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For over thirty years, the Sports Physical Therapy Section (SPTS) has provided a forum for physical therapists with an interest in sports physical therapy. Its focus on performance enhancement,recognition and management of active sports injuries, and the treatment, rehabilitation and research of these injuries has led the SPTS to grow to the third largest component of the APTA.

Because of an increasingly active population — and one that begins playing sports at a much earlier age than in past generations — sports physical therapy is a rapidly growing specialty within the physical therapy profession. The future of sports physical therapy will lie in the discoveries of clinical investigators and academic researchers.

These professionals have the knowledge and expertise to conduct quality research studies for the advancement of sports physical therapy. However, these studies require funding to make important advancements possible.

In order to assure the continuation of essential sports physical therapy research, the Sports Physical Therapy Section has established The Legacy Fund. The name describes the purpose of the fund — to leave a legacy of excellence and continuity of advancement within the profession that has seen so much progress in the past thirty years.

The Legacy Fund is managed by a committee of five Sports Physical Therapy Section members. This group of volunteers has the experience to successfully oversee and direct the operations of the Fund, including long term planning, fundraising, and business development. The management committee is also responsible for
evaluating applications, as well as monitoring the ongoing progress of each project. The committee is solely accountable for both the fiscal and research aspects of the Fund.

Because the work of The Legacy Fund can only exist through the generous contributions of interested benefactors, it is essential that SPTS take appropriate steps to ensure that each grant recipient is successful in his or her project. The Legacy Fund is committed to obtaining the maximum return on investment from grant expenditures. Grant awards are given in six-month installments, with the grant recipient required to prove accountability and progress in their project before the second half of the grant funds are released. In addition, awardees are required to submit a report at the end of the funding period, and must agree to submit one and two year follow up reports. Publication submissions are also a part of the follow up process.

The Legacy Fund is dedicated to providing quality mentorship to its awardees. The strong leadership and vast experience of Sports Physical Therapy Section members serves as a resource so grant recipients may identifyexperienced collaborators for their work.

Awardees will be recognized each year at the SPTS Research Forum during the APTA Combined Sections Meeting.

The Legacy Fund benefactors receive the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to the advancement of sports physical therapy and the important research that may assist in returning countless athletes of all levels to their previous activities. The Legacy Fund benefactors also receive acknowledgement of their contributions in The Legacy Fund Annual Report, and during professional conferences including the Annual SPTS Team Concept Conference and Sports Physical Therapy Section CSM activities. The Legacy Fund also thanks its corporate and individual collaborators in various ways, depending on their level of contribution.

We invite you to make a difference in the future of sports physical therapy. Your contributions will provide necessary funding for essential research that can revolutionize the way sports injuries are treated and lives are restored. Leave a legacy you can be proud of...send in your pledge to The Legacy Fund today.

To contribute to the Legacy Fund, link here!

For larger donations, please contact the SPTS office via email or by phone at 877.732.5009.

For more information about SPTS Research, link here>

Legacy Fund Brochure

2016 Request for Research Proposals

Deadline: October 11, 2015

Legacy Fund:  The future of sports physical therapy lies in the discoveries that result in optimal patient care.  In order to assure the continuation of essential sports physical therapy research, the Sports Physical Therapy Section has established the Legacy Fund to leave a legacy of research excellence for the advancement of sports physical therapy practice.

Purpose: The purpose of the Legacy Fund is to invest in clinically relevant sports physical therapy research by providing research funding and mentorship to the members of the Sports Physical Therapy Section. Priority will be given to projects that involve sports physical therapy patients, those who may be at risk for injury, or efficacy studies that are directly related to clinical practice. Additional consideration will be given to proposals that are likely to lead to peer reviewed publications, larger clinical projects, and/or subsequent foundation or federal level funding.

Eligible Recipients: Sports Physical Therapy Section members who are clinicians, doctoral students, or junior faculty in academic or clinical settings may apply for funding. Junior faculty must be less than five (5) years from their doctoral or post-doctoral training at the time of application.

Availability of Funding: Approximately $10,000 has been allocated for this year of the Legacy Fund. It is anticipated that 1 project will be funded. Grant funds may support justifiable research expenses including but not limited to data collection, compilation of findings, consulting fees, patient/subject honorarium, equipment, facility rental, and dissemination of findings. Grant funds may not be used for indirect costs, salary support of investigators or co-investigators, or the purchase of computers.  Proposed projects should be completed within 24 months. Funding will be awarded in 2 equal installments. The first installment will be disbursed after approval for funding AND when IRB approval is provided at the onset of the project. The second installment will be disbursed following successful completion of a mid-term project progress report.  Projects can be of any length of time, up to 24 months.

Mentorship:  In order to help ensure the successful outcomes of funded projects, Legacy Scholars without formal research training may need to be mentored by senior investigators with experience in clinical research and peer reviewed publication. Applicants are strongly encouraged to work with an experienced academic or clinical researcher during the project development and include this mentor as an investigator on the proposed project.  Scholars within academic institutions may receive appropriate mentorship from experienced researchers within their institution. However, in cases where mentorship is not readily available Scholars may contact the Chair of the Sports Physical Therapy Section’s Research Committee to be matched with experienced researchers on the SPTS Research Team to help them guide their proposed project.   

Obligations of Legacy Scholars:  Investigators receiving grant funding will be expected to complete mid-term and end of project progress reports.  Investigators are expected to submit their findings at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting within 2 years of the end of the funding period.  Submission for publication in sports medicine journals such as the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy or the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy is strongly encouraged.  Legacy Scholars will be recognized each year at the SPTS Business Meeting during the APTA Combined Sections Meeting.

Criteria for Review:  Priority for funding will be given to applications that meet the following criteria:

  • Projects that are clinically relevant to sports physical therapy

  • Scientific merit of the project as determined by the reviewers

  • Feasibility of the project to be successfully completed within the proposed time period and budget.

  • Institutional support and mentorship

  • Likelihood that the project will lead to publication, larger clinical projects and/or future grant support

Application Review Process:  Applications should be sent electronically in PDF format to the Chair of the Sports Physical Therapy Section’s Research Committee to the email address below. Applications and supporting materials must be received by 5 PM EDT, October 11, 2015. Paper or faxed copies will not be accepted.  Complete applications will be reviewed by members of the Sports Physical Therapy Section’s Research Committee for scientific merit.  Applications with the highest scores will be recommended for funding.  Award notifications will be sent out in late January before the 2016 Combined Sections Meeting.

Ready to Submit?

Please address all Applications and Questions to:
Chuck Thigpen, PhD, PT, ATC
Chair, Research Committee
Sports Physical Therapy Section
Proaxis Therapy
200 Patewood Drive Suite C150
Greenville SC 29615
Phone: (864) 454-0904

Grant Application Format and Submission Information