Irish Centre for Social Gerontology Leads Cross-border Research Network on Rural

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

NUI Galway has been announced among the recipients of the Research Grants Programme by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development (CARDI). The CARDI programme aims to promote north-south research partnerships that bring together different subject areas to look at issues affecting older people in new ways. The research will involve older people themselves and the findings will be designed to improve policies and services for them. The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, with Queen's University Belfast, the School of Geography at NUI Galway, Rural Community Network and FORUM will establish a cross-border research network to explore healthy ageing in rural communities. The network, entitled Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC), will draw on interdisciplinary expertise in the areas of gerontology, economics, spatial planning, rural geography, social care and public health. Professor Bob Stout, Queen's University Belfast, Co-chair of the grants panel, said: "CARDI's wish is to get all the partners together and stimulate research that will bring benefits to the daily lives of older people". The Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities research network will commence in September 2009 and will run to the following year. Speaking about the grant award, Kieran Walsh, Research Officer at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, said: "Although there is an over representation of older people in rural areas throughout Ireland, research into rural ageing has been limited to small-scale studies with a total absence of any cross-border coordination. HARC will allow us to share existing knowledge, identify key research questions for future study, and ultimately increase the capacity for rural ageing research in the fields of ageing and rurality across Ireland". HARC is a part of a broader research programme on rural ageing at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology. Focussing on the economics of ageing, technology and ageing, and rural ageing, the multidisciplinary research centre has been awarded more than €5 million in funding since its establishment in 2006.
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