Project Details


PROJECT SUMMARY Scientists seeking to understand and promote healthy aging must be able to integrate research methods and findings that span from basic biological mechanisms to complex social phenomena. Our pre- and postdoctoral training program, “Psychosocial Determinants and Biological Pathways to Healthy Aging” (Pathways) facilitates this integrative approach. The overall goal of Pathways is to launch the careers of future leaders in aging research, within and beyond academia, who possess the knowledge and skills to advance aging science. We seek to accomplish this goal through two types of training activities. First, the Pathways program provides individuals with the foundational training needed to integrate a broad range of psychosocial and biological concepts, and to use advanced data acquisition and analysis methods in their own research. This is achieved through our dual preceptor model, individual development plans, coursework, and participation in a colloquium with peers and preceptors. Second, we provide mentorship in professional development issues that are key to launching and maintaining a successful research program. This mentorship takes place through an annual grant-writing “boot camp,” colloquia featuring both preceptors and outside speakers, and by providing online resources (e.g., examples of funded proposals). The success of this new program, which has supported 15 predoctoral and 8 postdoctoral trainees to date, is reflected in the high number of trainee publications, cross-disciplinary collaboration among trainees, funded grant applications, and placement in tenure-track faculty positions. The Pathways program is administered through Penn State’s Center for Healthy Aging which has a 50-year history of research excellence and of training individuals who have transformed aging science and developmental methods. Our faculty preceptors are well-funded with strong records of interdisciplinary research training, from the Departments of Human Development and Family Studies, Kinesiology, Biobehavioral Health, and Psychology. We are requesting continued support for 2 pre-doctoral trainees and 2 post-doctoral trainees per year in the next cycle of the program, each of whom will be enrolled in the program for 2 years. In addition, Penn State University has committed ~ $2.1 million to the Pathways program which includes support for 5 additional predoctoral students, 3 additional postdoctoral trainees, and funds for program administration.
Effective start/end date5/1/164/30/24


  • National Institute on Aging: $5,460.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $213,165.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $445,511.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $246,479.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $200,761.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $456,025.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $469,262.00


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