Four Human Movement Science Students Receive PODS Scholarships

The Foundation for Physical Therapy awarded four PODS scholarships to UNC Human Movement Science students, the most awardees from a single institution this year.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy recently awarded Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I and II Scholarships to four PhD students in UNC's Human Movement Science (HMSC) program. HMSC is an interdisciplinary program between the Division of Physical Therapy and the Department of Exercise and Sports Science. The program is proud to have four PODS recipients, the highest number of awardees from a single institution this year.

PODS Scholarships are awarded to the most highly qualified doctoral and post-doctoral students to fund their research endeavors and prepare them for careers in research. The PODS I Scholarship provides $7,500 to physical therapists or physical therapist assistants who have completed at least two full semesters or three full quarters of their coursework toward a post-professional doctoral degree.

The PODS II Scholarship awards up to $15,000 to physical therapists or physical therapist assistants who have been formally admitted to post-professional doctoral candidacy.

One student from the HMSC program received a PODS I Scholarship and three received PODS II Scholarships. These scholarships reflect favorably on HMSC and speak to the quality of students in the program.

The PODS I winner was Timothy G. Eckard, BS, DPT.  Eckard received special recognition with the Viva J. Erickson Award for exceptional academic and leadership achievement demonstrated in his PODS I application. The scholarship is named in honor of Viva J. Erickson, PT, a physical therapist and leader within the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The PODS II Scholarship recipients were Jody A. Field, MPT, DPT; Ilana Levin, PT, DPT; and Laura E. Stanley, PT, DPT, SCS.

Stanley received the 2017 Margaret L. Moore Award, a PODS Scholarship named in honor of Margaret L. Moore, PT, Ed.D., FAPTA, who was a leader in the APTA and an alumna of the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Dr. Moore was the founding director of the Division of Physical Therapy at UNC and co-founder of the Department of Allied Health Sciences.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy is the nation’s sole nonprofit organization for physical therapy research. Since its founding in 1979, the Foundation has contributed more than $17 million to fund the research careers of more than 500 physical therapists nationwide. 

“As we continue to foster innovation in physical therapy research and fulfill our mission of developing the next generations of researchers, we are certain that these researchers will continue to support effective therapeutic interventions and methods to help propel the profession forward,” said Foundation Board of Trustees President Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “We cannot wait to follow their success.”