Friday, April 11, 2014 Foundation Ready to Move Ahead on 'Groundbreaking' Center of Excellence Project A groundbreaking plan to jumpstart physical therapist research in health services and health policy is about to take a big step toward becoming a reality. The Foundation for Physical Therapy has announced that is has released its request for applications for a $2.5 million grant to create a "Center of Excellence" (COE) that would serve as a one-of-a-kind center focused on providing physical therapists with the training they need to expand the profession's research portfolio into underrepresented areas. The 5-year grant will be awarded to an institution or health systems network to create and oversee the Center of Excellence in Physical Therapy Health Services and Health Policy Research and Training, whose goal is to "develop sustainable research infrastructure and centralized resources to enhance interdisciplinary health services/health policy research by physical therapist scientists," according to the request document. Letters of Intent to apply to this funding mechanism are being accepted until 5:00 pm June 30. The full application deadline is September 30. The final selection will be announced in early 2015. “The COE will provide the skills and training to a whole new generation of physical therapists who will produce research that identifies the most efficacious and effective ways to provide high-quality care for our patients,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President William G. Boissonnault, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAPTA, FAAOMPT, in a press release (.pdf). In 2013, the Foundation raised $3 million, including a $1 million pledge from APTA and donations from over 40 APTA components, to fund the COE and will continue to raise funds for this campaign.