Overview & Structure

RREMS students spend eight weeks working on their proposed research plan at the sponsor site of an accomplished PM&R mentor. In addition to the research completed during the program, many students are also given the opportunity to spend time in the clinic with their mentors. Participants are given a $4,000 stipend, and the sponsor site also covers registration and travel to the AAP's Annual Meeting, where students present scientific papers. Learn more from our RREMS Director, Brad Dicianno, MD:

Our 2021 Site Sponsors

The following institutions are committed to advancing the specialty by hosting students for the Rehabilitation Research Experience for Medical Students (RREMS). Students select a site sponsor with a research focus they are interested in exploring, then work with them to develop a proposal that is submitted with their application. If selected, the student then spends eight weeks working with their mentor at the site sponsor to develop their abstract.

Apply to be a 2021 RREMS Site Sponsor!

Beaumont Hospital Taylor

  • Site Director: Tyler Roskos, PhD
  • Location: 10000 Telegraph, Taylor, MI 48180
  • RREMS Mentors: Tyler Roskos, PhD
  • Research Areas: Dr. Roskos works with TBI and stroke rehab patients examining interventions and outcomes, particularly involving cognitive, behavioral, functional, and social factors. Additional faculty involved in research projects include Johnathan Ho, MD, Riley Smith, MD and Jason Kisser, PhD.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: May be able to offer virtual participation. Able to host students on-site from outside institution or from another state.

Johns Hopkins University

  • Site Director: Ryan Roemmich, PhD
  • Location: Kennedy Krieger Institute, 707 N Broadway, Room G-04, Baltimore, MD 21205
  • RREMS Mentors: Preeti Raghavan, MD, Ryan Roemmich, PhD, Stephen Wegener, MA, PhD, April Pruski, MD, Robert Brodsky, MD, Albert Recio, MD and Stacy Suskauer, MD
  • Research Areas: Projects may include muscle stiffness in CNS disorders, gait or movement analysis in neurologic populations, prevention of chronic back pain through behavioral interventions, dysphagia, pediatric TBI and concussion.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Offering virtual participation. May be able to offer in-person participation depending on the severity of the pandemic at the time.

Montefiore Medical Center/ Albert Einstein College of Medicine

  • Site Director: Stephanie Rand, DO
  • Location: 111 East 210th Street, Bronx, NY 10467
  • RREMS Mentors: Matthew Bartels, MD, Yuxi Chen, MD, Anna Lasak, MD and Stephanie Rand, DO
  • Research Areas: Dr. Bartels: use of a novel biomechanics device for the modification of gait and biomechanics to improve back and knee pain. Dr. Chen: virtual reality analgesia to control pain in children undergoing botulinum toxin injections. Dr. Lasak: conservative care using biomechanics alterations of pelvic floor mechanics for treatment of incontinence in older women. Dr. Rand: investigation of the feasibility and applicability of 3D printing for creation of upper extremity prosthetics and orthotics for children and adults.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: May be able to offer virtual or in-person participation. If the NY State travel ban is still in effect, can only host students from the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT).

Ohio State University

  • Site Director: W. David Arnold, MD
  • Location: 1060 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210
  • RREMS Mentor: W. David Arnold, MD
  • Research Areas: The Arnold Lab is primarily focused on translational neuromuscular physiology in health and disease with a particularly interest in understanding the role of motor neuron dysfunction in age-related loss of physical function as well as other genetic neuromuscular disorders.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Offering in-person participation and may be able to offer virtual participation.

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab/ Northwestern University

  • Site Director: Leslie Rydberg, MD
  • Location: 355 E. Erie, Chicago, IL 60611
  • RREMS Mentors: Variable
  • Research Areas: SCI, shoulder pain and post-COVID rehabilitation
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Only offering virtual participation

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Site Director: Rachel Cowan
  • Location: 1717 6th Avenue S., Birmingham, AL 35233
  • RREMS Mentors: See Below
  • Research Areas: Students will have the opportunity to earn authorship on scientific publications. Primary target research populations are SCI, TBI, Stroke and MS. Opportunities to work with existing data and/or assist with data collection are available. Ceran Yarar-Fisher, PT, PhD: SCI, gut microbiome, metabolic health, ketogenic diet and neurorecovery. Jereme Wilroy, PhD: SCI, Telehealth, Exercise and behavioral coaching. Janet Niemeier, PhD: TBI, MS, Stroke, functional movement disorders, women’s issues with TBI, chronic TBI, biomarkers of TBI and stroke. Victor Mark, MD: TBI, Stroke, Visual attention, executive dysfunction, eye movement and cognitive impairment. Rachel Cowan, PhD: SCI, fitness-function relationship, body anthropometrics and pressure management and manual wheelchair configuration optimization. Yu-ying Chen, MD, PhD: SCI, COVID-19 impact on health and wellness, research using data from the National SCI Database, Social determinants of health and Obesity.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Offering virtual and in-person participation.

University of Minnesota

  • Site Director: Brionn Tonkin, MD
  • Location: 420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 297, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • RREMS Mentors: Variable
  • Research Areas: Current research is being done in the areas of spinal cord injury, adaptive sports, bone metabolism and medical education.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Only offering virtual participation

University of Pittsburgh

  • Site Director: Brad Dicianno, MD
  • Location: 3471 5th Avenue, Suite 910, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
  • RREMS Mentors: Several mentors available based on student's research interest
  • Research Areas: Several projects available (please visit website)
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Offering virtual participation and may be able to offer in-person participation. Students from outside the state or from another institution can do research, but they would not be able to participate in clinical observing if pandemic restrictions are still in place.

UT Health at Houston/ McGovern Medical School

  • Site Director: James Chang
  • Location: 1133 John Freeman Blvd., JJL 285A, Houston, TX 77030
  • RREMS Mentors: Variable
  • Research Areas: Neurorehabiltiation, neuromodulation, spasticity, pain and robotic-assisted rehabilitation
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Offering virtual participation and may be able to offer in-person participation.

UT Southwestern Medical Center

  • Site Director: Maria Kabamalan
  • Location: 5300 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390
  • RREMS Mentors: Kathleen Bell, MD, Thiru Annaswamy, MD, Yasin Dhaher, PhD, Amy Mathews, MD, Mariana Johnson, MD, Nitin Jain, MD, Shannon Juengst, PhD, Candice Osborne, PhD, OT, Nneka Ifejika, MD and Nicholas Fey, PhD
  • Research Areas: Actigraphy and mobile health; amputee and prosthetic management; brain injury; concussion; human gait and biomechanics; instrumentation; musculoskeletal disorders including spine, joint, tendon and soft tissue disorders; self-management of chronic conditions; stroke; telerehabilitation; and virtual reality applications in rehabilitation
    Nitin Jain, MD, MSPH: My research is in musculoskeletal disorders with an emphasis on shoulder disorders. My research is patient-oriented clinical research and includes clinical trials, epidemiology, and outcomes-based studies. We are also studying genetic epidemiology of rotator cuff tears. Please see this website for a more detailed description of our ongoing studies: https://shoulderstudy.org/ I have mentored students and residents in the past (including RREMS students) and several of them have published manuscripts. It is one of the foremost joys of my professional career.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Offering in-person participation and may be able to offer virtual participation.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

  • Site Director: Kara Dyer
  • Location: 2201 Children's Way, Nashville, TN 37212
  • Research Areas: Studies on physician expectations as a predictor of spine injection outcomes; procedural related pain as a predictor of spine injection outcomes; and patient expectations and perceptions of spine injections.
  • Virtual or In-Person Participation: Not offering virtual participation and may be able to offer in-person participation. Pending the status of COVID, it is possible that hosting students would be prohibited.

What to Know Before You Apply

RREMS is offered to all medical students, but may be most applicable for first year students. Allow at least one month to complete the application process. Please do not wait to contact sponsor sites if you are interested in participating. If you are interested in a clinical-based experience, consider applying for the AAP's Medical Student Summer Clinical Experience (MSSCE). Please read through the following requirements carefully:

  • Review the list of sites and mentors from the AAP's approved list of sponsor sites. Select up to three (3) that have projects that are of interest to you. Applications will not be accepted unless the sponsor site has been approved prior to the student’s application.
  • You may contact the sites with questions before you fill out the application. The application does not include the full research proposal.
  • The AAP will connect students with the designated person at their approved sponsor site. Students will then devise a 3-page proposal (excluding references) after communicating with an approved mentor.
  • Students may submit only one application and research proposal for the 2021 program.
  • The student must be enrolled in an accredited medical school in the United States. We encourage applications from students wishing to work with mentors outside of their own institutions.
  • The primary mentor listed be an MD and/or PhD who holds a primary faculty appointment in the PM&R department at the sponsor site.
  • Each approved student will receive a $4,000 stipend, as well as additional travel and registration expenses to cover the AAP's Annual Meeting. This stipend will be released in installments, and students will receive the full amount only when completion of their project is confirmed by their mentor.
  • Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements and travel to/from their summer research institution.
  • Each student must commit to a project that will last eight consecutive weeks over the summer and present their findings at the AAP's subsequent Annual Meeting.

How to Apply

Complete the RREMS Application with up to three (3) sites with projects that are of interest to you. You will also submit a copy of your CV to begin the application process. Your CV should include prior degrees and institutions attended. This application does not include the full research proposal.

We are tentatively planning to open for student applications for the 2022 program in late Fall 2021 contingent on the availability of site sponsors. All updates will be posted here as soon as they are available.



Scan or combine all materials into a single PDF file. Name the file in the following format: SmithM_2021. Use our recommendations to create a strong application. Application materials include:

Research Plan: Each student must make contact with the designated person at their desired sponsor and devise a 3-page proposal (excluding references) after communicating with an approved mentor. The proposal must be single spaced in Times New Roman 12-point font and contain the following information. Be sure to include details on your role within the project work.

  • Title
  • Background Including Importance of Proposed Work
  • Specific Aims and Hypotheses
  • Methods
  • Analysis Plan
  • Role of the Student
  • Expected Results and Rationale
  • References

NIH Bio-Sketch: An NIH Bio-sketch for the faculty mentor must be provided.

Personal Statement: Students must submit a one page personal statement explaining interest in research, clinical exposure that may be available or any other information that may be relevant.

Letter of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation (up to 2) are acceptable but not required. This should be submitted electronically with your application.

Additional Materials: If a research project involves something that is potentially patentable, licensable or copyright worthy, the faculty mentor and student are encouraged to work with their local technology transfer office and RREMS to generate a dissemination plan that will meet the needs of the program without compromising the commercial potential of the research. Please notify us in advance if this is anticipated.

The deadline to submit the Research Proposal for the Summer 2021 program close January 22, 2021.
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