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Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership (CARL) Program


Background: What is the CARL program?

The CARL Program (also referred to simply as ‘CARL’ hereafter) was established in 2016 to nurture and network promising research talent on the international stage. Providing a range of mentoring, career and research-specific training, CARL aims to not only bolster the opportunities of leading individual researchers but equally if not more importantly to also connect them and harness a critical mass for future research related to chiropractic across the world stage. CARL was established and designed by an international consortium of senior researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada (Professor Greg Kawchuk), the University of Southern Denmark & the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics (Professor Jan Hartvigsen), and the University of Technology Sydney, Australia (Professor Jon Adams).


The first cohort of CARL Fellows were competitively appointed in late 2016 (for more information about CARL and the first cohort, see and will soon have completed their 4 years of mentoring on the CARL program at the 2020 CARL residential to be held at the University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia. Since the establishment of CARL in late 2016, the program has provided an extensive boost to growing the evidence base and research capacity in chiropractic – having produced over 20 publications and led to numerous successful grants and promotions to date.


Due to generous funding to date from a number of international partners including the European Center for Chiropractic Research Excellence, Australian Chiropractic Association, Parker University, Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance, the UK Chiropractic Research Council, the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics and the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, we are now excited to have an opportunity to recruit a second CARL cohort of early-career researchers dedicated to advancing chiropractic research and to being future research leaders. This second cohort of CARL Fellows will be appointed in 2019 and will have their first CARL residential in April 2020 at the University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


If you or anyone you know is undertaking a PhD or is within 3 years of PhD award (at date of application deadline) and you are committed to undertaking chiropractic research you are eligible to be considered for the second CARL cohort. Read more about CARL below and make sure you submit a completed application form (to be found at the official CARL website –


Aims of the CARL Program

The ultimate goal of CARL is to identify, nurture and support future emerging researchers (including researchers with methodological/disciplinary backgrounds or clinical backgrounds) focused upon investigation of chiropractic and issues relevant to chiropractic with a view to helping develop and lead a sustainable international chiropractic research culture able to meet the evidence needs of patients, practitioners and policymakers. CARL provides emerging chiropractic researchers a unique opportunity to mix and collaborate with senior researchers (with expertise in a range of relevant methodologies and disciplines) examining chiropractic and to reflect and strategize in the context of both personal and professional development.


On a broader level, CARL also helps ensure that the chiropractic profession build upon current research successes and capacity to further grow its ranks, initiatives and profile over coming years. CARL provides a unique opportunity for the field to instil mentorship at the highest level necessary for planning and developing the broad evidence-base for chiropractic practice and use on the international stage. Drawing upon a vast range of disciplinary approaches and established, rigorous methodologies CARL aims to promote and conduct collaborations across and beyond the profession in order to help strengthen and further grow the integration and standing of chiropractic within wider health care teamwork and systems.


Who facilitates and conducts CARL?

CARL is a core collaborative initiative of three Professors (at three different Universities) who each have extensive experience and track record in health research and mentoring/ leadership. In addition, each of the three Universities represented have developed an extensive program in chiropractic research.


What is involved?

For each selected cohort, CARL will run over a number of years. Those chosen for participation in the CARL Program via competitive application will be known as CARL ‘Fellows’ and will attract rotating Honorary Appointments as Visiting Scholars/Fellows with the three facilitating Universities. CARL Fellows will be required to participate in an annual residential (4-day visit) to be held at one of the three Universities on a rotational basis. The CARL Program will cover the cost of accommodation (4 nights) for each CARL Fellow as well as up to US$2,000 reimbursement for direct economy flights and an invited CARL Program dinner. All other expenses will be the responsibility of the Fellow.


Upon each 4-day visit, Fellows will be joined by guest speakers and senior academics from both the hosting University and the wider chiropractic/health care research community and engage in sessions on specific topics of expertise such as but not confined to: research skills training; networking; the art of getting published and cited; successfully collaborating in multi-disciplinary research teams and other research development and career advancement issues. In addition, the cohort will also be encouraged to run self-sufficient sessions where they support and help work through challenges/opportunities they face/identify as well as develop collaborative projects with appropriate design guidance and facilitation.


Throughout the rest of each Program year the Fellows will be provided with distance mentoring and support from senior researchers facilitating the Program when and as necessary. Each CARL Fellow will be expected to co-author and submit at least one peer-reviewed journal article with at least one other CARL Fellow and/or Associated Program academic per annum while participating in CARL. Active research collaboration across the cohort and Program academics will be strongly encouraged.


Eligibility for the program

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be either: enrolled in a PhD relevant to chiropractic; OR within three (3) years of PhD award (at date of application deadline) in a topic relevant to chiropractic and hold a position at a research institution/university or equivalent research-appropriate organisation.


Candidates must also show:

  1. an emerging track record in rigorous scholarship, research output and development/facilitation relevant to chiropractic (relative to stage of career);
  2. the potential and commitment to further develop and contribute to the national and international field of critical chiropractic research as well as broader multidisciplinary research collaborations.


A selection committee of researchers/academics Chaired by one of the three founding academics will identify a maximum of 10 successful Fellows from all submissions in accordance with selection criteria above. Please note: selection will also take into account an ability to identify a good spread of Fellows across different countries in order to promote international networks and collaborations. All short-listed candidates will be interviewed via Skype/teleconference prior to selection.


How will candidates apply?

Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria above and wish to be considered as a CARL Fellow must complete and return an official CARL Program Application Form and brief CV (max. 2 pages). These materials can be obtained by making an email request to CARL@NIKKB.DK


All successful candidates will be required to gain necessary visa/travel approval for attendance for each annual CARL residential both from appropriate customs and current employer/supervisor (as relevant). Any appointed CARL Fellow who does not attend all of the residential in a particular year will be ineligible to claim the flight reimbursement and other financial support from the Program for that year.


CARL II is sponsored by:

European Centre for Chiropractic Research Excellence

Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics

Australian Chiropractic Association

Canadian Chiropractic Association

Chiropractic Research Council (UK)

Parker University

Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance

Vancouver Foundation

Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine

and others……..

CARL Application Form_2019

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