Academic Courses and Learning Opportunities
There is one course related to aging at McMaster that is open to students from any program at the graduate level.
This course will enable interdisciplinary student groups to engage in design thinking as a methodology to assess health area problems/challenges (including on topics related to aging and older adults), collect meaningful data, iterate alternative design options, and build a prototype solution for validation with user groups. Students will learn conceptual approaches to ‘design thinking’ and develop capabilities with spotting, supporting and scaling up new innovative ideas explored using a user-centered empathy focus.
There are also a number of courses related to aging available to students enrolled in the Health, Aging and Society graduate program.
A wide array of graduate courses and research opportunities in other related fields in the each of the six Faculties at McMaster are available to students interested in aging research McMaster. Please consult MIRA’s researchers list for a list of faculty members interested in these areas. The following list highlights offerings across the disciplines, but is not exhaustive. Graduate programs also often allow students to pursue specific areas of interest, such as aging, within their coursework on broader themes, so long as faculty is available to supervise such projects. Please consult with graduate program staff in programs you are interested in regarding course offerings and the availability of supervisors, as these may vary each year.
Graduate students can participate in the MIRA Trainee network. This is for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows engaged in aging research. This is a great chance to network with other students, learn about funding opportunities and participate in professional development. For more information, please visit their blog or contact Audrey Patocs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate students with a community engagement project idea related to aging may consider applying for a SPICES (Student Proposals for Intellectual Community and Engaged Scholarship) grant.
Graduate students can also participate in a number of learning opportunities outside of McMaster that will allow them to develop skills related to aging research:
- AgeWell, Canada's technology and aging network, offers an EPIC (Early Professionals, Inspired Careers) program. This involves experiential and career-building opportunities, culminating in an "Innovators of Tomorrow" certificate. AgeWell also offers seminars and summer training institutes, with details available on their website. McMaster students without funding from AGE-WELL can apply for Affiliate membership status and participate in the program.
Volunteer and Community Engagement Opportunities:
McMaster and the broader Hamilton community offer a number of volunteer and community engagement opportunities for students who are interested in working with older adults outside of their academic work.
- McMaster PACE (Physical Activity Centre of Excellence) offers community exercise and wellness programs for individuals over 55, with specialised programs for individuals with heart disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or who are cancer survivors. They seek volunteers during the academic year.
- Hamilton Council on Aging seeks volunteers for committees, social events and more.
- Health TAPESTRY seeks volunteers to visit older adults clients in their homes, acting as a connector to help connect clients to the health care system and the community.
If none of these opportunities match your interests, The McMaster Student Success Centre has a listing of partner organizations and information about how to be a great volunteer, and Volunteer Hamilton showcases opportunities throughout the city.
Want to Learn More?:
There are a number of resources available through McMaster for graduate students who may be interested in learning more about aging and working with older adults, without enrolling in a full class. Here are some of the options available:
- The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging brings together researchers from all Faculties of McMaster to collaborate on finding answers to some of the questions in the field of aging and create useable, practical, older adults-centred solutions. The Institute holds events throughout the year that provide the interested public with opportunities to learn about how cutting edge research can contribute to helping older adults live healthier lives. You can stay up-to-date on news and events on their website.
- The Gilbrea Centre offers seminars and workshops on improving the lives of older adults. A full listing can be found on their website.
- Take a free course, “Working with Older Adults,” on the MacHealth portal.
- Read about evidence-based answers to questions commonly asked by older adults on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal