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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).

ACAPT Career Center

Post your post-doc & PhD-funded positions, along with other PT education jobs at jobs.acapt.org.  ACAPT members receive discounts & anyone can post his/her resume for free.

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.


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.


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

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