The purpose of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act by conducting advanced engineering research and development of innovative technologies designed to solve particular rehabilitation problems or remove environmental barriers.
RERCs also demonstrate and evaluate such technologies, facilitate service delivery systems changes, stimulate the production and distribution of equipment in the private sector, and provide training opportunities to enable individuals (including individuals with disabilities) to become researchers and practitioners of rehabilitation technology. Awards are normally made for a five-year period.
How to Apply
- Eligible applicants are states; public or private agencies, including for-profit agencies; public or private organizations, including for-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations
- View a list of NIDILRR funding opportunities and application kits. Note: After clicking on the link, funding opportunity announcements for all of NIDILRR programs will be displayed. To view RERC funding opportunity announcements, type RERC in the keyword(s) box and hit the Search button
- As a rough guideline, check the preceding link between October and April every year
- View the Guide to Applying for some helpful application tips
- View currently-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers and previously-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers
- RERCs generate new knowledge that informs the construction of new, or the modification of existing, standards in the field of disability and rehabilitation. Think of them as a formula that describes the best way of doing something.
- RERCs also develop technology-related products that are designed to help people with disabilities do something better than they did before, or make something easier or quicker to do, than it was before.
- To learn more about how the RERCs have generated new rehabilitation technologies to benefit people with disabilities, read the free and open-access 2017 article entitled: How a diverse research ecosystem has generated new rehabilitation technologies: Review of NIDILRR’s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers.
- View RERC Publications in REHABDATA. Interested in obtaining copies of any of these publications, view the article called Obtaining Documents Listed in REHABDATA
- View a Sampling of RERC-produced full-text publications in PubMed Central.
- Highlighting the Information and Communication Technology Contributions of one RERC: A Video Presentation by Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden: Video Start Time and Video End Time. This presentation was part of the larger 40-Year Anniversary Celebration of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research. For those interested, you may watch Part I and Part II of the celebration.
Contact Thomas Corfman at NIDILRR if you have questions about the RERC Program funding mechanism.