Project AgeLink proposes to build intra- and extra-College collaborations that will increase the likelihood that under-represented minority students will become interested and active in research in aging, and thereby increase the number of students who will apply for and gain acceptance to graduate degree programs. This will be accomplished by providing activities that are above and beyond usual undergraduate training experiences, building the existing strong infrastructure in working with minority students and expanding gerontological curricula, and establishing aging research connections to institutions with established on-going aging research. Towards this end, AgeLink will provide expanded and enriched activities for participants with the intention of developing an effective collaborative network to increase the number of qualiatied and successful minority investigators in aging researchers. Objectives include (1) identifying eligible minority students to participate in the program, (2) increasing the likelihood of a successful senior year by building a network promoting aging research, (3) initiating students into the research community, and (4) increasing the likelihood of a successful graduate school experience. To accomplish these goals, AgeLink will implement and evaluate a customized academic support program of advisement, provide a connection between students and programs supporting minority researchers in aging, design and implement mentoring arrangements between students and faculty, graduates, and investigators engaged in aging research, provide instruction about aging research, provide opportunities for hands-on research experiences in laboratories of mentor faculty researchers, implement and evaluate a customized academic support program of advisement for participants who are graduate school bound which focuses on the application process, GRE training, writing skills, and financial aid, identifying and linking students directly to graduate school opportunities, and strengthening students' ability to connect with the aging network at the community, state, and federal level. The design of the program will involve a plan of action that will include activities such as establishing the requirements of five courses with aging research didactic or practical components, assigning a faculty mentor from each campus site to closely supervise each student, assigning a research mentor from Columbia University, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center clinics, the Resource Center for Minority Aging Research, Mercy College, and the Yonkers Office on Aging, writing workshops to assist with the graduate school application process, offering research linkages to NIH and the Foundation for Long Term Care, offering a GRE course and tutoring in practice examinations, establishing an AgeLink Website, Newsletter, and a college-wide Research Colloquium, and computer workshops that will focus on SPSS, and the use of computers in research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-DAG-9 (A9))
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Mercy College
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Dobbs Ferry
United States
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