CARL Research Fellows

About CARL

Most established professions have programs to train their future leaders. Whether it be MBA programs in business, or officer training in the military, few professions would prefer to leave development of their future leaders to chance. But that is the current situation in chiropractic research globally. There are few, if any, opportunities to help ensure that our best and brightest trainees will succeed once they begin their research careers. As a response to this the Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership (CARL) was created researchers under the mentorship of three successful senior academics.  

CARL is a grassroots initiative about positive, forward-looking, credible academic leadership within chiropractic. It aims to link promising early/mid stage career researchers who are dedicated to developing high-quality evidence regarding chiropractic as well as a global research network. CARL facilitates training on a range of mentoring, leadership, networking and research-specific skills relevant to early-career researchers.

With the help of generous funding from the World Federation of Chiropractic, the European Centre for Chiropractic Research Excellence, the Canadian Chiropractic Association, and the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, CARL was able to announce the program and call for applications in 2016. The response to the call revealed an international wealth of potential early career talent looking for such an opportunity to develop their careers further.  From personal interviews, 13 candidates were chosen as fellows in the first cohort of the CARL. The CARL Fellows, who are all early career researchers engaged in PhD programs or within a few years after acquiring their PhD, come from 7 countries on 4 continents and represent diverse areas of interests all of high relevance for the chiropractic profession.

The CARL Program 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. The CARL Program will draw upon rigorous, established methods and multi-disciplinary perspectives from across public health, health services research and clinical science 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.

The program centres upon an annual week-long program residential
that rotates continental locations over the first three-year cycle. Each residential consists of an intense week of activities whereby Fellows receive individual mentorship, problem-solving, career development, insights into academic and research management and presentations and workshops from invited international senior academics. Alongside these structured sessions and activities, Fellows are also allocated time to explore areas of mutual interest for collaboration and partnership. The first residential was held in Odense, Denmark in April 2016, with the second upcoming residential being held in Edmenton, Canada. 



Aims of CARL

  • to develop a critical mass of successful early-career chiropractic researchers on the
    international stage
  • to encourage multi-disciplinary perspectives and cooperation in chiropractic research
  • to provide much-needed ‘timeout’ from the day-to-day pressure of work environments allowing space and time to reflect and consider longer term, deeper issues
  • to develop confidence amongst future leaders in the profession.
  • to provide direct mentorship, support and advice to a cohort of CARL Fellows regarding their own research focus, strategic development and career pathway
  • to promote and produce a prolific range of tangible research outputs and products

The Mentors

CARL is a core collaborative initiative of three senior research academics at three Universities (Professor Jon Adams, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, Professor Greg Kawchuk, University of Alberta, Canada and Professor Jan Hartvigsen, University of Southern Denmark). All three Professors have extensive experience and track records in health sciences research and mentoring and leadership and all three Universities have developed extensive programs and track records in chiropractic research.

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Jon Adams is Professor of Public Health and Director of the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Jon also currently holds a Australian Research Council Professorial Future Fellowship and is both a Senior Fellow and Senior Mentor on the Oxford International Primary Health Care Research Leadership Program, Department of Primary Care Sciences, University of Oxford.

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Greg Kawchuk is Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alberta, Canada and is presently the Chair of the Research Council of the World Federation of Chiropractic. Professor Kawchuk is a former Canada Research Chair in Spinal Function

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Jan Hartvigsen is Professor and Research Leader at the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the Faculty of Health, University of Southern Denmark. Jan is also head of the Graduate Program for Physical Activity and Musculoskeletal Health that currently has 63 PhD students and Senior Researcher at the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics.

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"It is imperative this Program be ongoing and our commitment is long-term. While a cohort of fine promising researchers such as these will help produce immediate outputs, their potential as the future leaders of a strong international chiropractic research community will continue to grow and I am confident our investment in the Fellows over a number of years will prove increasingly rewarding as they further mature and shine. Our hope is to be able to put this Program on a permanent footing with this initial cohort of researchers providing mentorship to follow-up cohorts over time"