The Institute on Aging (IoA) at the University of Florida (UF) seeks funding to support its predoctoral research-training program in aging of physical, cognitive and mental health in social contexts. With the co-location and cooperation between UF's health sciences and liberal arts campuses, as evinced by the strong levels of collaboration documented in this proposal, located close to urban and rural environments, UF is uniquely positioned to offer training in the psychosocial elements of health and disease (e.g., sensorimotor antecedents of cognitive decline in aging), in a socially diverse State. The training program is led by a Training Director with over seven years of experience with a particular model that includes multidisciplinary research training coupled with strong disciplinary education. UF has recently reinvigorated its investment in aging research, although its institutional commitment to aging (as evidenced by the establishment of its first Center on aging) is over 50 years old. In the past two years alone, 14 new aging faculty (to date) have been hired at UF. At present, over 40 faculty have identified themselves as """"""""Core Training Faculty"""""""" in the IoA, representing the disciplines of psychology, sociology, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, geography, audiology, linguistics, interior design, and others. This group is committed to mentoring students in a program that includes simultaneous admission to a disciplinary department (for the Ph.D.) and to the IoA Predoctoral Research Training program. The core components of the IoA training program include: (1) assignment of each student of multi-disciplinary mentoring team, literally on their first day of arrival, including a primary mentor form the performance model, in which students begin each academic year with their mentoring team to set career plan-relevant quantifiable goals in the domains of research, education, and service. Mentoring team meetings throughout the year to assess and support goal progress; (3) a weekly campus-wide colloquium series featuring atop national speakers, local researchers in aging, and professional development sessions; and (4) required supplemental coursework in Aging and Statistics/Methodology. In addition, our mentoring team approach allows us to actively engage energetic newer faculty in primary mentoting roles, while supplementing and complementing them with seasoned, productive senior investigators. Our students are therefore poised not only for research in traditional departments, but also in clinical research facilities, and multidisciplinary gerontology environments. ? ?

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-5 (J1))
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Nielsen, Lisbeth
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University of Florida
Other Health Professions
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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