Clinical Scholar Information

ECU’s Occupational Therapy Clinical Research Scholar Assistantship provides a unique learning opportunity for select students.  Paired with research-intensive faculty members, the Scholars are mentored in the research process resulting in the completion of a master’s degree thesis.This thesis option requires some additional coursework to prepare the student for the thesis process including biostatistics.Our Clinical Scholars are expected to present their thesis at various venues which may include ECU research forums, state conferences, and/or national conferences, and many go on to publish their thesis with faculty members in professional journals. 

To enhance the mentoring process, the Clinical Research Scholar Assistantship is structured as a 10-hour assistantship under the assigned faculty mentor learning the research process and/or participating in active research studies.The Clinical Scholars are paid assistantship funds of $5,000 a year, renewable for the second year, in the didactic component of the program as long as they successfully fulfill the requirements of the 10 hours/week as well as maintaining excellent academic performance in the program.Some thesis may have additional funding available depending on the level of research and student.   

The thesis opportunity is a privilege, but does require some additional coursework. In addition to the occupational therapy courses, thesis students take biostatistics (3 credits) to work independently on the thesis and have a few additional research credits (OCCT 7000). Please look on our website for the Overview of thesis process (  If accepted, the clinical scholars will be assigned a research mentor/thesis director at a later time.Before assignment, however, we give each applicant the opportunity to identify preferred topics and why they would be a good match. 

For applicants interested in this select process, they should have review the Overview of thesis process on the website and the faculty members research agendas for areas of interest. The selection process for this opportunity is currently part of the on-site Interview Day in January. This process is new for 2019 and will be evaluated to determine if changes will be made for 2020.