Course: Sept 2019 – Ageing, retirement, and health – designing a research project

Ageing populations pose a number of challenges for societies. In response, governments of industrialized countries are attempting to raise retirement ages. To what extent working longer is healthy and desirable from the individual’s point of view is controversial, and the health effects of retirement versus continuing working may also differ as a result of work environment factors as well as aspects of people’s private lives. There are likely to be large health-related and occupational differences in people’s abilities to extend their working lives beyond what is normally required today. For these reasons, social and health inequalities among older people may increase as governments push up effective retirement ages.

This short course provided a critical introduction to some of the major research topics related to this issue and provided an opportunity to learn the essential skills needed to design a research project and successfully apply for funding from a major funding agency.

The course took place in Stockholm in September 2019.

Ten late-stage doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers participated in the course. These early career researchers had varied backgrounds in gerontology and epidemiology.

The course employed an experiential learning approach, encouraging the early career researchers to prepare project proposals in small groups under the guidance of an experienced mentor. The course provided a setting for the next generation of researchers in the IDEAR network to meet each other and develop their capacities for international collaboration and successful grant-writing.

Short lectures from subject specialists introduced the participants to the following topics:

  • Adult ageing and sleep
  • Ageing and retirement in terms of recent perspectives in cultural and critical gerontology
  • Measuring sleep with objective measures, e.g., actigraphs, polysomnography.



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