The International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation is proud to support and recognize our members through various award programs. We are excited to, once again, offer our Society and Congress Awards at our 2024 Congress: The World Congress on Virtual Rehabilitation which will be presented by ISVR and XR4REHAB.
Society Awards Timeline
Call for Nominations Opens: December 11, 2023
Call for Nominations Closes: January 26, 2024
Award Winners Notified: End of February 2024
Conference Awards Timeline
Judging Begins: June 26, 2024
Judging Ends: June 28, 2024
*Winners Announced at Closing Remarks
Distinguished Service Award
We are pleased to announce the call for the 2024 ISVR Distinguished Service Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize and acknowledge “exceptional leadership, dedication and service”. Award will consist of a certificate, a complimentary registration, and an opportunity to present a Keynote address at the World Congress of ISVR to be held in June 2024 as a joint congress with XR4REHAB.
Nominations are encouraged from both ISVR & XR4REHAB members. However, there must be a secondary nomination or vote of support from an ISVR board member. You can find the list of ISVR board members here.
Requirements needed for nomination/selection include:
- A demonstrated ongoing (> 15 years) of major contributions in using and promoting “virtual rehabilitation” through research, education, or technology development and evaluation.
- Consistent publications on the use of virtual reality for rehabilitation.
- Invited keynotes at national or international meetings.
- Has contributed to ICVR/WCISVR, ICDVRAT and/or XR4REHAB by participating as a reviewer/judge/chairing a committee.
- Involved in training next generations of clinicians and researchers in the field of virtual rehabilitation.
- Either is nominated by one member of the Board or nomination seconded by a Board member.
Nominees will be required to submit:
- a letter of nomination outlining how the applicant satisfies majority of the criteria mentioned
- the most recent CV of the applicant
- a statement mentioning that the applicant is ware of the nomination and has agreed to be nominated.
Application materials must be emailed before the deadline of January 26, 2024, with the subject heading “Nomination for Distinguished Service Award 2024”.
*All procedures related to awards will be handled by the ISVR Awards Committee.
2023: Mindy Levin, McGill University
2022: No Award Given
2021: Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California
2020: Award not Instituted
2019: Award not Instituted
2018: Award not Instituted
2017: Award not Instituted
2016: Award not Instituted
Early Career Investigator Award
We are pleased to announce the call for the 2024 ISVR Early Career Investigator Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize and acknowledge outstanding contributions by early career scientists whose research relates to virtual rehabilitation. The recipient will be awarded a certificate, a complimentary registration, and the chance to present a talk at the World Congress of the ISVR in June 2024 as a joint congress with XR4REHAB.
- Have completed doctoral level studies up to 8 years prior to nomination.
- Have not previously received an ISVR Early Career Investigator Award
- Number and quality of publications
- Type and amount of research community service (committees, panels, reviewing, etc.)
- Type and amount of public outreach activities, including knowledge translation activities
- Evidence of clinical impact: teaching, standards setting, technology transfer
- Relevance of research to applications of virtual reality for rehabilitation
Individuals may be nominated by an ISVR member or be self-nominated.
A full application must include the following:
- Short biography (maximum 500 words)
- Full CV
- Description of key research innovation and impact on the field of virtual rehabilitation (maximum 2 pages)
ISVR membership is not mandatory for applying for this award. However, please note that ISVR members will be given a priority.
Application materials must be emailed before the deadline of January 26, 2024, with the subject heading “Nomination for Early Career Investigator Award 2024”.
*All procedures related to awards will be handled by the ISVR Awards Committee.
Winner: Naomi Gefen, ALYN Hospital
Runner Up: Sebastian Rutkowski, Opole University of Technology
2022: Athanasios Vourvopoulos, Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST) & University of Lisbon
2021: Marika Demers, University of Montreal
2020: Tal Krasovsky, University of Haifa
2019: Danielle Levac, University of Montreal
2018: Sandeep Subramaniam, UT Health San Antonio
2017: Roberto Llorens, Technical University of Valencia
2016: Monica da Silva Cameirão, University of Madeira
Best Talk Award
The ISVR Best Talk Awards are awarded to the most innovative and exciting conference platform presentation as identified by a panel of junior and senior ISVR members led by the Awards Co-Chairs. Each award is given to a junior (student, postdoc) and a senior (3 years from terminal degree) recipient. Recognition includes a cash prize (for junior awardees only), recognition on the website and in an ISVR Newsletter/eblast,
and a certificate.
Senior Winner - Tal Krasovsky
University of Haifa
Presentation: Hybrid tele-rehabilitation for children: Initial results of a scoping review
Tal Krasovsky is a senior lecturer in the Department of Physical Therapy at University of Haifa and a researcher at the Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Sheba Medical Center. She completed a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from McGill University in 2013, under the supervision of Prof. Mindy Levin, and post-doctoral work with Prof. Tamar Weiss and Prof. Rachel Kizony. Dr. Krasovsky’s interest is in the ability of technology to serve as a barrier as well as facilitator to motor performance in aging and clinical populations. The presentation at WCISVR 2023 is part of a joint research project with Dr. Naomi Gefen, Prof. Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss, Dr. Liat Gafni and Prof. Rachel Kizony, funded by the Chief Scientist Office at the Israeli Ministry of Health.
Junior Winner - Daniela Chan Viquez
University of Toronto
Presentation: A movement tracking videogame with a family-centered approach to upper limb rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy
Daniela is a pediatric physiotherapist from Costa Rica. She came to Canada in 2015 to pursue a MSc in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University. During her MSc, she studied the acquisition of locomotor skills during early childhood, approaching it from a motor control theory perspective. Following the completion of her MSc, Daniela undertook a Ph.D. in the collaborative program of Rehabilitation Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at University of Toronto, where she explored the intersection of technology and pediatric rehabilitation. Her current focal point involves the integration of interactive computer play (ICP) technologies, such as videogames, into home-based rehabilitation programs for children with cerebral palsy. She is specially interested in finding successful ways in which these ICP technologies can be used as an alternative motor therapy for children with disabilities living in rural communities and developing countries, where access to rehabilitation services is limited. With her PhD coming to an end, Daniela hopes to continue her research career with a focus on bridging accessibility gaps to rehabilitation care in underserved populations and international settings.
2022: Sandeep Subramanian, UT Health San Antonio & Elizabeth Wilson, Temple University
2021: No Award Given
2020: No Award Given
2019: Grigore Burdea, Bright Cloud International Corp & Oran Ben-Gal, National Instuments
2018: No Award Given
2017: Danielle Levac, University of Montreal & Desiderio Cano Porras, Tilburg University
2016: No Award Given
Best Poster Award
The ISVR Best Poster Awards are awarded to the most innovative and exciting conference poster presentation as identified by a panel of junior and senior ISVR members led by the Awards Co-Chairs. Each award is given to a junior (student, postdoc) and a senior (3 years from terminal degree) recipient. Recognition includes a cash prize (for junior awardees only), recognition on the website and in an ISVR Newsletter/eblast,
and a certificate.
Senior Winner - Rachel Kizony
University of Haifa & Tel Aviv University
Presentation: Age effects on Performance and brain Engagement during simulation of an internet-based shopping task
Rachel Kizony, OT, PhD, is affiliated with the department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University. She is also affiliated with the Occupational Therapy at the Sheba Medical Center. Her research aims to explore the role of cognition in everyday function.
Senior Winner - Gianluca Sorrento
Toronto Western Hospital
Presentation: Combining virtual reality and a splitbelt treadmill to induce freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease
Gianluca U. Sorrento is a Scientific Associate in the Movement Disorders Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network in Toronto, Canada. He currently oversees the research centre’s gait laboratory. His research interests in gait and posture stem from his doctoral studies completed in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University where he investigated the role of haptic inputs in adaptation and post-adaptation effects in gait post-stroke. He has since expanded his basic and clinical research to include populations with neurodegenerative movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. He is interested in how these populations can improve locomotor and postural function with the use of virtual reality, sensory perturbations, and cognitive loading.
Junior Winner - Marina Petrevska
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Presentation: Using Interactive Computer Play in Clinical Practice in Pediatric Rehabilitation
Marina graduated from the University of Toronto in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and went on to complete her Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree at Queen’s University in 2019. Since then, she has been working at the Scarborough Health Network as a physiotherapist in the acute medicine and stroke rehabilitation units.
After working with children with disabilities for over ten years as a program coordinator, lead coach and volunteer for the Pickering Soccer Club All Abilities Program and board member for the Centre for Accessible Sport and Play, Marina began her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Virginia Wright and Dr. Elaine Biddiss. Through her doctoral work at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and in conjunction with the Bloorview Research Institute, Marina aims to develop a novel home-based therapy gaming system to improve lower limb function and engagement outcomes for children with cerebral palsy.
Best Product Demonstration Award
The ISVR Best Product Demonstration Award will be presented to the demo that best represents innovative and exciting clinical applications of virtual reality for assessment or intervention purposes. Recognition includes a cash prize, placement on the website and in an ISVR Newsletter/eblast, and a certificate. Award decision is determined by a panel of junior and senior ISVR members led by the Awards Co-Chairs.
National Institute of Mental Health
Presentation: OCD House – Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder
Iveta Fajnerova studied psychology and neurobiology, and obtained her PhD in neuroscience at the 3rd Medical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague. She is a head of the VR Research centre at the National Institute of Mental Health in Czech Republic. Her work focuses on the use of VR in research, diagnosis and therapy of psychiatric disorders, with emphasis on anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and cognitive impairments.