This competitive renewal application will allow continuation of the present training program in quantitative modeling in aging research, which began in 2002, in the Psychology Department at the University of Virginia. Funding is requested for 3 predoctoral trainees and 2 postdoctoral trainees per year. Thus, far, predoctoral trainees have typically been supported for 3 years and postdoctoral trainees for 1 or 2 years. Support for predoctoral trainees for up to 4 years is requested. There are two broad, long-term objectives of the training program. The first is to help raise the quality of research in the field of aging so that our understanding of age-related changes in physical and mental health, cognition and cognitive changes, life- satisfaction, and other key areas of functioning reaches the point that both preventive and remedial/compensatory programs that are effective can be designed and implemented. The second broad objective is to promote the continuation of a steady stream of methodological innovations that will contribute to further enhancing the scope and quality of aging research. Given these broad objectives, the more specific objective of the training program is to produce highly technically skilled behavioral scientists who are firmly committed to the field of adult development and aging and conduct their own rigorous, sophisticated research while also being able to counsel and advise less well-trained colleagues regarding the latest in powerful measurement, design, and modeling advances that will enhance the quality of their colleagues'research efforts as well. In the process, we select and train researchers with the interests and advanced skills to improve the existing methods and develop new ones, not just apply the current ones. Trainees who enable us to meet these objectives are somewhat rare but we have managed to produce several, including minorities and women, and place them in institutions where they can thrive professionally, as indicated in the progress report. The benefits to the study of aging and to science in general of producing such high level researchers are incalculable. The effects of having a corps of exceptional younger scientists working in the field of aging spill over positively into many areas. Improving the quality of science in the field of aging is a key leading indicator of improvement in physical and mental health, quality of life, and the general welfare of the elderly.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-9 (J1))
Program Officer
King, Jonathan W
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University of Virginia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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