Awards & Research -

Neilsen Foundation Allied Health Professional Research Award of ASIA

Jennifer Schottler, MPT, is Inaugural Recipient of Neilsen-ASIA Research Award

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation has committed $125,000 to ASIA, over a five year period, to fund one award each year for a clinician working in spinal cord injury (SCI) care delivery who expresses an interest in adding a research element to his/her career. The Research and Awards Committee of ASIA reviewed and scored the applications received. The first award was presented at the 2014 ASIA meeting in San Antonio. The inaugural recipient is Jennifer Schottler, MPT, of Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago.

Jennifer SchottlerMs. Schottler, who has over 15 years of experience as a licensed physical therapist specializing in treating youth with SCI has proposed a one year pilot project to study the efficiency and biomechanics of wheelchair propulsion of youth with SCI. The SmartWheel will be used to evaluate and provide real-time feedback of the users’ speed and handrim forces during propulsion. Information gained from the study will be used to identify and minimize repetitive, abnormal demands on the upper extremities. The research has the potential to reduce the high incidence of pain and degenerative joint arthropathy so frequently associated with manual wheelchair propulsion.

Ms. Schottler received her $25,000 research award during the Awards Presentation session at the 2014 annual meeting. She will present her findings at the 2015 annual meeting. This program requires an established mentor to guide the recipient, and Ms. Schottler’s mentor is Lawrence C. Vogel, MD, SCI Medical Director at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago.


Neilsen-ASIA Research Award Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Each applicant must have a certified degree in an allied health professional field, e.g. nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy or social work, and be a member of ASIA in good standing. An applicant may have a Masters or clinical doctorate in his/her field. The applicant must not have other current funding for the project being proposed.
  2. Each applicant must submit a one-year clinical research proposal in the field of SCI. The rationale should be supported by a recent review of the literature.
  3. Each applicant must declare a mentor who is a senior researcher in the field of SCI or related area.
  4. Each applicant must complete the application form.
  5. All applications will be transmitted electronically to the email address displayed on the application form.

Selection Criteria:

  1. All applications will be reviewed by the ASIA Research and Awards Committee and evaluated based upon standard scientific criteria. A representative of the Neilsen Foundation will participate in the selection process.
  2. Qualifications of each applicant also will be considered in terms of interest in pursuing a research career in SCI.
  3. The qualifications and dedication of the applicant’s mentor will also be taken into consideration.
  4. Each applicant must have an appropriate research environment and resources to conduct the proposed research.
  5. The selection committee will rank the applicants, and the individual whose application is ranked first each year will receive the award, in the amount of $25,000.
  6. The selected recipient will attend the ASIA meeting to receive his/her award in person, and will be required to attend the first ASIA meeting held after the conclusion of the research project, to present his/her findings to meeting attendees.


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