C-STAR Collaborative Opportunities



We offer a variety of hands-on learning opportunities for scientists and clinicians who want to work alongside our experts, learning in real-time and in real situations.


At C-STAR, we know that collaboration drives scientific progress, and that these collaborations may take place in both formal and informal settings. Drawing upon our expertise in wearable technology and outcomes assessment, as well as the resources of the Center for Education and Career Development at Northwestern University, we offer a broad range of collaborative opportunities, including sabbaticals, pilot awards and informal mentorship programs.

Pilot Project Grants


Our robust pilot project program provides outside researchers with funding, mentoring and expertise to perform sophisticated experiments relevant to the use of technology in rehabilitation.

The Center for Smart Use of Technologies to Assess Real-world Outcomes (C-STAR) will fund four projects per year. We are looking for projects with the potential for significant clinical impact that will likely lead to successful grant applications to NIH and other national funding agencies. We are also committed to supporting underrepresented researchers.

The C-STAR pilot award program is now open for applications!



Since moving into our new translational research hospital, we have implemented a multidisciplinary method to evaluate early stage research ideas that we have termed IdeaLab. Here, we assemble appropriate physicians, scientists, nurses, therapists and entrepreneurs—all staff at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab—in a room to listen to and provide feedback for ideas under consideration by any of our researchers or clinicians.

C-STAR applicants will have the unique opportunity to participate in an IdeaLab focused on their research to receive critical feedback that enhances their focus and increases the chance of funding.

C-STAR Collaborative Mentorship Funding


The Collaborative Mentorship Funding Program provides junior faculty and early-career rehabilitation researchers with mentoring and career advancement guidance from senior scientists and clinicians at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. The goal of the program is to support researchers in learning the skills around meaningful use of technologies in rehabilitation research, and measurement of real world outcomes. Additionally, mentors will advise researchers on grant writing and submission to achieve the objective of developing their own studies and applying for extramural funding.  Mentorship programs can be implemented in the home university or via C-STAR at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Researchers who compete and receive Collaborative Mentorship Funding are financially supported up to 20% for six months.

For funding details contact cstarmentoring@sralab.org.



Researchers wishing to come to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab for a sabbatical must complete an application that requests information about their proposed research. This information is shared with relevant Core Directors, who will initiate discussions with the applicant and their home institution about setting up a sabbatical.

Sabbaticals may be fully funded by the mentees home institution. Alternatively, junior researchers can apply for collaborative mentorship funding to help support their sabbatical at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Sabbatical opportunities are available, and require an additional application. For more information, contact cstarsabbatical@sralab.org.


C-STAR is funded by the National Institutes of Health (Grant #P2C HD101899), supported by the NICHD and NINDS.

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