Practice Oriented Research Training


What is this service?

The Practice Oriented Research Training (PORT) program is a didactic and experiential mentored research training program for clinicians who have not had formal training in clinical research. Since 2008, more than 60 professional staff from Michigan Medicine have participated. 

The program provides the fundamental skills to

  • design a research project
  • apply and be reviewed for funding
  • conduct research
  • present findings to local and national professional audiences 
  • write manuscripts for peer review

Trainees are encouraged to work in teams on projects that are of common interest. Each team is assigned two mentors, who stay closely connected with the research teams throughout the entire PORT experience (approximately 2-3 years). The MICHR program mentor provides teams with overall guidance in the development of the proposed research project while a faculty mentor from the trainee’s home department provides the clinical and research expertise to guide the research.

The PORT program is delivered in two stages. First, trainees enroll in didactic seminars April - June. Then trainees submit a research proposal to MICHR for review. Proposal plans that are accepted for funding will be allowed up to two years to complete the research project.

Stage 1:

  • Trainees enroll in didactic seminars that meet weekly, April - June.
  • Experienced clinical researchers at U-M will teach the research process, from literature review to implementation of a research project.
  • Trainees write a five-page grant proposal that will be submitted for review.
  • Submission of a program application is required.

Stage 2:

  • Trainees have two years to conduct their research.
  • Trainees are expected to participate in post-award seminars and meetings.
  • Trainees are mentored through project start-up, data collection and analysis, dissemination - including presenting to professional audiences - and manuscript writing.

The faculty leads for this program are Susan Murphy, ScD and Claire Kalpakjian, PhD.

Who can use this service?

PORT is geared toward physical therapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, exercise physiologists, hospitalists, and other clinical health professionals who are interested in doing research.

At what stage in my research should I contact MICHR about this service?

Clinical health professionals should consider applying to the PORT program when they have a desire to learn research. Applications for the 2018 cycle are closed. Application instructions are available here. Those interested in the program should have a formulated research question.

How much does this service cost?

There is no charge for this service. However, Stage 2 does involve cost sharing by the trainee’s home department. The cost pricing/recharge rates for this and other MICHR services are available here.


Still have a question? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us at

Practice Oriented Research Training

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