Cliff Fowler Memorial Education Scholarship Award

Cliff Fowler Memorial Education Scholarship AwardClinician, Teacher, Leader, Innovator, Mentor



Cliff Fowler was one of 3 founding individuals of the post-graduate orthopaedic manipulative therapy education program for Canada. Together with John Oldham and David Lamb, Cliff passed the first IFOMPT examinations held in 1973 and then co-developed the first curriculum/examinations for physiotherapists to achieve IFOMPT credentialling in Canada. He is the first recipient (1998) of the prestigious Golden Hands Award and is responsible for inspiring many current and past Canadian leaders in this field. His contributions to the evolution of the orthopaedic manipulative therapy specialization in physiotherapy and his passion for life-long learning has motivated us to honour his legacy with this scholarship.


Cliff joined the British army to become a physiotherapist in 1959, since men where not accepted into public programs in the 1950’s! In 1965 he attended the very first manual therapy course for physiotherapists in England, instructed by James Cyriax, Alan Stoddard and Gregory Grieve. He emigrated to Canada in 1966, working first in North Bay and Scarborough before moving to Red Deer in 1969 to set up his first private practice with David Lamb. His training in orthopaedic manipulative therapy (OMT) set him apart from the traditional physiotherapy at that time and his passion for OMT motivated him to continue to take courses, pass the international exam and spearhead the long process of curriculum and examination development in Canada. He was a chief examiner for the Canadian Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy Fellowship program for 20 years (1974-1994), authored a chapter on the pelvic girdle for Gregory Grieve’s first edition of Modern Manual Therapy, and assisted in the development of the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy in the USA. He taught courses nationally and internationally and presented his novel clinical ideas at four IFOMPT conferences as well as many other international seminars. Cliff maintained an active role in the clinic throughout his entire career and mentored/inspired many physiotherapists who went on to become leaders in the profession.

The Spirit Of The Award

To honour the legacy of Cliff Fowler’s passion and ongoing pursuit of knowledge, continuing education, reflective and critical thinking, and clinical reasoning in orthopaedic/musculoskeletal physiotherapy.


The purpose of this award is to fund continuing education through the Advanced Integrated Musculoskeletal (AIM) educational program aimed at improving clinical reasoning and practical skills, evidence-informed knowledge base and critical/reflective thinking.

Form And Conditions Of The Award

  • $1000 towards an AIM educational endeavour
  • 1 year to complete an AIM educational opportunity and submit their expenses to National Orthopaedic Division for reimbursement
  • Recipients will be asked to create a blog post and/or social media content around their experience in their chosen course. This content will be provided to the National Orthopaedic Division for use.

Criteria For Selection

  • A current member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Orthopaedic Division and a current AIM program student (minimum Level 2).
  • 1200-word submission describing how Cliff Fowler’s contributions and dedication to continuing education in musculoskeletal/orthopaedic physiotherapy and clinical reasoning are reflected in the applicant’s professional career and educational goals, and how this award will contribute to these goals.
  • Examples of professional development accomplishments (personal, clinical, advocacy, mentorship, or educational achievements).
  • The submission provides information on how the applicant will use the funding to pursue their journey through the AIM educational program.
  • A current curriculum vitae

All applications are confidential between the applicant and the Awards Committee.

The Orthopaedic Division Awards Committee will select the recipient.

Deadline for Applications: June 30th. Recipients will be notified by August 1st.

Download Application Form


Cliff Fowler Memorial Education Scholarship Award Recipients: