OPERF | Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation

OPERF Educator Awards Program

The OPERF Educator Awards Program supports O&P educators who currently hold teaching positions at O&P education institutions that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and who are pursuing advanced degrees to improve their skills as O&P instructors. Educator Awards include a $2,500 cash grant. Selection of Educator Award recipients will be based upon the merit of the educator’s submission. Educators are eligible to receive this award no more than two times.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Employed as a faculty member at a CAAHEP-accredited O&P education program.
  • Enrolled in an advanced academic degree program.
Criteria for Reviewing Applications
Current Faculty Position:
  • Individuals who are graduates of CAAHEP-accredited O&P programs will be given priority.
Degree Program:
  • Individuals who are pursuing research-intensive degrees will be given priority.
  • Individuals who are enrolled as full-time students will be given priority over part-time students.
Plan of Study and Progress toward Degree:

Applicants must provide academic transcripts*.

  • Number of credits completed.
  • Grades.
  • Qualifying exam passed.
  • Proposal defended.
  • Higher priority will be given to applicants who have made demonstrable progress

* Official transcripts are not required. However, if unofficial transcripts, such as those available electronically, are submitted, they must be signed by the applicant’s academic advisor or program chair.

Letters of Recommendation:
  • Letter from the chair of program by which the applicant is employed. This letter should describe institutional support for the applicant to complete his or her degree.
  • Letter from the academic advisor where the applicant is enrolled as a student. This letter should assess the plan of study and the dissertation or thesis proposal (if applicable) as well as the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study and potential for academic success.
  • Higher priority will be given to applicants who have strong support from the program that employs them.
  • Higher priority will be given to applicants who receive strong evaluations from their advisors.
Applicant Statement:
  • Describe how the student’s academic goals will contribute to excellence as an O&P faculty member.
  • Describe how the OPERF Educator Award will assist the student in pursuing his or her academic goals.
  • Priority will be given to applicants who clearly describe how the degree will contribute to excellence as an O&P faculty member and how the award will help them pursue the degree.
Applicant CV:
  • Priority given for professional presentations.
  • Priority given for publications.
  • Priority given for funded research.
Download the Educator Award Application

OPERF Educator Awards Program Submission and Funding Cycle

Applications may be sent via email to using the subject "OPERF Educator Award."

Materials cannot be returned. Applicants are responsible for ensuring all materials are received by OPERF by the due dates listed below.

The following are key dates and deadlines for the OPERF Educator Awards Program. Applicants are responsible for ensuring all materials are received by OPERF by 5:00 PM, Eastern Time, on the due date.

Submission Due: October 15

Award notifications are anticipated to be distributed six to eight weeks from submission deadline.

Contact Information

Requests for additional information may be addressed to: Email:

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT: If you have any trouble navigating through the site or have issues submitting your application, please contact Manisha Bhaskar at (202) 380-3663 or email .

Download the full Award Program Overview Document