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15th Annual Advanced Psychometric Methods in Cognitive Aging Research Conference

Cognitive Reserve/Resilience:  15th Annual Advanced Psychometric Methods in Cognitive Aging Research Conference, Lake Tahoe, California: August 19-24, 2018
Applications are open for the 15th annual conference on application of modern psychometric and statistical methods in cognitive aging research, to be held August 19-August 24, 2018 at the Granlibakken Conference Center at Lake Tahoe in California.
This is an NIH/NIA-funded conference that provides didactic and applied research experiences (work groups) that support the development of expertise to advance the science of cognitive aging. The theme of the 2018 conference will be "Cognitive Reserve/Resilience". Cognitive reserve refers to person-specific characteristics that protect against cognitive declines associated with age related disease and brain changes. Resilience is a broader term describing better health outcomes in the presence of risk. Understanding factors that contribute to reserve and resilience is important for identifying public policy and individual level recommendations to promote cognitive health and reduce the enormous burden of diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of cognitive decline in older adults. 
This conference will include lectures that address recent advances in conceptualizing and measuring cognitive reserve and review historical and contemporary research in the area. This foundation will inform workgroups that will perform analyses on existing datasets to better understand life experience, clinical, and genetic characteristics that contribute to reserve and reveal cognitive and brain substrates of risk and resilience. As in previous conferences, there will be an emphasis on workgroups that will engage in collaborative science to generate publications that advance the field of cognitive aging and foster the development of multidisciplinary networks of researchers.
There is a competitive application process for selection of attendees. Space limits the number of participants to about 50. Applications are encouraged from all levels (graduate students, post-docs, junior faculty, mid and senior faculty). Expertise in psychometrics, statistics, or other quantitative sciences is not a prerequisite, but we do look for a commitment to cognitive aging research.  We value participation from individuals with diverse expertise, and previous participants have included neuropsychologists, neurologists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, neuropathologists, neuroimaging experts, geneticists, and others. Diversity in topical and methodological expertise of participants will be continue to be emphasized so that the conference promotes learning for all participants. We are particularly interested in individuals from different experience levels and scientific backgrounds who will learn and teach each other  new skills that will be incorporated into their future research. 
For many attendees, we will be able to provide full financial support for travel, lodging, and meals. We may be able to consider additional attendees who can provide their own funding. We have had an increasingly competitive pool of applicants in recent years, and due to limited space, we were unable to include many talented applicants.  
For individuals whose attendance would cause economic hardship related to family obligations, we may be able to provide a limited number of scholarships to subsidize costs associated with dependent care. Allowable costs could include dependent care fees or travel expenses for care providers. Scholarship recipients will be expected to provide a statement of need and documentation of expenses before funds are released. Individuals eligible for these scholarships can indicate their interest on the application form. Early-career applicants will receive priority in scholarship decisions. Application decisions will be made independent of scholarship interest.
Previous attendees may wonder why we have changed venues from Friday Harbor to Lake Tahoe. The Friday Harbor venue had limited availability in 2018 and available times conflicted with academic schedules and holidays.  We are optimistic that Granlibakken will foster the same wonderful atmosphere as we have found in previous years at Friday Harbor.
Applications will be due by February 28, 2018, and notification of acceptance will occur by March 26, 2018. 
More detailed information about the 2018 conference and how to submit an application is available on our website.
Please contact Dan Mungas ( or Laura Zahodne ( if you have questions about the conference. 
Please contact Elizabeth Sanders ( ) if you have questions about the application process.