Printer Friendly Email a Friend PDF RSS Feed

Dynamic Chiropractic – February 12, 2001, Vol. 19, Issue 04

National Institute of Chiropractic Research

Maximum Bang for the Buck

By Editorial Staff
The National Institute of Chiropractic Research (NICR), founded in Minnesota in 1987, was the brainchild of Arlan Fuhr,DC, a 1961 graduate of the Logan Basic College of Chiropractic. This nonprofit institute raises funds for fundamental scientific, clinical and historical research and scholarship in chiropractic. The NICR also has a modest extramural grant-making program.

Dr. Fuhr, president of the NICR since its establishment, is perhaps best known in the profession as president of Activator Methods, Inc., and co-inventor of the Activator adjusting instrument. He was the recipient of the earliest known federal grant for chiropractic scientific research: $50,000 from the National Institutes of Health, Small Business Innovative Research Grants Program in 1985.

These initial steps into the world of research and grant-writing produced several insights, including an awareness of the acute need for greater funding of research and scholarship in chiropractic. Dr. Fuhr realized his own need to better understand the research field. He enrolled in coursework in clinical research methodology offered to field practitioners by the Northwestern College of Chiropractic.

The NICR was initially conceived to bolster the financing of scientific studies in chiropractic, but over the years its mission has broadened considerably. It has granted more than $678,000 for research, prizes for scholarly works, and donations to organizations pursuing parallel goals. Every opportunity to partner with allied research agencies and funding sources has been explored; "matching grants" have been a popular means of expanding its reach beyond available resources. Projects have involved research and scholarship in clinical science; clinical research methodology; clinically relevant basic science; principles of chiropractic; studies of the chiropractic literature; the history of the chiropractic and alternative healing arts; and the promotion of archival resources.

The scholarly productivity of the NICR includes: 93 original papers (excluding letters to the editor) published in peer-reviewed and scholarly periodicals; 10 book chapters, four books and 101 papers presented at various professional, scientific and history conferences and to Congressional committees. (An e-mail attachment list of all NICR scholarly products is available from ).

The impact and breadth of NICR's contributions may be gauged by considering the journals in which NICR-supported projects have been published:

  1. American Journal of Chiropractic Medicine
  2. Chiropractic
  3. Chiropractic History
  4. Chiropractic Journal of Australia
  5. Chiropractic Technique
  6. D.C. Tracts
  7. European Journal of Chiropractic
  8. Journal of Biomechanics
  9. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities
  10. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics
  11. Journal of Spinal Disorders
  12. Journal of the American Geriatric Society
  13. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association
  14. Philosophical Constructs for the Chiropractic Profession (renamed Journal of Chiropractic Humanities)
  15. Psychophysiology
  16. Skeptical Inquirer
  17. Spine
  18. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic

Yet another indicator of the institute's influence upon the academic and professional communities within and beyond the chiropractic profession is provided by a list of sponsors of various conferences where NICR-supported papers have been presented:

  1. Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research
  2. Houston Biomedical Engineering Society
  3. Institute for Spine and Biomedical Research
  4. International Brain Research Organization
  5. International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
  6. International Society of Biomechanics
  7. Japanese Spine Research Society
  8. Japanese Chiropractic Society
  9. Life Chiropractic College West
  10. Los Angeles College of Chiropractic
  11. New York Chiropractic College
  12. North American Spine Society
  13. Orthopaedic Research Society
  14. Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research
  15. Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic
  16. Society for Psychophysiology Research
  17. Texas Chiropractic College
  18. U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration
  19. U.S. House of Representatives
  20. University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
  21. World Congress of Biomechanics
  22. World Federation of Chiropractic

The NICR is governed by a board of 10 directors, which includes individuals with diverse talents and training in clinical chiropractic; clinical research skills; basic science sophistication; expertise in health care policy studies; experience in finance and fundraising; and leadership in chiropractic historical scholarship. Board members' personal contacts with scientific and scholarly resources are regularly tapped to augment their ability to judge the merits of worthy projects.

The range of competencies within the NICR governing body enables it to generate "maximum bang for the buck" in its academic pursuits. The scientific and/or scholarly merits of external grant applications and internal funding proposals are reviewed by a four-person executive committee of the board of directors; final decisions to fund projects are the prerogative of the full board.

Current Officers and Members of the NICR Board of Directors:

  • Arlan Fuhr,DC - President*
  • Joseph Keating, Jr.,PhD - Vice President*
  • Terry Peterson,DC - Treasurer
  • Curtis Forslund,JD - Secretary Legal Counsel
  • Kenneth DeBoer,PhD*
  • Jack Donovan,DC
  • Monte Greenawalt,DC
  • Daniel Hansen,DC,DABCO*
  • William Harris, DC
  • Lois Ward,DC
* Members of the NICR executive committee

The one limiting factor in the NICR's ability to produce has been availability of funds. Almost all of the money raised by NICR has come from the chiropractic profession: its practitioners, suppliers and a few patients. While recognizing its need to expand the scope of fund-raising activities, the NICR needs your support. For further information, contact:

National Institute of Chiropractic Research
3714 E. Indian School Road
Phoenix AZ 85018

To report inappropriate ads, click here.