About the Foundation for Physical Therapy



The mission of the Foundation for Physical Therapy, the principal and only nationwide physical therapy foundation, is to fund research that supports the development of evidence-based physical therapist practice, enhance the quality of physical therapist services for patients and clients, and increase the number of physical therapist researchers.


History and Background

The Foundation was established in 1979 as a national, independent, nonprofit corporation to support the physical therapy profession's research needs in three areas: scientific research, clinical research, and health services research.


During its 30 years, the Foundation has awarded an estimated $12 million in scholarships, fellowships, and clinical research grants to 500 physical therapists, starting their careers as researchers. Their groundbreaking outcomes have provided evidence of physical therapy's crucial role in such areas as:

  • Recovering from stroke, injury, and accidents,
  • Improving mobility for children with cerebral palsy,
  • And offering pain-free movement - in patients with low-back pain.

Researchers have leveraged the Foundation's relatively small financial grants to secure more than $175 million in additional funding from other agencies for larger and longer studies. Their findings continue to advance the applications of physical therapy and provide evidence of physical therapy's enormous impact on recovery, rehabilitation, and retaining an active, healthy life.