Seniors are the fastest growing age group in Canada. By the year 2026, seniors will constitute more than one out of every five Canadians. This represents a dramatic demographic shift in the population of Canada, and will have profound consequences for all aspects of individual, community and national life. It also reflects the importance of placing research into aging at the forefront of health research in Canada today.
The Institute of Aging (IA) is a national leader in addressing health research priorities for seniors. IA initiatives not only link and support researchers located in universities and hospitals across the country, but also bring together different levels of government, practitioners, voluntary health organizations and seniors themselves.
Together our community is working to increase our knowledge about aging, in order to help address the challenges facing Canada's growing seniors' population and to promote the elements of healthy and successful aging.
The CIHR IA is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to providing our aging population with the support needed to live healthy, independent lives and to maintain quality of life in all states of health.
Who we are
IA's mandate is "to support research, to promote healthy aging and to address causes, prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, support systems, and palliation for a wide range of conditions associated with aging."
Unlike many other CIHR Institutes, which are focused on particular diseases, IA's mandate is the aging person in an aging society, and the effects of different diseases and conditions on aging. Its goal is to improve the quality of life and health of older Canadians by understanding and addressing or preventing the consequences of a wide range of factors associated with aging.
The fundamental goal of IA is the advancement of knowledge in the field of aging to improve the quality of life and the health of older Canadians.
IA will champion health research on aging in Canada, and create innovative opportunities for research and researchers. All researchers working in the field of aging will want to be affiliated with the Institute. Policy makers will look to the Institute for information and advice, and use the knowledge we generate to develop more effective policies and services. Our work will enhance the health and lives of older Canadians.
IA uses the following values to guide its work:
- Excellence. All activities funded by the Institute will be high quality, and meet or exceed international standards of excellence in research.
- Population needs based. The Institute's priorities will be based on the health needs of older Canadians.
- Risk taking, creativity, innovation. Creating new knowledge that will change health and health services will require innovation and risk taking. IA will provide opportunities for researchers to take risks and pursue creative new ideas.
- Integration, partnerships. The Institute for Aging will pursue partnerships that cross disciplines, sectors and regions of the country, and lead to new knowledge.
- Transparency, accountability. IA will communicate openly with all stakeholders and clients. All its decision-making processes will be transparent and accountable.
Our community is made up of researchers, scientists, students, community groups, policy makers and individuals from Canada and around the world that share an interest in the field of research on aging.
Staff and advisory board
The Institute is managed by a small, professional staff, under the direction of a highly respected Scientific Director. A multidisciplinary Institute Advisory Board (IAB) provides essential community input and guidance into everything we do.
What we do
As one of the thirteen Institutes of CIHR, IA shares responsibility for achieving the principal objectives of CIHR.
IA provides direct funding support for researchers in a number of ways including direct research grants, support for pilot projects, monthly awards for outstanding journal articles on aging, and annual awards for trainees, new investigators, and mid-career researchers.
In its short history, IA has had some notable achievements, detailed in our Annual Reports.
IA works hard to stay connected to our community. IA also seeks out partnerships with other agencies with similar interests, in order to share knowledge, resources and expertise.
IA works closely with the CIHR Ethics Office to encourage the research community to address ethics in research on aging, which spans ethical issues and ethical impact of research, research translation and research outcomes related to older adults.