Summer Program in Aging ( 2021) – Longitudinal Studies on Aging: Understand Health Span & Longevity

Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: Inquire with your unit

Memorial Deadline: Monday 22nd, February 2021

External Deadline: Thursday 25th, February 2021


The Summer Program in Aging (SPA) is the Institute of Aging’s (IA) flagship training program. It aims to provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows involved in aging research with a program of advanced training that crosses disciplines, sectors, institutions, and geography. The program will bring together approximately 40 research trainees and numerous academic mentors to participate in interactive learning sessions. The focus of SPA 2021 is on longitudinal studies in aging, and will be led by Dr. Parminder Raina, Scientific Director for the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA).

Longitudinal population-based studies of aging have established scientific value for evaluating extrinsic and intrinsic exposures in relation to healthy aging, psychosocial, and disease outcomes. The prospective cohort design is unique in its ability to measure the occurrence of exposure before the onset of the outcome, and to evaluate numerous exposures and outcomes in a single study. Longitudinal cohorts like the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) are instrumental in spurring mechanistic and translational research activities. The epidemiologic transition over the last century has resulted in a shift in disease burden from infectious diseases towards morbidity and mortality due to chronic diseases. This, coupled with low infant mortality rates, low fertility rates, and increasing life expectancies, has resulted in health and social care debates across the developed world that require quality population-based longitudinal data to not only address the needs of the current aged population but to provide ongoing insight into the needs and requirements of future aging cohorts.

Participants will have an opportunity to:

  1. Understand methodologies used in longitudinal studies of health and aging;
  2. Explore analytical approaches to the analysis of longitudinal data;
  3. Frame longitudinal research questions to address interdisciplinary research on aging and health;
  4. Increase awareness of potential research opportunities and the availability of data for trainees to undertake research using longitudinal studies on aging;
  5. Explore opportunities for data harmonization and pooling across national and international longitudinal studies and understand advantages and disadvantages of the data harmonization of longitudinal studies;
  6. Virtually interact with leading researchers and academic mentors in the field of longitudinal research from across the country and abroad;
  7. Develop skills in knowledge translation of longitudinal studies for various audiences (general public, media, health professionals, policymakers, decision-makers and industry);
  8. Develop skills in grant writing and peer review;
  9. Learn how to effectively communicate research findings to the public through traditional and social media;
  10. Gain an understanding of the studies and initiatives linked to the Institute of Aging’s major initiatives: the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) – the Canadian Component of the CIHR Dementia Research Strategy;
  11. Understand ethical and social issues surrounding longitudinal studies;
  12. Build a professional interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in or working in the area of longitudinal research on aging;
  13. Promote skills training and career building relevant to cross-disciplinary, longitudinal research.

The 2021 Summer Program in Aging will be held virtually from May 2-May 14 2021. The formal program is expected to take place over six 5-hour sessions, with additional time allotted for social activities with other SPA 2021 participants. Attendance is required for every session for all participants. Evening and/or early morning attendance will be required for some sessions. A timetable will be provided prior to the training program.

Over the course of SPA 2021, trainees will have the opportunity to engage in learning sessions, experiences, and activities built around the core thematic area of longitudinal studies on aging. As trainees, you will explore fundamental topics such as research and professional skill building, grant writing, communications, and knowledge translation. To further the interdisciplinary experience, trainees will have access to networking and mentoring opportunities that will be offered throughout the week, including access to core mentors who will be available throughout the program.

NOTE: All trainees interested in attending SPA 2021 MUST apply through this Funding Opportunity. Selection to the program will take place through this competition.

Contact information:

CIHR Contact Centre
Telephone: 613-954-1968
Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

Funding Sources

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: February 15, 2021