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Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Rehabilitation Outcomes Measurement Research

Boston ROC received funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to offer a post-doctoral training fellowship program in rehabilitation outcomes measurement research. This Fellowship Program is designed to provide unique opportunities for advanced training and experience in rehabilitation outcome measurement.  The dynamic program focuses on recent innovations in outcome measurement such as computer adaptive testing for patient reported outcomes, advances in performance-based outcome measures, and technological developments that have allowed the creation of sophisticated instrumented outcome measures.

Key competencies developed:

  • Advanced knowledge in contemporary measurement theory & methodology, along with advanced research design, and statistical methods
  • Skill in the ethical and responsible conduct of research
  • Sophisticated understanding of consumers’ perspectives and the ability to relate their research agenda to issues deemed important to consumers
  • Skilled in presenting scientific findings
  • Ability to conceptualize and write scientific articles
  • Ability to organize and assume a major role in writing successful research grant applications
  • Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary research team that includes persons with disabilities
  • Ability to develop a plan for achieving career objectives

Core elements of the program:

  • Businessman showing colleagues graph on monitorSuccessfully complete at least two graduate level academic courses each fellowship year
  • Complete the BU Program on Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Complete training on consumer-focused research
  • Participate in at least one outcomes research project under the guidance of a mentor
  • Participate in the weekly Fellows Research Seminar
  • Write and publish at least two professional publications/year
  • Give two or more presentations at professional associations meetings
  • Work with their mentors to write at least one new grant application

Fellowship Program Director

Alan Jette, PT, MPH, PhD is a Professor of Health Policy and Management at BU’s School of Public Health and is Director of the BU Health and Disability Research Institute. A physical therapist with extensive research expertise in the area of function and disability and health outcomes measurement, extensive experience directing multidisciplinary research teams and overseeing large-scale, epidemiologic and clinical trials with various patient populations funded by the NIH and other private and governmental agencies. He is Co-Director of Boston ROC and a member of the Leadership and Administrative Core and co-directs the Function Core for the Boston Claude A. Pepper Older Americans Independence Network for Translational Research in Function Promoting Therapies.

Executive Committee

Sarah Everhart-Skeels, MPH is a lecturer in the Boston School of Occupational Therapy at Tufts University and she also teaches the Disability, Community and Health course at Brown University.  Ms. Everhart-Skeels has extensive experience in developing and implementing health promotion and empowerment programs for people with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and related neurological impairments in non-profit community-based settings.  Her research interests include the adaptation to disability, community re-integration, peer mentoring and outcomes assessment.

Jonathan Bean, MPH, MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bean serves as the Director of Research Training and Education for the Dept. of PM&R and Medical Director of the Spaulding Cambridge Outpatient Center (SCOC) and he brings this expertise to the Executive Committee. The SCOC is also the location of his outpatient clinical research laboratory.  Dr. Bean also serves as the Co-Director of the Boston ROC Performance-Based Measures Core.  Dr. Bean is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric rehabilitative care and has extensive experience in the conduct of clinical trials and measurement of disablement outcomes.

Mary Slavin, PT, PhD is the Director of Training and Dissemination for the HDR Institute and is Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Boston University School of Public Health.  Dr. Slavin organizes and implements courses, seminars and conferences for HDR and Boston ROC.  She has organized the weekly HDR Research Seminars for the last 10 years.  As Co-Director Education and Training for the newly-funded Boston ROC, Dr. Slavin works directly with core directors in Patient-Reported Outcomes, Performance-Based Outcomes and Instrumented Outcome Measures to develop and disseminate information to promote the use of state-of-the-art outcome measures in rehabilitation research.




Faculty Mentors

Wendy J. Coster, PhD. OTR/L, FAOTA is an occupational therapist, and is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy at the Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College. She has extensive expertise in the development of assessments and functional outcome measures for both children and adults, including the application of Item Response Theory (IRT) methodology and computer adaptive testing (CAT).  She directs the PRO Core in the Boston ROC. She has published widely on the application of function and disablement frameworks, including the ICF, in child and adult rehabilitation and on measurement issues in pediatric and adult rehabilitation.

Sue Eisen, PhD is Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health and Director of Patient-Centered Care Research Area at the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research (CHQOER), a VA Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence at the Bedford MA VA Medical Center.  Dr. Eisen’s research interests include assessment of the quality and outcomes of mental health and substance abuse services, consumer-centered care, recovery from mental illness, and performance measurement in mental health care.

Roger Fielding, PhD is Director and Senior Scientist of the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia (NEPS) Laboratory, at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.  He has faculty appointments as Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.  He also serves as the Associate Director of the Boston Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and as the Co-director of the Performance-based Measurement Core for the Boston ROC.

Lewis E. Kazis, Sc.D. is a Professor of Health Policy and Management, Director of the Center for the Assessment of Pharmaceutical Practices (CAPP) and the Pharmaceutical Assessment Management and Policy Program (PAMP) at Boston University School of Public Health. The CAPP Center focuses on studies of medication safety and effectiveness and educational programs in pharmaceutical policy and management. Dr. Kazis has also conducted research projects for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the area of quality of care.

Julie Keysor, PT, PhD is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Director of Boston University’s RRTC for Enhancing Activity and Participation among Persons with Arthritis (ENACT).  Her research interests are to examine the intersection of function, environment, and psychology in the creation of disability. Dr. Keysor uses clinical research methods in epidemiology to examine disablement and clinical trials to evaluate interventions designed to enhance participation (e.g., minimize disability) among elderly persons and adults with arthritis.

Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University. Dr. Kramer’s research incorporates both qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods and analytical techniques. She has authored 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and received speaking invitations to national and international conferences. Dr. Kramer has extensive experience using multiple methods, including Rasch analysis and qualitative interviews, to develop valid outcome measures.  Dr. Kramer has experience conducting research with youth and adults with disabilities, and experience using strategies that enable participation in research and ensure a safe and accessible environment.

Nancy Latham, PT, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor in the Health and Disability Research Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her research interest is in applying methods from the field of clinical epidemiology, such as randomized controlled trials, cohort studies and meta-analyses, to rehabilitation research. She has published more than 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Latham has received a Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Fellowship from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and was recently an investigator in the Boston Pepper Center Research and Development Core. Her current research projects include an NIH-funded randomized controlled clinical trial of an exercise intervention to improve function after hip fracture and the development of a voice-recognition system to remotely monitor function in older adults.

Christine McDonough, PhD, MS, PT, is a research assistant professor at the Health & Disability Research Institute at Boston University. After receiving a BS in physical therapy from the University of Vermont, she practiced physical therapy in a wide variety of settings until 2003. In 2007, she received her doctorate from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Her doctoral and postdoctoral training included advanced training in decision sciences and measurement. Her research includes the application of contemporary methods and models to provide valid assessments of function and disability from patient and societal perspectives to inform clinical and health care policy decision making, and optimizing function and health through interdisciplinary interventions particularly related to aging, musculoskeletal conditions, and women’s health.

Larry Ludlow, PhD, is a Professor and Department Chair of the Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation Department at Boston College. His work centers around consulting, applied research, and teaching in the fields of psychometrics, statistics, and data analysis. His consulting experience includes the application of Item Response Theory (IRT) models for the purpose of developing assessment instruments in teacher certification, educational reform initiatives, and physical rehabilitation. His research interests have focused on the development of longitudinal survey and data analysis systems for tracking teacher candidates; the development of longitudinal models for understanding and predicting faculty teaching evaluations; the development of goodness-of-fit techniques for Rasch IRT models; the development of “learning to teach for social justice scales,” gender stereotypes scales, and pediatric rehabilitation scales; and the development of longitudinal teacher retention and attrition prediction models.

Pengsheng Ni, MD has a medical degree from Shanghai Medical University and has worked on the genetic epidemiology of complex traits in humans, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and pathological myopia.  He is a Senior Data Analyst and Research Assistant Professor at the Health & Disability Research Institute in the BUSPH Department of Health Policy & Management.  From his training in genetics, Dr. Ni brings a strong mathematical, biostatistical and computer science background to the development of contemporary patient-reported outcomes technology for health care. His current work has been directed towards applying different Item Response Theory (IRT) models to practical health care assessment issues, building unidimensional and multidimensional computerized adaptive testing (CAT) models, providing statistical consultation and constructing web-based surveys. He has been involved in multiple health care outcome assessments development process, such as Activity Measure for Post-acute Care (AM-PAC), Late Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI). 

Carol Tobias, M.M.H.S. has over twenty years of experience in the field of health care for people with disabilities as a policy-maker, program director, technical advisor, educator and researcher. She is the Director of the Health and Disability Working Group (HDWG) and Assistant Professor in the Health Policy and Management Department of the Boston University School of Public Health. Under Ms. Tobias’s direction HDWG has conducted over thirty research and evaluation projects in the area of disability, health and long-term support services.

Thomas Travison, PhD, is the Chief Biostatistician for the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition at the BU School of Medicine and is an Assistant Professor in the Boston University departments of Medicine and Biostatistics.  Dr. Travison’s work is primarily concerned with the epidemiology of aging and syndromes of aging, principally functional decline and frailty. An important subset of this work has been the development of models of endocrinologic changes in aging and their contributions to morbidity and mortality.

Applications are reviewed accepted on a rolling basis.

To Apply, submit a packet to Mary Slavin, PT PhD that contains the following information:

  • Educational background
  • Professional & previous research experience
  • Narrative statement of career goals, reasons for seeking admission to the Fellowship Program
  • Rehabilitation outcomes measurement research interest areas
  • List of publications and a copy of one scientific writing sample
  • 3 professional references

 Read about our past and current Post-Doctoral Fellows here.

This Fellowship is funded by the Dept. of Education NIDRR grant # H133P120001 Project Period:  10/1/2012 – 9/30/2017