Social Research, Policy, and Practice Section

Trends Reports

GSA brings members a new benefit as a way to get a closer look at trends in aging based on our member sections.

What are the benefits of choosing this section?

This section has a strong commitment to social policy issues and research relevant to social, economic, health, and long-term care policies and the related programs that affect older adults. It is also the section with the strongest commitment to practice and research on practice such as ways to improve the delivery of services to an increasingly diverse older population. The section encompasses practitioners and researchers seeking to enhance such services as community-based and residential long-term care, assisted living, housing, caregiving, nutrition, transportation, and many others — all of which are designed to improve the quality of life for older Americans and their families.

What types of professionals affiliate with this section?

Our membership includes educators, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers committed to improving policies and services for older adults and their families. It includes many with background or jobs in such areas as social work, social policy, nursing, economics, sociology, political science, medicine, planning, pastoral counseling, and business. This diversity is related to our focus on interdisciplinary policy and practice issues. Social and behavioral scientists and clinical researchers with interests in translating research results into policy and practice often affiliate with the SRPP Section.

What sort of GSA activities and networking opportunities are available to members of this section?

A set of networking opportunities, comparable to those in other sections, is available, such as opportunities to meet colleagues with similar interests in connection with our symposia, paper, and poster sessions, and at the section meeting. We strive to integrate junior members of the profession into our section activities and also into GSA-wide activities through appointments as section representatives to GSA committees such as the Public Policy Committee, the Research, Education, and Practice Committee, the Task Force on Minority Issues in Gerontology, and the Task Force on Women. Our section also sponsors a variety of mentoring opportunities for ESPO members and encourages other SRPP members to serve as mentors.

What opportunities are available for emerging scholars and professionals in this section?

Advanced graduate students and post-docs can serve as SRPP representatives to various GSA committees. Our section is engaged in mentoring activities. Our ESPO members organize a roundtable session dealing with a number of practical career related topics such as funding your research, the pros and cons of doing a post-doc, and career opportunities outside of academia. Our section sponsors two prizes for student members. One is a prize for students enrolled in undergraduate or masters level programs, and the second is for those enrolled in a PhD program. We have also provided mentors to give short-term consultation to ESPO members on their paper and poster presentations at the annual meeting.

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