RAND proposes to continue its Center for the Study of Aging, an NIA-funded research and development (P30) center for another five years, beginning in 2009. The Center includes cores for administrative and research support (A), program development (B), external innovative network development (C), and external research resources support and dissemination (D). The Center supports research on the relationships between the economic status and well-being of persons in and approaching old age, with an emphasis on international comparisons. This research is carried out by two P01 program projects and some 30 separately fimded individual projects. The P30 Center greatly increases the coordination, integration, productivity, and impact of these studies in numerous ways. For example, it provides for the unified development of data and computing services needed by multiple projects. It has benefited RAND researchers and many others outside RAND by assembling and disseminating a user-friendly version of a major survey of older Americans, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). That effort continues as new waves of the HRS become available. The Center also facilitates communication and cooperation across research projects through seminar series and by an annual workshop in aging that promotes interactions among senior researchers and between them and junior scholars. It supports the development of research ideas with high potential but some risk into proposals for individually funded projects. Importantly, the Center supports collaboration with researchers overseas, and in particular assists with efforts by European countries and in the developing world to conduct large surveys of their older populations that are comparable with the HRS. The data from such surveys can permit more confident analyses of the effects of U.S. institutional supports for the elderly. Finally, the Center aims to carry on its research communication function by adapting research findings into briefs accessible to the broad policy community. The Center will continue taking advantage of the RAND institutional environment--including the many resources related to computing, analysis, and dissemination, as well as a new RAND-supported longitudinal Internet panel. The coherence of the Center's activities and of the research it supports is enhanced through two means: centralizing the direction of all cores and the Center itself in one individual and establishing an oversight committee composed of the PI and distinguished scholars from inside and outside RAND.
RAND's Center for the Study of Aging promotes the efficiency and productivity of research on aging, the development of research projects and of junior researchers, and the communication of research findings. These functions, all of which are essential if research is to benefit the public hecilth, are achieved through making data easier to use by researchers, ensuring the comparability of different nations'surveys on the health and well-being of their elderly populations, conducting pilot projects to test new lines of research, and providing venues for interactions among researchers across the United States and the world.
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