Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)

Interdisciplinary Training in Rehabilitation Technology

Program Goal

The goal of this program is to provide integrated training in the complementary disciplines of engineering, information science, health science, and social science to prepare scientists who have deep understanding of human needs (physiological, psychological, and social) and can design innovative rehabilitation devices, tools, and techniques to help people with disabilities live more satisfying and productive lives.  To be eligible for the IGERT fellowship, students must be enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences' PhD program.


Benefits include $30,000 stipend and tuition coverage. Other graduate student benefits apply.

Eligibility Criteria

Students who meet the following eligibility criteria will be reviewed most competitively: applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents (mandatory); have a BS or MS (or equivalent) degree in engineering, computer science, or other technical domain; have a strong background as defined by education, work experience, and research experience; have a technically-oriented research project that matches the goals of the IGERT program; and demonstrate strong promise for the IGERT program as evidenced by personal statement, proposed research plan, cross-disciplinary plan of study, and recommendation letters. 

Students from an underrepresented group as defined by National Science Foundation are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

To apply for the IGERT Fellowship, one must do the following:

  1. Complete RST Graduate Program Pre-application
  2. Receive confirmation from program coordinators and recommendations outlining the procedure to follow. The next step might be: a) making changes to the application and re-applying; b) scheduling a phone interview; c) proceeding with the graduate program application.
  3. Upon completion of steps 1 and 2 (above), the applicant will be asked to complete and submit the following documents:
    • Online Application to the PhD Program in Rehabilitation Science and Technology
    • Online Fellowship Application (includes demographic information and fields to upload the documents described below)
    • Personal Statement (not to exceed two pages in length): Discuss personal, professional, and educational experiences, the future plans and prior accomplishments in the integration of research and education, and the potential to reach diverse audiences and benefit society.  Be sure to include relevant extracurricular activities and leadership roles.
    • Previous Research Experience (not to exceed two pages in length): Summarize your research experience and include a list of publications.
    • Proposed Plan of Research (not to exceed two pages in length): This should be your tentative dissertation plan. Identify your technical and clinical mentors (also indicate which is your primary mentor).
    • Proposed Plan of Study (follow the table format in this sample document): This should be where you demonstrate your cross-training plan.  As quoted from the IGERT project description: “Our program is intensely interdisciplinary in design; the substantial clinical training helps students gain in-depth understanding of human function and behaviors, provides them with in-depth exposure to a diverse range of clinical problems, and lays the ground work for meaningful technological innovation, while the customized technical curriculum drawn from different engineering disciplines gives students breadth and depth for a solid technical basis.” Therefore, if you have a clinical background and research focus, you should demonstrate at least 5 courses you will take in complementary technical discipline(s).  If you have an engineering/technical background and research focus, you should demonstrate at least 5 courses you will take in complementary clinical discipline(s).  We strongly recommend that you consult your proposed mentors about your selections prior to submitting your application.
    • Two letters of recommendation (can be emailed directly to or mailed to Human Engineering Research Labs, 6425 Penn Avenue, Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, Attn: Randy Williams)

Additional Resources

Please use these flyers to bring this training program to the attention of qualified applicants in your area:

Education > Graduates > IGERT Fellowship