RT Research and Training Lab

What is RT2

RT2 is a Recreational Therapy Research and Training Lab housed in the Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies at the University of Utah.

The abbreviated name of RT2 ("RT Squared") references the RT in both the primary focus areas of the lab: 1) Recreational Therapy, and 2) Research and Training.


The mission of the lab is to advance recreational therapy practice through both research and training initiatives while simultaneously building partnerships and collaborations involving 1) faculty/researchers, 2) students, 3) practitioners, and 4) consumers/clients.

The four sides of the square surround the RT2 in the lab's logo graphically depict the joining of these four groups of stakeholders in efforts to advance the recreational therapy profession.

Application Process

The RT Lab is currently accepting undergraduate and graduate student applications. Applications for 2018-2019 are due Friday, August 31st at 5:00 pm.

Research Area Focus Recreational Therapy Research and Evidence-Based Practice
Student Member Overview The purpose of student membership in this lab is to provide University of Utah students with the opportunity to increase their understanding of research related to recreational therapy and to advance evidence-based practice in the discipline.  The lab promotes student involvement in a variety of research and training activities connected to this focus area.
  • Efficacy of Recreational Therapy Interventions
  • Reading and Understanding Research
  • Research Design and Methods
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Knowledge Translation
  • Research Ethics
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Dissemination of Research Findings (e.g. presentations, posters, publications)
  1. Provide students with exposure to different aspects of the research process.
  2. Provide opportunities for students to read and discuss current research related to recreational therapy.
  3. Provide opportunities for student involvement in faculty mentored research activities.
  4. Provide assistance in pursuing funding for student research projects.
  5. Provide opportunities for student involvement in conference presentations.
  6. Provide opportunities for student involvement in professional publications.
Student Involvement & Expectations
  1. Expressed interest in learning more about reading and understanding research articles related to recreational therapy
  2. Interest in learning more about general research processes.
  3. Possible involvement in different aspects of the research process
  4. Completion of CITI research ethics training and COI training.
  5. Ability to attend weekly lab meetings (1 hour) over the course of the academic year (September – April).
  6. Willingness to commit additional time, outside of meetings, for lab related activities.
  7. Undergraduate students are expected to work towards earning the University of Utah’s Undergraduate Research Scholar Designation.
Graduate students are expected to work towards a professional conference presentation and/or publication in a peer reviewed journal.
Meeting Times & Locations

Weekly meetings are held on campus and are scheduled for one hour.

How do I get involved?

Complete the Recreational Therapy Research Lab application and e-mail to: Dr. Rhonda Nelson at rhonda.nelson@hsc.utah.edu  

Applications for 2018-2019 are due Friday, August 31st  at 5:00 pm.

Research Awards and Funding

Previous winners of UROP funding include:

Visit UROP's page to find out more about funding and their application process.

Previous and Current Research Projects

ATRA National Conference

PERMA-Profiler Presentation
WHOQOL Poster Presentation
Recovery Ways

URTA State Conference

Virtual Reality as a Treatment Modality

How Do I Get Involved?

For more information about the lab, please contact

Dr. Rhonda Nelson, Ph.D., MTRS, CTRS, MT-BC
Assistant Professor, RT2 Lab Director