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In late 2017, MIRA and the LCMA launched a process to support interdisciplinary teams who are working towards understanding, development and evaluation of critical issues in aging and mobility through two major research projects. The two broad fields identified as central themes were Exercise, Nutrition and Mobility in Aging and Technology, Environment and Mobility in Aging. The purpose of each of these working groups is to develop world-class research programs with a direct impact on the lives of older adults and their caregivers, while securing McMaster’s reputation as a global leader in aging research. Since this research is meant to involve and benefit the end user, the principles of design thinking have been embedded in the process of developing and evaluating the proposals.

Major Research Initiatives

Developing Interdisciplinary Programs of Research

In order to launch these research projects, a call for participation was distributed to all MIRA members, and shared with other McMaster researchers with interests in aging. Over 80 researchers participated in initial meetings facilitated by design thinking experts, where participants were encouraged to think outside of their own disciplines and placed within a context of opportunity, need, and possibility. Researchers were asked: “What are the great challenges in this area of research?” and “How could the skills and assets within MIRA be leveraged to address these challenges?” These early sessions set the stage for a series of MIRA-facilitated meetings, workshops, and stakeholder consultations, where researchers began to develop plans for a program of research in each stream. These proposals, entitled The EMBOLDEN trial: Enhancing physical and community MoBility in OLDEr adults with health inequities using commuNity co-design and McMaster Monitoring My Mobility (MacM3)are in the process of being evaluated and iteratively developed based on feedback from external reviewers, MIRA leadership and the ISAC.​

Exploration Grants

Exploration grants offer the opportunity to conduct collaborative, interdisciplinary research focused on mobility in aging. These grants are intended to stimulate new collaborations and allow researchers to collect preliminary data to support future proposals for full-scale studies. 

There are two types of exploration grants, each requiring the participation of researchers from multiple disciplines:

  1. Planning Grants to explore and establish new cross-Faculty partnerships with the goal of generating research questions that integrate the perspectives of multiple disciplines.
  2. Catalyst Grants to conduct feasibility/pilot studies or scaling of interventions for groups that have already established cross-Faculty partnerships. 


MIRA brings together two dream teams for major research projects

December 12, 2018 – Experts from nearly a dozen disciplines are working together on two projects, funded through the McMaster Institute for Research in Aging and the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging.

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03-grant recipients-2018

Six new projects tackle mobility for older adults

November 2, 2018 – The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging has awarded 2018 Catalyst grants to six ambitious, interdisciplinary research proposals that aim to improve mobility for older adults. Each collaborative project will include researchers from at least three of McMaster’s six faculties. The grants are supported by the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging, which was created by a $15-million gift from university Chancellor Suzanne Labarge two years ago.

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MIRA and its Labarge Centre award more than $400,000 in funding to trainees in aging and mobility

August 27, 2018 – Eight researchers at McMaster University have received new funding from the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) and the Labarge Centre for Mobility in Aging (LCMA) to be used to explore the diverse connection between mobility and healthy aging. Altogether, trainees are receiving $433,000 from the LCMA, and an additional $133,000 through matching contributions from other sources.

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