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MIRA's response to COVID-19: A message from the Scientific Director

It’s been a challenging ​few weeks as we adjust to our new reality on campus, throughout Ontario, Canada and the world. I know that many of you are feeling anxious, so I’d like to take this time to remind you that as researchers, managing the “unknown” is precisely what we excel at. We are problem solvers who are used to developing innovative solutions to wicked problems, and we will get through this together.

We would also like to share with you that while MIRA’s office at the McMaster Innovation Park is officially closed, MIRA is still operational and staff are working remotely. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time with questions or concerns as they relate to our operations, research support, events and funding.

Please take a moment to review the following changes to our funding cycle and events. ​

Parminder Raina
Scientific Director
McMaster Institute for Research on Aging


Update from the VPR

McMaster University has been closely monitoring information coming from government and public health agencies and their advice on intensifying need to strengthen measures to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect the health and lives of Canadians. As a result, the University now requires that all McMaster research that requires people to be in laboratories or in any group setting be closed down by Tuesday March 24 at 5 p.m.

What does this mean for you as a MIRA researcher? Can you continue your research?

If your research can be conducted by individual researchers remotely, such as online interviews, and follows all social distancing guidelines, then it can continue. If you have questions about the continuation of your research, please see McMaster’s directives here or reach out to us directly.

MIRA funding

Given the above directives issued by McMaster’s Vice President, Research, MIRA will be extending all deadlines for its 2020 funding opportunities. Once new deadlines have been determined, they will be announced via email and posted on MIRA’s funding page. Researchers and trainees who are interested in MIRA’s 2020 funding opportunities ​are encouraged to continue to work on developing research proposals and application materials and to apply when the funding opportunities are relaunched. Currently funded MIRA and Labarge research projects will be granted a six-month, no cost extension, as needed. Researchers needing longer extensions should reach out to


MIRA funding information webinar
Date: March 27 **postponed until further notice**
Time: 9 – 10 a.m.

MIRA’s 2020 funding cycle will include its Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships, Master’s and PhD Scholarships, MIRA Postdoctoral Fellowships, Labarge Catalyst Grants, and partnered funding with AGE-WELL. MIRA will provide information outlining MIRA’s 2020 funding opportunities, and a representative from AGE-WELL present information and answer questions about AGE-WELL’s funding streams.


Introducing Gésine Alders, MIRA’s newest research coordinator

It is our pleasure to announce the appointment of Gésine Alders to the role of Research Coordinator at MIRA. Gésine will be taking over the role Audrey Patocs held while Audrey is on maternity leave starting in April. Gésine has a background in experimental neuropsychology and neuroimaging, and most recently worked as a trainee in the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND), where she used magnetic resonance imaging to examine functional and structural neuroplasticity in major depressive disorder. Her publications examine neuroplasticity and cognitive changes in major depressive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, atypical Parkinsonian disorders, and ventriculomegaly, and she has over 10 years of experience executing research in the private sector, hospital environment and in academic settings. Gésine holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Toronto, an MSc in Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD in Neuroscience from McMaster University. We are excited to have her on the team. Please feel free to reach out to Gésine directly at

Optimal Aging Portal ​puts focus ​on strategies for staying active and engaged during pandemic

The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (, a unique online health resource created by McMaster University to support the healthy aging of Canada’s older adult population, is highlighting ways to stay active and engaged while practicing physical distancing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.​ Read the full story

McMaster COVID-19 updates

For official updates on COVID-19 and the primary resource for students, faculty and staff at McMaster University, please visit McMaster’s COVID-19 website.


News, Events and Updates

Despite changes to the way we work, we’d like to continue sharing your work and its impact, so please send your news, events and updates to us at

Email MIRA at:       Follow us on Twitter : @MIRAMcMaster
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