This application requests support for a training program in the economics, social demography, and biodemography of aging at the California Center for Population Research at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA). Funding is requested for 6 predoctoral trainees. The program will support trainees seeking to undertake interdisciplinary training across departments and to learn the tools and approaches of different disciplines. Although we expect the trainees to be drawn largely from Economics, Sociology, and Community Health Sciences, the program will be open to trainees from other fields as well. By supporting an infrastructure of seminars, workshops, an interdisciplinary team-taught course, and a common base of technical and substantive knowledge, the program will have a broader impact by helping to support a larger community of students and scholars interested in aging research issues. The specific training required of predoctoral students will include a team-taught interdisciplinary course on the economics, social demography, and biodemography of aging, with faculty drawn from Community Health Services, Economics, Geriatrics, and Sociology. The training will also consist of participation in an aging seminar, with both national and local speakers. Among the local speakers, faculty from the School of Medicine will discuss some of the latest developments in medical research. Finally, the training will also include a population training seminar, demographic training, a class on geriatrics or medicine, a research apprenticeship, participation in department colloquia and workshops, and attendance at least one professional meeting per year.
Population aging and the fiscal crisis faced by Social Security that have made research on the biological, economic, and social determinants of aging key to understanding a wide variety of policy issues in aging, including the role of social relationships and the family, determinants of retirement decisions, health disparities, supportive services and caregiving for the elderly, and determinants of length of life. The proposed training program will prepare researchers with the skills they need to contribute to this effort.
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