U-M HPSSC, USOPC, and U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness Project

This novel project consisting of an Independent Study and Hands-on Experiential Practice is
brought to you in partnership between the U-M Human Performance & Sport Science Center
(HPSSC), the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and U-M Adaptive
Sports & Fitness.

Wheelchair basketball

The Project Mission

To provide a transformative internship experience that equips emerging talent with the skills, knowledge, and networks needed to thrive in their career. Through meaningful collaborations and hands-on opportunities, we aim to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Project Overview

We will use Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) to study the movement patterns of athletes in wheelchair sports. IMUs are low-profile sensors that measure accelerations and rotational movements in space, and they can be used to independently measure speeds and distances of objects without the need for cameras or other positional measurements.

The student’s mentors will guide a literature review and connection to supportive resources, to help them foster an understanding of the sensors and their function, and to describe specific implementation and processing strategies for wheelchair sports in the independent study component of this project.  They will also support the student in familiarizing themselves with the technology, that includes recording activities, processing the sensor data, and implementing the device on a wheelchair set-up.  The student will be supported in the analysis of the collected sensor data.

The student would ideally have experience with writing code (i.e., MATLAB, Python, and/or R) and an interest in sports measurement technology.

Project Mentorship

  • Dr. Ken Kozloff, professor, co-director of HPSSC
  • Dr. Geoff Burns, adjunct assistant professor, and USOPC Sport Physiologist
  • Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, assistant professor, Michigan Medicine and director of Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services.

Fellowship terms

HPSSC will provide an award in the amount of $2100 for the hands-on experiential practice part of the project with Adaptive Sports & Fitness wheelchair basketball and their professional staff.  This award will be dispersed at two times during F’24 (i.e., week 2 of the term and the last week of the term upon successful completion of the independent study and hands-on work).  For some students, this award may reduce the original amount of your need-based financial aid.

These items will be further outlined and stipulated per the independent study and hands-on component contract with HPSSC.

Criteria to qualify 

  • Kinesiology masters student – preferably Movement Science
  • GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Interest in low-profile sensors
  • Interest in adaptive and para sport
  • Maintain student confidentiality; read and understand Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Able to enroll for fall 2024 independent study
  • Should have experience writing code (e.g. MATLAB, Python, etc.)



Our vision is to nurture the next generation of talent, fostering innovation, diversity, and collaboration through building a robust talent pipeline. We aspire to create an inclusive and supportive environment that encourages personal growth, professional development, and a lifelong commitment to learning.


Mid-March  to Early April

Submit application materials to HPSSC We’ll begin to review applications starting Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Early April

HPSSC and USOPC will review applications, conduct interviews and select a candidate

September 2024

Begin the independent study and hands-on work as described.

Paralympic athlete holding the American flag

Apply Today!

Following acceptance by an application process, interns will participate in a site visit to the USOPC  Olympic and Paralympic Training Center (CSOPTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado to meet with onsite project leads and further discuss the research goals in May or June 2024.

Interns will enroll in a 3-unit independent study course for fall 2024 to conduct research as specified in the project description in adaptive sports based upon USOPC information from their U-M and USOPC Parasport faculty leads/research mentors. 

*All participants will need to submit a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcript as one pdf to be considered per the application instructions.