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Rising Stars in Aging Research Program and Workshops

The goal of the ‘Rising Star Program’, sponsored by the AGS through the American Foundation for Aging Research (AFAR) Clinician-Scientists Transdisciplinary Aging Research (Clin-STAR) Coordinating Center and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), is to provide mentoring and career development resources to early career clinician investigators in medical and surgical specialties who wish to focus their research in aging and/or geriatrics to improve competitiveness for future funding. Successful Rising Star applicants will receive one-on-one mentoring with a senior aging research mentor from geriatrics or another specialty, and connect with a current GEMSSTAR scholar who can provide advice on application revisions and re-submissions. The Rising Star program also provides support to attend the AGS Annual Meeting.

AGS/AFAR Clin-STAR Rising Star Mentoring and Grantsmanship Workshop and Workshop SeriesThe AGS/AFAR Clin-STAR Mentoring and Grantsmanship Workshop is held at the AGS Annual Scientific Meeting in May and is geared towards Rising Stars, current, former, and future GEMSSTARs, and junior investigators from all disciplines. The in-person workshop provides keynote presentations, opportunities for mentoring and networking, discusses important aspects of research across various funding organizations, and provides attendees with useful information on grantsmanship. For additional details and registration information, click here.

The AGS/AFAR Virtual Workshop Series allowed Rising Stars to participate in workshops that focused on grant writing tips, how to respond to grant review comments, and resubmissions. The full virtual workshop series can be found here

Specialty Scholars

NIA GEMSSTAR Program (funding opportunity for junior faculty)

The National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists’ Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) awards support early career physicians trained in medical and surgical subspecialties through an R03 mechanism that will provide up to $200,000 in direct costs over two years for research on the geriatrics aspects of their specialty. The award is an early career award with the goal of helping researchers establish a research track record in the field of geriatrics research.

GEMSSTAR Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to include a Professional Development Plan (PDP) as a component of their application that provides protected time and mentoring for young investigators to develop the leadership and research skills that they will need in their careers. AGS serves as liaison between applicants and specialty societies to help secure funding for PDPs. The PDP can include formal classroom education, exposure to geriatrics-related activities, or other means of career development outlined in the GEMSSTAR RFA and GEMSSTAR website.

Professional Development Plan (PDP) Opportunities

A number of Geriatrics for Specialists Initiative (GSI) Society Members offer funding for a Professional Development Plan (PDP) to complement the R03 research project funded under the National Institute on Aging’s GEMSSTAR award mechanism. Based on specialty, the following opportunities are available:

Please contact AGS for further information if you are from one of the following specialties

  • Colorectal
  • General Surgery
  • Gynecology
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Trauma
  • Vascular Surgery

American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR)’s Clinician-Scientists Transdisciplinary Aging Research (Clin-STAR) Coordinating Center

Advancing geriatrics expertise for researchers, clinicians, and educators is more than a mission-critical priority for us all as we age.  It requires structure and support from across health care to build synergy and share best practices.

Through a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) established the AFAR/NIA Clinician-Scientists Transdisciplinary Aging Research Coordinating Center (Clin-STAR CC) to do just that. The Clin-STAR CC brings together clinician-investigators from across the United States who are committed to careers focused on aging research. The Clin-STAR CC provides career development opportunities and fosters transdisciplinary connections, with a particular focus on early-stage investigators who will become future leaders in their fields.

AGS’s GSI was awarded a supplement to collaborate with AFAR on the Clin-STAR CC by creating programmatic activities that support the Clin-STAR community.  

GSI GEMSSTAR Conference Series

AGS’ GSI was awarded a NIA GEMSSTAR U13 conference grant (2014-2019), jointly funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the John A. Hartford Foundation. The grant included funding for three conferences over five years for all past and current GEMSSTAR scholars.

The conference series provided GEMSSTAR grantees with opportunities for in-depth discussion of important topics, small group working sessions to explore areas of common interest, and opportunities to bring grantees from across the country together to network and collaborate with each other and invited geriatric-focused specialty mentors.

Individuals interested in learning more about applying for a GEMSSTAR can visit the website.
To access conference reports, slides, and other publications, click the tabs below.

U13 Conference #1: Integrating Frailty Research into the Specialties

The first conference, “Integrating Frailty Research into the Specialties”, was held Sunday, March 1 to Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference focused on frailty, how it is defined by geriatricians and specialists, the tools used for measuring frailty, and the gaps in frailty research. The program also featured a session devoted to important career development topics led by experienced mentors.

A conference report (available here) was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in April 2017.

The presentation slides from the first conference, Integrating Frailty Research into the Specialties, are listed below. Please click on the session title to access the slides.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

U13 Conference #2: Models and Studies of Aging

The second conference, “Models and Studies of Aging” was held Wednesday, September 21 to Friday, September 23, 2016 in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference focused on basic biology and fundamental mechanisms of aging that can inform the development of research to prevent or delay the ultimate development of age-related disease and disabilities in older adults. The conference also focused on leadership skills and provided mentoring opportunities for the GEMSSTAR Scholars.

A conference report (available here) was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in January 2019.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pillars of Biological Aging: Implications for the Specialist

Interventions: Moving from Preclinical to Phase III

Friday, September 23, 2016

Proceedings from the R24

Resources for Junior Investigators:

Career Development

Closing Keynote: Pragmatic Trials


U13 Conference #3: The Impact of Cognitive Impairment across Specialties

The third conference, “The Impact of Cognitive Impairment across Specialties”, was held Sunday, March 25 to Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference focused on cutting edge research in cognitive impairment across the sub-specialties as well as career development opportunities to foster the research careers of the GEMSSTAR scholars.

Click here for the full conference report.

The presentation slides from the conference are listed below. Please click on the session title to access the slides.

Monday, March 26, 2018


Cognitive Impairment in the Subspecialties

Dinner Keynote

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Cutting-Edge Research on Delirium and Dementia

Resources for Junior Investigators

Past Conferences/Retreats

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