Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Kessler Foundation Research Center in conjunction with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ - NJMS), and the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation (KIR) offers a unique training program which has several innovative and distinctive features:
◾An individualized training plan
◾Mentors from other areas of biomedical and social research
◾Team building

Click here to view/download the Kessler Foundation Research Center & UMDNJ Fellowship Program Application

The purpose of this Rehabilitation Research Training Program is to train individuals in clinical research whose ultimate goal is to improve the rehabilitation outcomes for traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neurological and physical impairments. Focus areas of rehabilitation research in this program include: neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience, mobility and secondary complications of spinal cord injury, and hidden disabilities post-stroke. The program is designed to be multidisciplinary, and will solicit and enroll post-doctoral fellows and clinicians from a wide variety of fields within rehabilitation. These fellows will receive research training that will facilitate the pursuit of a career in rehabilitation research. The training program is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and Kessler Foundation.

Kessler Foundation Research Center invites applications from individuals with PhD, MD or other Doctoral degrees in a field relevant to medical rehabilitation or health services research. Kessler Foundation Research Center extends unique fellowship opportunities to individuals from underrepresented minority groups or individuals who have interest in research projects that contribute to the advancement of knowledge and treatment of diseases, disabilities and adverse health problems that disproportionately or differentially affect minority populations. Our mission is to conduct rehabilitation research that will help all racial and ethnic minorities achieve optimal health.

◾Ph.D, MD - Doctoral degree should be in a field relevant to rehabilitation. Doctoral candidates planning dissertation research on topics relevant to rehabilitation are also encouraged to apply.
◾Non-immigrants are eligible to apply provided they can be lawfully employed in the U.S.
◾Excellent academic record.
◾Research experience: PhD candidates should be proficient in basic research skills. Strong candidates will have either publications or publishable theses. MD candidates should at the minimum have experience with research on the basis of an initial project.
◾An expressed intention to pursue a career of rehabilitation research.


Stipends vary depending upon experience and training. Individuals must devote a minimum of 75 - 80% of their time to the research. Fringe benefits as well as laboratory and travel support are also provided.

Fellowship Programs at Kessler Foundation Research Center:

Neuropsychology and Neuroscience
Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD
Director, Neuropsycholoy and Neuroscience Research

The Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Neuropsychology is administered through the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) -New Jersey Medical School, in close collaboration with the Kessler Foundation Research Center. Training opportunities are provided more broadly across multiple departments, capitalizing on unique opportunities throughout the medical school and university as well as with nearby centers of excellence throughout New York and New Jersey to pursue key clinical or research training goals.

For more information about this exciting program or to apply for the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Neuropsychology, please Download our brochure as a PDF document. This contains a description of the program and details of the application process.

Click here for more information about the Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Laboratory

Human Performance and Engineering Lab
Guang Yue, PhD
The mission is to improve mobility, independence and quality of life for patients with sensory and motor deficits caused by neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. A major interest is the exploration of the plasticity of the central nervous system through neurophysiological, biomechanical, behavioral, and applied engineering research. Through greater understanding of the impact of factors that complicate recovery of function, including fatigue, immobilization, weakness, and aging, we are devising more effective strategies for rehabilitation. One major area of investigation concentrates on improving standing/walking ability in individuals with functional deficits caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions. Another focus is the investigation of neural mechanisms contributing to the debilitating fatigue syndrome that is an obstacle to recovery for many individuals with multiple sclerosis, stroke, cardiovascular disorders and cancer. A further prominent area of research focuses on disabling musculoskeletal conditions that limit functional activity and mobility. HPEL also conducts research aimed at elucidating the neural and muscular mechanisms of loss of muscle strength. Knowing the mechanisms involved in muscle strengthening will help us to develop appropriate programs that enhance physical conditioning and improve outcomes for rehabilitation interventions.

Click here for more information about the HPEL Laboratory

Spinal Cord Injury Research Lab
Trevor A. Dyson-Hudson, MD
Director, Spinal Cord Injury Research

Spinal Cord Injury Research is devoted to improving the quality of a person's life after SCI. We have developed an integrated set of projects that systematically investigate and improve health and functioning, as well as preventing and treating most of the common secondary conditions that affect individuals after injury. At the core of our research laboratory is a grant from the NIDRR designating the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System as a "Model System" of care and research. Fellows working in this area will be encouraged to become involved in the model system projects and collaborative data collection efforts.

Click here for more information about the Spinal Cord Injury Laboratory

Stroke Rehabilitation Research Laboratory
Anna Barrett, MD
Director, Stroke Rehabilitation Research

In the Stroke Rehabilitation Research Laboratory, we make recent laboratory advances in brain science work for the individual stroke survivor. We find ways to bring science to the clinic for doctors, nurses, psychologists therapists and other professionals to use in evaluating and treating their patients, and we try to find out why some treatments work better than others to improve daily life. Research focuses on cognitive complications of stroke including disroders of communication like aphasia, and hidden disabilities like spatial neglect.

Click here for more information about the Stroke Laboratory

Traumatic Brain Injury Research Laboratory
Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD
Director, Traumatic Brain Injury

The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lab addresses medical, rehabilitative, cognitive and functional issues associated with acquired brain injury. Fellows have the opportunity to evaluate and treat persons with TBI across the spectrum of care, beginning at the tertiary trauma center and extending to long term care. Fellows gain experience in early management, acute rehabilitation, neuropsychopharmacological interventions, management of medical complications post-injury, research, and spasticity management.

Click here for more information about the Traumatic Brain Injury Laboratory

Application Material

Click here to view/download the Kessler Foundation Research Center & UMDNJ Fellowship Program Application

For further information,please contact Malica Dock, Program Coordinator at (973) 243-6972, or Donna Servidio, Assistant Coordinator at (973) 324-3575,