This renewal application seeks partial support from NIA to offer a research training program for 15 social work faculty. The requested support will be supplemented by a $70,000 commitment that has been approved by the Hartford Foundation through a liaison with the Gerontological Society of America. The proposed program is an updated and enhanced version of a highly successful research training program dedicated to expanding the pool of social work faculty engaged in aging research. This, in turn, will reinvigorate participants'teaching;prepare them to update aging-related content in the curriculum, with special emphasis on cultural diversity and methodological issues;and enhance their ability to motivate new generations of social work students to pursue the study of aging.
Specific aims i nclude: (1) To increase social work faculty's knowledge, skills, and motivation for pursuing an active program of aging research;(2) To provide participants an opportunity to interact intensively with senior investigators and to promote the development of networking relationships among current and prior participants;and (3) To increase participants'awareness of grant support available from NIH and how to develop and submit strong applications. The success of this training model is documented by the fact that more than 56 percent of those who participated in the program between 2004 and 2009 have already secured research funding and more than 70 percent have obtained institutional funds for aging research. All of the proposed activities will involve continuing strong collaboration with the Gerontological Society of America, John A. Hartford Foundation, Society for Social Work and Research, Council for Social Work Education, The Hartford Geriatric Enrichment Program, and the National Association of Social Workers. Institute topics and instructors include: Research Design, Measurement, and Analysis (Jan Greenberg), Evaluation of Interventions (Susan Hughes), Caregiving and Disabilities (Marsha Seltzer), Ethnicity and Aging (Keith Whitfield), Preparing Grant Applications (Chandra Mehrotra), and NIA Support Available for Aging Research (NIA staff). Given the program's success in achieving 40 percent minority participation to date, recruitment efforts will continue t focus on attracting participants from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and those with disabilities. Quantitative and qualitative program evaluation will be conducted to monitor implementation of proposed activities and to assess their effectiveness in achieving the intended outcomes. Program faculty and participants will disseminate NIA-supported activities via conference presentations, publications, and websites. In the spirit of translational research, the focus will be on sharing research findings and their implications with health and social service professionals who work with older adults and their families. This, in turn, will enhance the health status of older adults, especially those from underserved populations.

Public Health Relevance

The social work profession has developed significant clinical expertise in working with and across systems of care and services on a variety of levels in the context of interdisciplinary teams and in direct practice with diverse and/or multi-problem populations. The proposed research training program will stimulate social work faculty and their students to undertake empirical research aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of these interventions and optimizing health outcomes. In addition, the participants will conduct widespread dissemination of their research findings, thereby making a unique and important contribution to improved health. The Conference Plan, including a full description of the proposed training program, is uploaded in Research Strategy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Conference (R13)
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National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group (NIA)
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Haaga, John G
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College of St Scholastica
Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
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Mehrotra, Chandra M; Townsend, Aloen; Berkman, Barbara (2014) A National Training Program in Aging Research for Social Work Faculty. Educ Gerontol 40:242-247