DBSR

NIA is supporting a unique new website—the Gateway to Global Aging Data—that enables cross-national comparisons of the health, social, and economic status of older people. If you haven’t looked at what’s available, or you haven’t looked recently, I encourage you to check it out. Do you need to know if people in Estonia smoke more than people in Germany? What might be behind why people in Japan live longer than people in other developed countries? The Gateway makes it easy to create interactive graphs and tables to immediately examine population estimates of various countries over time. You can generate graphs and tables to compare the same measures between sub-populations within a country or quickly identify cross-country differences, as well as changes over time.

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I am a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) and currently lead the NIA-N Review committee. I’m constantly recruiting grant application reviewers: I mean, All The Time! During the course of each year, I also run a multitude of meetings to review grants responding to Requests for Applications, Program Project Grants (PPG), and Institutional/Individual Training Grant opportunities. It’s a good thing that I don’t take rejection personally, because more than half of the reviewers I try to recruit say, “NO,” and about a quarter of them just don’t answer my emails. One time I asked 89 people to review a PPG and only 14 of them said yes.

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For scientists writing NIH grant applications, the aims are THE THING.

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Every NIH institute has an executive responsible for managing its business organization. This is someone who keeps computer systems, buildings, human resources, contracts, and budget operations running, someone who makes or administers policies. If I was on your campus, I might be called the Chief Business Officer.

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Financial incentives can increase the effectiveness of smoking cessation programs

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death despite the implementation of national policies, behavioral programs, and pharmacological treatments that have helped decrease smoking rates in the US. One promising line of research in smoking cessation relies on findings from the field of behavioral economics, which applies what we know about how people make health-related decisions to the design of health-behavior change interventions.

Pepper Centers—a chain of spice shops?! Maybe.

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We’re excited about participating in the upcoming annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society May 14–17 at National Harbor, just outside of Washington, DC. And, we’re hoping to see many of you at the sessions featuring NIA staff, who will be talking about research funded and conducted by NIA, as well as funding opportunities and applying for grants. Please add these sessions to your schedule in the conference app. Or, print this out to bring with to you the meeting.

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We posted an update to our funding policy

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The average age of first-time R01 funded investigators who have PhDs remains 42 even after seven years of policies at NIH to increase the numbers of new and early-stage investigators.  And, over the same interval, age has continued to increase for first-time R01-funded MDs and MD-PhDs, despite the policies we have in place. What is going on?

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In memoriam: Richard M. Suzman, Ph.D.

Dr Richard Suzman speaking at a conference

Richard M. Suzman, Ph.D., director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research, died on April 16, 2015. He was 72.

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