerations and needs that may support the work of the Consortium.  

A poll will be sent via email to all registered Research-Intensive Programs in Physical Therapy (RIPPT) consortium members to cast their ballot.


Deborah Givens, PT, DPT, PhD
Professor and Director
Division of Physical Therapy 
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Vice Chair (Chair Elect)

Mary Snyder Shall, PT, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Physical Therapy
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Stacy L. Fritz, PT, PhD
Professor and Program Director
Physical Therapy Program, Department of Exercise Science
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Past Chair

Julius P.A. Dewald, PT, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences
Professor in Biomedical Engineering
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Nominating Chair

Mary Rodgers, PT, PhD, FAPTA
George R. Hepburn Dynasplint Endowed Professor (Emeritus)
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

Darcy Reisman, PT, PhD, from the University of Delaware -- Nominating Committee Member

Jules Dewald, PT, PhD, from Northwestern University -- Nominating Committee Member



ACAPT Liason

John A. Buford, PT, PhD
Professor and Director
Physical Therapy Division
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

NEW: Monthly RIPPT Seminar Series provides an interactive forum on topics of interest to the community of researchers in PT and rehabilitation-related fields.

ACAPT partnered with APTA on a "Why pursue a PhD?" podcast

Research amidst a pandemic

Other RIPPT resources

If you're interested in RIPPT documents not listed above, please contact the RIPPT secretary on the "Leadership" tab.

NCMRR's Medical Research Resource Network

Celebrating APTA's Centennial



Stay Informed & Up-To-Date with ACAPT

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