Graduates of the PhD Program in Rehabilitation Science will be prepared as researchers, educators, and leaders in the field of rehabilitation science. Our interdisciplinary educational approach prepares students to conduct collaborative and translational research by integrating knowledge from multiple perspectives ranging from the cellular to the systems level to solve complex problems of physical disablement. Upon graduation, students will pursue academic careers in research and higher education. These individuals will be prepared to address research, education, service delivery, and policy challenges requiring an interdisciplinary perspective. Openings in academia for faculty positions are numerous in this field, and range in positions in Physical Therapy, Gerontology, Oncology, Physiotherapy, Health Sciences, Rehabilitation, and Movement Science departments.
Exceptional students with substantial experience prior to completion of the PhD may be prepared to begin faculty positions immediately upon completion of their dissertation. However, in order to be successful in rigorous academic settings, a postdoctoral fellowship will be recommended to graduates after completion of the PhD. During a postdoctoral fellowship, graduates will complete the process of publishing their dissertation research and work as full-time researchers with a faculty mentor (typically not the primary research mentor). The objective of the postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the graduate time to develop a line of independent investigation to launch their career so that upon accepting a faculty position, the graduate’s area of scholarship is defined and the individual is well on his/her way to securing substantial extramural funding to launch an original research program. Graduates will have developed extensive skills as teachers while in the program, also preparing them to succeed in this demanding aspect of the academic career.