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Trent Centre for Aging & Society

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Trent Centre for Aging & Society


Interdisciplinary Opportunities in Rural Aging Research for M.A. Students at Trent University and Brandon University

Project: Dr. Mark Skinner (Trent University, Ontario, Canada) and Dr. Rachel Herron (Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada) are leading a new national study of the potential of arts-based interventions to improve social inclusion of older people in rural Canada. The four-year project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In partnership with Canada’s National Ballet School, the project will explore the experiences, effectiveness and expansion of an innovative, multi-modal dance program (in-person and live-streamed) in terms of meaningfully engaging people living with dementia and their carers in rural regions.

Opportunity: Currently, we are recruiting a first cohort of qualified applicants for two Masters students to work closely with us on this project. Funding is available for one M.A. student in Trent University’s new Collaborative Specialization in Aging Studies graduate program (www.trentu.ca/aging/education-and-training/graduate) and one M.R.D. student in Brandon University’s Master in Rural Development graduate program (www.brandonu.ca/rural-development/program-information/).  Students accepted to work on this project will receive competitive funding and stipends, plus research-related travel expenses. This is an excellent opportunity for students with backgrounds in social sciences and/or health studies to acquire advanced research training in interdisciplinary, community-based rural aging research.

Qualifications: Along with a competitive GPA (80% or higher), potential applicants must have experience in qualitative research methods and an interest in working with older people in rural communities.

Locations: Trent University or Brandon University                                             

Starting date: September 1, 2017

Application deadline: Open until position filled.

How to Apply: Anyone potentially interested in these positions should contact Dr. Mark Skinner (markskinner@trentu.ca) or Dr. Rachel Herron (herronr@brandonu.ca) directly. Successful applicants will be required to submit a formal application for graduate studies at Trent University or Brandon University and meet all the institutional and departmental requirements for admission (click on the following links for more graduate program details):

Trent: https://www.trentu.ca/aging/education-and-training/graduate

Brandon: https://www.brandonu.ca/rural-development/program-information/

TCAS is Hiring!

Research Assistant – Health Policy and Evaluation in Geriatrics (Trent Aging Experiential Training Opportunity)

Job Title:   Research Assistant

Department:  Trent Centre for Aging & Society, Trent University

Supervisor Title:  Director, Trent Centre for Aging & Society

Co-supervisor Title:  Director, Seniors Care Network

Start Date: As soon as possible


Applicants are invited to submit a cover letter and resume by email, no later than 4:00pm Wednesday January 18, 2017 to aging@trentu.ca. Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted.


The Trent Centre for Aging & Society (Trent University), in partnership with Seniors Care Network, is currently seeking a Research Assistant (RA) who will participate in an applied research and policy development project related to health services for seniors living with frailty. Reporting to the Trent Centre for Aging & Society Director and the Seniors Care Network’s Director - System Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation, this two-month research training experience will commence in February 2017. This is a paid RA position (part-time equivalent). This research opportunity as been designed to: (1) provide early career experiential training in geriatrics/gerontology research and policy; (2) actively promote knowledge transfer of specialized geriatric services policy development to graduates of university programs relevant to aging and society; and (2) foster strategic partnerships with academia to advance the applied research priorities of Seniors Care Network.

Role Objectives

The goal of this position is for an RA to research and develop a substantive report on a key issue impacting seniors living with frailty (to be determined by the Project Supervisors). This position will provide an opportunity for a Trent University student or alumni to contribute to policy related research relevant to the care of seniors living with frailty, and to participate in and inform current geriatric service planning. The successful candidate will be required to participate in regular project meetings with the Project Supervisor, and other persons (as needed). The successful candidate must be willing to participate in experiential learning opportunities (including shadowing of clinical and policy staff), as required.

Completion of an honours undergraduate social science or health studies degree
Enrollment in or completion of a thesis-based Masters degree preferred
Completion of a gerontology or related aging coursework preferred
Completion of a qualitative research methods course (or demonstrated experience) preferred

Understanding of qualitative research methods, and applied research approaches
Understanding of basic statistics
Understanding of how to search and synthesize research
Understanding of health policy, evaluation and geriatrics an asset

Key Qualities and Skills

Excellent academic/research information retrieval skills and experience using electronic databases to conduct literature searches
Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including interviewing skills
Excellent interprofessional working skills and ability to build relationships between individuals, teams and organizations
Evidence of effective leadership qualities, including the ability to work independently
Ability to synthesize large amounts of information
Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite of Tools
Proficiency with research and evaluation approaches (particularly qualitative research methods)
Experience using research databases to search and retrieve literature, including the use of mesh terms
Interest and enthusiasm in seniors health/geriatrics
Valid Ontario driver’s license and access to a vehicle

Time Commitment

16 weeks, 600 hours (max)
18 hours/week

Trent University is actively committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus community and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Trent University offers accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment processes. If you require accommodation during the recruitment process, or require an accessible version of a document/publication, please contact aging@trentu.ca.

Honouring Canada's 150th Anniversary

TCAS Director, Dr. Mark Skinner and School of Education instructor, Rachael Nicholls discuss a unique partnership:

Leadership Award

Congratulations to Centre Member, Ann MacLeod for winning the inaugural Trent Community Leadership Award!

The prize is given to two staff members "who make exceptional contributions to the local community in the Peterborough or Durham regions." Ms. MacLeod was presented with a framed certificate, a $250 cash award, and an additional $250 to donate to a charity or agency of her choosing.

We're proud of your achievement Ann!

Ann MacLeod, Faculty Member, Trent/Fleming School of Nursing, Trent University

Expressive Arts and Aging

An innovative program designed to address social isolation in rural older people is the focus of Centre member and Faculty Member, Trent/Fleming School of Nursing, Ann MacLeod’s latest paper.

Just published in the Canadian Journal on Aging, “Connecting Socially Isolated Older Rural Adults with Older Volunteers through Expressive Arts” employs thematic and narrative inquiry to evaluate the program’s success. 

The paper finds that one on one sessions between a skilled volunteer and an older community member, with art as mediator, has many positive benefits for the socially isolated, including improved mental health outcomes.

Citing these results, MacLeod and her co-authors’ call on policy makers to fund and expand similar programs wherever they are needed.

Dr. Mark Skinner receives $500,000 to debunk myths of aging in rural communities

February 9, 2016, Trent University

Professor Skinner, a leading international authority on the evolving role of voluntarism in aging rural communities, will receive a total of $500,000 over five years to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of aging in rural and remote regions of Canada, and to help create supportive environments for healthy rural aging. More details here.

A Natural Fit: TCAS Partners with Trent Athletics Centre

January 31, 2016, Trent University

Two Centres at Trent University, the Trent Centre for Aging & Society and the Trent Athletics Centre, join forces with an official partnership aimed at boosting aging studies at Trent and fostering healthy and active aging in the community. More details here.

A Year in Review: TCAS 2015 Annual Report

January, 2016, Trent University

2015 was a fantastic year for the Trent Centre for Aging & Society! On Wednesday, January 13, the Centre published its 2015 Annual Report. You can read the full report here.

Three community partners come together to make a difference

January, 2016, Trent University

On Sunday, January 31, 2016 the Alzheimer Society Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes Northumberland and Haliburton (PKLNH), the Trent Centre for Aging & Society and the Trent Athletics Centre will team up to host the 14th annual indoor Walk for Alzheimer’s. More details here.