Call for MScPT Student Research Projects

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto


Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice

Deadline for Submission: MONDAY APRIL 25, 2022


The Department of Physical Therapy is preparing for the 2022-2023 Research Component of the MScPT Program and invites physical therapists with a Professional or Research Masters or PhD to submit a project outline and participate as research advisors to one of 19 student groups.  Each group will be comprised of approximately 6 students.  If needed, research advisors will be paired with an established researcher (PhD) from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, referred to as the faculty advisor, who has experience with graduate student supervision.

COVID-19: Given the potential for ongoing restrictions of research activities due to the pandemic, we will be accepting projects that enable online methods of data collection, such as online surveys, or Zoom interviews. Projects proposing in-person data collection procedures will be considered, if they include feasible alternatives for online data collection, if needed. Please consider the ongoing and potential fluctuating restrictions imposed by COVID-19 when designing your project.

The research component is amortized over two Units in the new curriculum: Scholarly Practice I (Unit 7) and Scholarly Practice II (Unit 13).  In Scholarly Practice I – Unit 7 (3 weeks estimated dates: September 6-23, 2022), the student groups will develop a research protocol and submit the protocol for Ethics approval.  The role of the research advisor is to facilitate this process with the support of the faculty advisor (if applicable) and a teaching assistant.  Due to the short duration of Unit 7, advisors are expected to meet weekly with students and review the final research protocol with a quick turnaround time of 1-2 days. To enable effective communication, we recommend a maximum of three advisors (not including the faculty advisor).  Note: We also ask that research and faculty advisors meet with student groups once a few weeks prior to the start of Unit 7 to review study objectives and provide guidance on background literature for students to review in preparation for Unit 7.

Students will have protected time to work on their projects throughout Unit 10 (January 2, 2023 to March 24, 2023) and Unit 11 (March 27, 2023 to April 14, 2023) having Mondays as protected research time. Throughout this period, advisors maintain contact with students through email, phone and meetings as the project requires. In Scholarly Practice II – Unit 13 (6 weeks: June 5, 2023 to July 14, 2023), the groups will analyse their data and complete a draft of a manuscript for publication and a poster.  Advisors facilitate data analysis and review drafts of the manuscript and the poster. Faculty advisors provide guidance and support in the analysis and write-up phase.  Student groups present their posters during a Research Day and submit their final manuscripts at the end of Unit 13 for grading. 

Potential projects for the MScPT Research Component must be relevant to physical therapy and can include:

  • Chart Reviews **requires review of a sample of 10 charts to ensure that the data you wish to collect are routinely recorded in the charts and of adequate quality for chart abstraction.
  • Surveys
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pilot Studies (Quantitative or Qualitative)
  • Qualitative Studies (example: focus groups or in-depth interviews)
  • Secondary Data Analysis
  • No Literature or Systematic Reviews
  • No mixed methods – projects requiring both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis are not feasible for the MScPT curriculum.

 Online Project Submission

To submit a project:

  1. Click on the following link:

If the website does not open automatically, then cut and paste the URL into your Internet browser.

  1. Create an account to obtain a username and password.  If you created an account last year, your same username and password will still apply.
  2. Once you logon, click “Submit a new project” and complete the online form.  We recommend that you circulate a draft of your project description in Word to your co-advisors and when ready to submit, copy and paste into the online form.  You may save your project on the online form and revise at any time using the “Save” button.  When you are ready to submit the final version, click “Submit”.
  3. Links to examples of a qualitative and quantitative project outline are included on the website to provide a guide to the level of detail to include in the outlines.
  4. We’ve included a checklist for advisors to ensure their project outline meets the requirements for the MScPT curriculum.  Click on the link in the online form to access the checklist.

If we receive more project outlines than we can accommodate, selection will be based on the:

  • Quality of the project description,
  • Relevance of the project to physical therapy, and
  • Feasibility of the project in relation to the timelines of the MScPT research curriculum and the research capacity of the students and feasibility given COVID-19 restrictions.

The deadline for submission of projects is Monday April 25, 2022.  Please contact Kelly O’Brien at or Esther Waugh at if you have questions.