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We are excited to share the news that ACRM is now forming an Early Career Networking Group (EC-NG)! The objective is to provide on-going support for early career professionals interested in expanding their networking opportunities and receiving guidance for career development and advancement. In addition to early career members, we are  seeking senior professionals who would like to assist with this invaluable effort. 

About the Early Career Networking Group

This new networking group will help with many challenging aspects of career development, such as:
  • Preparing for job interviews, negotiating faculty positions or preparing for promotion and tenure
  • Improving your grant writing skills, learning about grant mechanisms for new investigators, and how to get published
  • Networking with renowned leaders in the field, or finding collaborative opportunities within a variety of rehabilitation disciplines
  • How to become a more active and recognized member within ACRM
The Early Career Networking Group seeks to provide assistance with all of these common career development challenges. Networking group members will work together to share relevant announcements, resources, professional contacts, mentorship support, and informative discussions. 
Now is the perfect time to join this important networking group and help shape its growth. There are even opportunities for joining the Early Career Networking Group Steering Committee; the Early Career Course Task Force (which plans the Early Career Development Course held in conjunction with the ACRM Annual Conference), or the Communications Task Force.
It is cliché, but true that as an early career professional, you are the future of rehabilitation and ACRM. Getting involved with the ECNG now is a worthwhile investment in that future -- whether you are early or late in your career.  Please consider becoming a member of the ECNG! 

Contact the Early Career Networking Group chair, Dawn Neumann, PhD, for more information about joining this group as a general member or to become more specifically involved in a task force.

Button image: Click to Join the Early Career Networking Group

Award Designated for Early Career Professionals of ACRM

Nominations due by 8 April 2013.  Winners will be announced by 1 June.  Self-nominations accepted.

The Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award is an award given by ACRM to Early Career Professionals who are making significant contributions in the field of rehabilitation. Recipients receive a plaque, monetary award, travel stipend, complimentary registration, and an opportunity to present at the ACRM Annual Conference. Learn more.
Elizabeth Skidmore“Receiving the Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award is a  great honor. I highly value the scientific and clinical community  within the Congress, and receiving recognition from this esteemed group of scientists and professionals is humbling and rewarding.” 
– Elizabeth Skidmore, PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh

“Receiving the Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award was the most cherished honor that I have had in my career. This is because it was awarded by people in the field of rehabilitation that I truly respect and admire. I know that the Wilkerson awardees are carefully chosen to represent the spirit of Deb Wilkerson, who was a role model in providing holistic rehabilitation services and conducting meaningful research. Receipt of this award meant that my research was perceived as making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities, which is the greatest honor one can receive.”
– Angelle Sander, PhD, Assistant Professor
   Baylor College of Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Executive Committee

Chair: Dawn Neumann, PhD
Indiana University
Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana
Indianapolis, IN

Chair-Elect: Megan Mitchell, PhD
Biomedical Engineer
Kansas City, KS

Secretary: Chari I. Hirshson, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Central Park Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
New York, NY


The mission of the Early Career Networking Group (ECNG) is to foster the development and advancement of early career professionals in the field of rehabilitation. We work together to tackle many of the common career development challenges.  Our supportive network of peers provides the necessary resources and networking opportunities to promote successful career growth for rehabilitation researchers and clinicians.


 All task forces conduct regular monthly or bi-monthly meetings via conference calls. Please contact Dawn Neumann or a designated task force chair for more information about meeting times and getting involved.

Early Career Development Course Task Force
Chair: Stephanie A. Kolakowsky-Hayner PhD, CBIST

This task force plans the full-day Early Career Development Course held each fall at the ACRM Annual Conference. Last year, the course focused on grantsmanship, with particular emphasis on career development and pilot /small project funding mechanisms.

Communications Task Force
Chair: Dawn Neumann, PhD

This task force gathers important announcements and information relevant to career development in the rehabilitation field and disseminates them through social media, eblasts, ACRM newsletters and the website. This includes information on grant resources and grant writing, job interviewing tips, work/ life balance, tips for promotion and tenure, getting started with research, initiating collaborations, finding good mentors and more. This task force also develops communications to help promote the ECNG and recruit members.

Physicians Task Force
Chair: Brad Kurowski, MD, MS

The mission of the ECNG Physicians Task Force is to cultivate collaboration among multiple rehabilitation medicine disciplines with a focus on improving the implementation of research, knowledge translation, and program development.

How Do I Join other ACRM Groups?

ACRM membership includes affiliation with any ACRM community forum. Members may participate in any group, including Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and Stroke Interdisciplinary Special Interest Groups; Early Career, Healthcare Policy, International, and Outcomes Measurement Networking Groups; as well as groups now forming for Geriatric Rehabilitation, Pain, Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Pediatric Rehabilitation. Nonmembers are welcome and encouraged to participate in any networking or  forming group. Please contact Terri Compos, ACRM Community Relations Manager, for details.


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