Research Training in Aging T32

Clinical Trial

Research Training in Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Cognition in Aging, MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Training Directors

Michael MarsiskeGlenn E. SmithAdam J. Woods

Program Overview

This is a predoctoral training grant funded by the National Institute on Aging. It supports advanced graduate students pursuing a PhD who are seeking research training in non-pharmacological cognitive interventions in aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Students are typically admitted after the completion of a Masters degree, or in their second year of doctoral study.

Our focus on research training in cognitive interventions encompasses three broad themes:

  • behavioral interventions (e.g., cognitive training, exercise, mindfulness);
  • multi-component compensatory interventions; and
  • neuromodulation/stimulation interventions for older adults with and without MCI- and AD-related cognitive impairment

Senior mentors and mentors-in-training have successfully trained our scholars for postdoctoral fellowships and subsequent research placements in settings including traditional disciplinary departments, clinical research environments, and multidisciplinary programs.

Disciplines represented in this in this program have included Applied Physiology & Kinesiology; Clinical and Health Psychology; Epidemiology; Geriatric Medicine;  Neuroscience; Nursing; Occupational Therapy; Psychology; Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.

Core program components include:

  • Assignment of each student to a regularly convened multi-disciplinary mentoring team, comprised of a primary disciplinary mentor and other mentors (from inside and outside the student’s discipline)
  • Development of an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • Enrollment in two of the following three required classes (Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience: Methods & Theory; Neuropsychology of Aging, Interventions for Age-related Cognitive Impairment)
  • Enrollment in GMS 7877, Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Trainees will have been expected to have taken 12 credits (4 classes) in statistics and methodology over the course of their graduate careers, but this can be fulfilled via courses already taken as a part of their program/area of concentration.
  • Attendance monthly trainee meetings with the Training Directors, and supplemental talks as announced
  • Submission at least one manuscript as first author each year, and at least one manuscript as a collaborator
  • Development of a “team science” project with other members of the trainee cohort
  • Presentation of your research at one or more annual national conferences
  • Attendance at the annual T32 review meeting with mentors, and internal/external advisors

Compensation and support

  • NIH predoctoral stipend
  • Tuition
  • Health benefits
  • $500 travel award
  • up to $1,000 in annual research expenses