The IGERT in Aging Sciences Program provides interdisciplinary graduate education through formal coursework, research requirements, and experiential learning that is aligned with the trainee’s career goals.
Formal Coursework and the Aging Sciences Minor
IGERT trainees work towards a minor in Aging Sciences, which integrates knowledge from the diet and genetics, musculoskeletal, psychosocial, and gerontechnology research cores in CHAR. The Aging Sciences minor requires 15 credits from the following courses.
- HDFS 565 – Behavioral & Social Sciences of Aging (3 credits) Fall 2013
- BB 650 – Molecular Mechanisms of Aging (3 credits) Fall 2014
- IST 520 – Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)
- HDFS 607 – Seminar/Research & Professional Topics in Aging (1 credit) Fall, Winter, Spring
4 or more credits(1-2 courses) may be selected from the following:
Exercise & Sport Science
Human Development & Family Sciences
Research in Supplementary Core
In addition to conducting research in their primary core (often associated with their doctoral program), trainees will work with their primary advisors to choose a mentor from one of the CHAR research cores as their supplementary cores and participate as a research apprentice. IGERT trainees are required to spend a significant amount of time (typically 1-3 credits per term for an academic year) in a research group that is led by the supplementary mentor. These connections will be integrated into the trainees’ dissertations, inform their future careers, and will also serve to strengthen interdisciplinary ties among faculty.
Professional Training- The Aging Traineeship Forum [e.g., XXX 607]
The Aging Traineeship Forum is a weekly (1 credit) seminar for discussions of current research, methodological issues, and policy issues in the field. It also provide opportunities for leadership training and professional skills. The Aging Traineeship Forum will be led by a different CHAR core each term. Depending on the instructors’ academic units, the course number will vary (e.g. HDFS 607, CS 607, or EXSS 607). This forum will provide a consistent mechanism for the PI and Co-PIs to communicate with trainees. Two central activities of this forum are:
- Colloquium Series – Formal colloquia provide trainees opportunities to learn about IGERT faculty research and to interact and network with visiting scholars.
- Professional Training – Trainees learn a variety of professional skills effective presention of their research ideas and communication with scientists across disciplines, as well as to the general public,and legislative bodies; teaching skills; grant writing skills; issues in early stage careers etc.
LIFE outside OSU– Internship/Externship
At some point in the doctoral program IGERT trainees are expected to participate in an internship/externship related to aging sciences outside of Oregon State University in a research, agency, or business setting for which they could earn internship credits toward their minor. Career development opportunities will include internship/practicum opportunities with:
- researchers at other universities in the U.S. or abroad (e.g., University of Victoria; Salamanca U.)
- state and local agencies (e.g., AARP; Oregon Division of Health and Human Services)
- businesses that design aging products and services (e.g., Intel)
Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers
Each year, the summer LIFE scholar program accepts 5-6 undergraduates who are interested in aging research. IGERT trainees will have the opportunity to build leadership and supervisory skills by working with these undergraduates in a research team.
IGERT trainees will learn teaching skills and will deliver a minimum of four consecutive lectures in a formal class during their degree program. Professors will work with the trainees in planning the lectures and provide feedback as a component of their teaching portfolios.