Institute on Aging and Social Work

Elderly profiles  The Ninth Annual Institute

July 16-23, 2012

Deadline for Applications - March 28, 2012 

 Support for this Institute is provided by the National Institute on Aging, the Hartford Foundation, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences, OD, NIH 


 The program provides advanced training in aging research to Social Work Faculty. Participants develop knowledge and skills in research methodology and have the opportunity for extended contact with distinguished visiting professors and National Institute on Aging (NIA) staff. In addition, they work with colleagues from other institutions to develop a research proposal and submit it to NIA/NIH and other agencies. Participants are challenged to emphasize methodological issues in their own courses and to provide research experience to their students.  

Program design includes an initial 8-day institute in Summer I, proposal development and consultation during the intervening year, a mid-year meeting in February, and a follow-up institute in Summer II. 

The Initial Institute will be held July 16-23, 2012 in Duluth, Minnesota, overlooking beautiful Lake Superior. It will provide advanced training in aging research to 15 social work faculty members. 

Past participants have given outstanding ratings to the Institute. They have indicated that the Institute gave them an opportunity to get to know distinguished professionals and NIA staff, allowed them to interact intensively with colleagues from other schools, and facilitated learning from each other. In addition, participation in the training program improved their knowledge and skills related to research methodology, increased their awareness of grant support available at NIA, and improved their knowledge of how to prepare a grant application.  

A follow-up evaluation conducted in June 2010 indicates that: 

a) more than 60 percent of the participants have received funds exceeding a total of eight million dollars to conduct aging research. 
b) more than 95 percent have incorporated recent advances in their courses;
c) 82 percent have engaged students in conducting aging research;
d) 88 percent have used their skills and knowledge from the training program in writing grant applications; and
e) more than 70 percent have given presentations at national and regional conferences; 



Grant support provides food, lodging, and travel support for all applicants selected to participate in the institute.

Program Content 

  • Research Design, Measurement, and Analysis 
  • Using Mixed Methods in Aging Research 
  • Designing and Evaluating Interventions 
  • Caregiving and Disabilities 
  • Ethnicity and Aging 
  • Grant Support Available at NIA 
  • Preparing Grant Applications 

Site for the Program 

The program is held on the campus of The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. St. Scholastica has substantial experience with similar programs having offered a series of summer institutes on aging since 1989, first with support from the National Science Foundation and now with support from the National Institute on Aging.


Campus of The College of St. Scholastica


The beautiful, 180-acre wooded campus shared with the Monastery and the College of St. Scholastica is also home to the Benedictine Health Center and Westwood Apartments. Since being founded by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in 1980, the Center provides Long Term Care, Adult Day Services, Rehabilitation and Early Childhood/Preschool programs to meet the needs of area families. Westwood was added in 2000, and it extends the Benedictine Sister's ministry of care into retirement housing. 

The College offers numerous conferences and institutes each summer; Excellent classroom facilities, audiovisual equipment, and computer laboratories have been reserved for the institute. The computer laboratories provide convenient networked access to all major research software that participants would need. Internet access is available for use by students and visiting professors.

Benedictine Health Center


Duluth Area

Duluth's Lakewalk

 Mid-America's gateway to the sea, Duluth's harbor hosts ships from dozens of nations each year. Duluthians enjoy the beauty and sport of four seasons. In close proximity to the College are beaches, biking and jogging trails, ski resorts, cross-country ski trails, boating and fishing sites and rinks for skating, curling and hockey. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is close enough for week-end visits. Duluth offers a wide variety of cultural activities as well. Each year the city's auditorium hosts a long list of popular entertainers. The Minnesota Ballet, Duluth Playhouse and Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra provide exciting year-round seasons. Duluth's many historical attractions include Glensheen, a 39-room neo-Jacobean style mansion built on the Lake Superior shore, the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center, and the Marine Museum at Canal Park.

Duluth's low crime rate, high quality of life and natural beauty frequently earn it high rankings in "best places to live."