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Collective Insight, in partnership with the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, has been selected for the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award funding to develop the Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative!


The Learning Collaborative works with Researchers, Funders, and Gerontology programs to share the benefits and methods of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR). Our goal is to get more researchers to engage older adults in the design of research, not just as research subjects. The Learning Collaborative also will help prepare older adults to be active partners in this process!

Why is the learning collaborative essential?

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Older adults are often not included in the design of research, and when they are, those in the study tend to be healthier than the group being studied. Many aging-focused researchers do not know how to engage older adults and caregivers, which limits opportunities for older adults and caregivers to contribute to their work.



  • While many older adults are eager to engage in research, researchers do not always see this as important. 

  • Colleges and universities often do not teach how to engage communities in research, so students entering the field of aging lack this knowledge. ​ 

  • Aging-focused research funders are showing interest in this topic, but very few funders require engagement from those they fund. ​ 

What is Aging PCOR?

Aging Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) focuses on research topics questions and outcomes most important to older adults and those who care for them.

Patients are engaged in the research, not as subjects, but as partners who help decide what to study and how to study it. This is also called Engaged Research.

PCOR often compares one program against another to determine which works best for patients. This is called Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER).


How the Learning Collaborative works

The Learning Collaborative changes the way researchers engage with older adults. We teach how to partner with older adults and their caregivers. Older adults and caregivers are then viewed as experts, not just as research subjects! 

The Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative: 

  • SHARES information related to engaged research through our Learning Video Series, our Podcasts, and our online community – the Aging Research Network.


  • SUPPORTS the teaching of engaged research in Gerontology programs. 

  • ENCOURAGES research funders to see the value of requiring engaged research methods in proposals.  

  • PROVIDES ASSISTANCE to aging-focused researchers, older adults, caregivers, providers, and others in the aging field who want to learn how to make engagement work.  

In the long run, engaging older adults and caregivers in the research process will lead to better systems of care for older adults!


The Aging Research Network

You can be an active participant in this project by joining our Aging Research Network! The Network is an online community improving engaged research by bringing together older adults, researchers, caregivers, academics, and funders. 

  • Older adults and caregivers: You can share your lived experiences to guide research design. You can discuss topics that are important to you, learn about opportunities to partner in research, and learn how to be part of a research team. Or simply connect with other older adults in our community! 


  • Researchers: You can get feedback from older adults on research topics important to them. You can also access virtual events, tools that support engagement, find research partners, or just bounce ideas off others. Funders are here too and will share funding opportunities and ways to improve your funding proposals.  

  • Research Funders:  You will have the opportunity to learn about the needs and priorities of older adults and researchers. Use this platform to share funding opportunities, discuss funded projects, or simply connect with others in the field.  


In the Network, anyone can post comments, ask questions, find resources, and connect with other members. Joining is easy and only a few clicks away. We are excited for you to become a member of our community!​ 

Want to become a member?

Click here to join

Already a member?

Click here to log in

Need help navigating the Network?

Click here for guides

The Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative Video Series

New to Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR)? Learn more by viewing the Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative's video series that introduce PCOR Concepts and layout five benefits of engaging older adults in your research, including:

  • Improve Your Research Question Design

  • Enhance the Institutional Review Board (IRB) Process

  • Ensure Recruitment is Diverse and Representative

  • Increase Meaningful Participation

  • Widen the Dissemination of your Findings

To view this video series, visit our YouTube Channel HERE 


The learning collaborative Podcast Series

The Learning Collaborative is hosting podcast interviews with a variety of experts and older adults who conduct engaged research. Listen to hear success stories where engaging older adults resulted in better research outcomes and take a peek into personal lessons learned. We talk to funders about incorporating engagement into your proposals and strategies for getting that funding! Our podcasts also bust myths about engaging older adults! New podcasts will be released early 2022.

To listen and subscribe to this podcast series 

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We have the know-how you need.

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Pictured under text: A close up of glass buildings


We Can Help










The Aging PCOR Learning Collaborative offers short-term, free individual and small group assistance to support researchers to design engagement methods, address obstacles, and develop competitive funding concepts.

Our goal is to increase the readiness of researchers to engage older adults in the design of research and prepare older adults to participate.



  • Assess your learning needs and develop a plan 

  • Match you with Mentor(s) who can help

  • Answer your questions and support your success

  • Connect you to tools and resources for long-term learning



Topics you can expect to see during training include:

  • Identifying stakeholder assets

  • Including PCOR concepts in grant writing

  • Evaluating the stakeholder engagement experience

The Learning Collaborative will provide a step-by-step plan and share with the recipient within 30 days of being drafted. Every training session is a learning opportunity. It doesn't end once training is completed. Recipients also receive post-surveys to assess progress and satisfaction. 



  • We provide trainings tailored to older adults who want to inform research design!

  • We facilitate virtual dissertation workgroup discussions on engaged research concepts to inform dissertation proposals and research methods. 


Apply for assistance by clicking that button!

the learning collaborative resource library

The Learning Collaborative is building from relationships made, resources shared, and lessons learned from our previous PCORI funded project, the Sages Symposium. This 3-day Symposium started a nationwide discussion among older adults and researchers about the benefits of engaged research and strategies to expand engagement within the aging-focused research community.


We've gathered this knowledge on PCOR concepts and tools for engagement into a Resource Library to provide on-hand references at your convenience.

Access information on:

  • Understanding of the risks/benefits and key elements of stakeholder engagement

  • Developing proposals that includes stakeholder engagement in research

  • Making engagement accessible

  • Working with stakeholders as co-principal investigators

  • and much more...

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The Learning Collaborative will expand on this library as new tools and resources are developed.


Pictured above: A brightly lit library room with windows on the left and shelves of stacked books on the right

Meet our Experts

The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston partners with Collective Insight, specialists in stakeholder engagement, to develop and facilitate two Steering Committees that guide the direction of the Learning Collaborative.  

Our Grant Steering Committee consists of Researchers, Funders, Academics, and Older Adults who are providing insight to our video and podcast series; product development; and evaluation activities. Members include:  

  • Beverly J Cohen, OLLI Advisor and Older Adult Representative  

  • Myrna Finn, OLLI Advisor and Older Adult Representative 

  • Edward Alan Miller, PhD, MPA, Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Gerontology and Public Policy PhD Program; McCormack Graduate School  

  • Kathleen Wilber, PhD, Professor of Gerontology, USC Leonard Davis; Mary Pickford Foundation Chair in Gerontology  

  • Gretchen E. Alkema, PhD, Vice President of Policy and Communications at The SCAN Foundation  

  • Marcus Escobedo, MPA, Vice President, Communications & Sr. Program Officer, The John A. Hartford Foundation  

  • 2 members of our Older Adult Subcommittee (rotating) 


Our Older Adult Subcommittee also provides insight on grant activities and materials from the perspective of the older adult, ensuring our topics and materials are accessible to their population. Members include: 

  • Linda A. 

  • JeanMarie A. 

  • Loretta S. 

  • Jerry T.

  • Juanita J. 

  • Nancy K. 

  • Lisa D. 

  • Naomi I.

our funder

The Aging PCOR Learning Collaboration was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award 19514-LTSS. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 (reauthorized in 2019) to fund comparative effectiveness research which compares the benefits and harm of available programs and tools to determine which work best for patients. This approach provides patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. 


View our project summary on PCORI’s website HERE


Have questions or
want more information?

Contact project staff here