The proposed training program in "Aging Health and Health Services Research" seeks to train future investigators in the integration of Epidemiological and Biostatistics methods into Health Services Research with applications in aging. Over the last decade major advances in the knowledge base of gerontology have been occurring thanks to an explosion of genetic, clinical, epidemiological and health services data that have become available to investigators, making it possible to address research questions designed to increase our understanding of how people age, adjust to aging and the role that social factors and the availability of health services play in that process. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has been at the forefront of making these kinds of data available to investigators, whenever possible, linking multiple types of data together. Researchers of the future must know how to maximize the use of these data sources. Thus, in the future there will be a premium placed on young investigators cognizant of methodological advances ranging from new strategies for collecting, merging and managing data sets;new and refined statistics and analytic strategies;and major new tools for integrating social, health and biological data. The proposed renewal of our training program addresses the major goals of the NIA Strategic Plan for research, by educating well-trained researchers, with multi-disciplinary experience and a broad understanding of the biological, social, health, service and policy aspects of aging. These researchers will be highly skilled in traditional and emerging methodologies for analyzing the complex, nested data that characterize the new era of epidemiology. Building upon a rich research and training environment with over two decades of experience training investigators focused on understanding how the aged use and are affected by health services, this competing renewal application will: 1) recruit high quality doctoral students into aging research;2) provide training in substantive topics relevant to health services research in aging;3) provide education in epidemiological and statistical methods with applications to aging research;4) provide research experiences in ongoing health services research projects related to aging and chronic diseases;and 5) prepare students for research careers as independent scientists and leaders.
Building upon a rich, interdisciplinary research environment with numerous NIA funded investigators, this training grant proposal seeks to support the training of pre-doctoral trainees in Epidemiology, Health Services Research and Biostatistics with a focus on Aging and Health Services in order to meet the growing demand for investigators conducting research on the biological, psychological and social forces that shape the manner in which older Americans utilize health services and how those services affect their health and well-being.
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