STUDENT RESEARCH AWARDS

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) came into existence in 2001, founded as a partnership between the University of Florida (UF) and Oak Hammock.  The University committed to support ILR curriculum with faculty expertise.  For its part, ILR committed to active support of student research activities – particularly in the study of the various aspects of aging.

Today, ILR supports student research with three annual programs:

I. ROBERT A. LEVITT AWARDS FOR STUDENT RESEARCH ON AGING

This is ILR’s primary program in support of student research.  It calls for student entries from all University of Florida departments.  It is open to all students doing research on subjects that contribute to our understanding of some aspect of aging.  Most entrants are Masters or PhD candidates.

In the first stage of the Levitt Awards competition, students present their research at the annual “ILR Poster Session for Student Research on Aging.”  This is a judged poster competition held in February at Oak Hammock.  ILR members attend the poster session and take an active part in research discussions with the student presenters.  The judges select the top five finalists to make ILR – Levitt Presentations, detailed overview talks about their research. ILR members in attendance rate these talks and members comments are shared with the judges, who award prizes of $1000 for first place, $750 for second place, $500 for third place, and two runner-up prizes of $250 each.

TYPICAL RESEARCH TOPICS:

EMPATHY, EMOTION IDENTIFICATION, AND OXYTOCIN IN THE BRAIN
COGNITIVE AND BRAIN-BASED PREDICTORS OF ALZHEIMER’S
REFLECTING ON LIFE CHALLENGES AND FINDING GROWTH IN PERSONAL STORIES
COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT PRE- OR POST-SURGERY
INFLAMMATION IN RELATION TO LONG TERM FUNCTION
DIET AND NUTRITIONAL PREDICTORS OF COGNITION AND INFLAMMATION
ASSESSMENT OF DRIVING SKILLS ACROSS AGE AND PATIENT GROUPS
PAIN RESILIENCE AND MOBILITY ACROSS ETHNIC GROUPS OR PATIENT GROUPS
CONSIDERING PATIENT GOALS IN HEALTH SETTIINGS

II. CLUFF AWARDS FOR STUDENT RESEARCH ON AGING

These awards are presented to UF students who submit formal research papers describing their research projects on various aspects of aging.  The papers are scored by a panel of UF faculty judges.  Prizes for the Cluff Awards are jointly funded by the ILR and the Leighton R. Cluff Research on Aging endowment at UF. ILR allocates $600 annually as its share of the Cluff prizes.

To see the latest Levitt and Cluff award winners click here.

III.  SANTA FE COLLEGE STUDENT RESEARCH POSTER EXPOSITION

This event is a initiative organized by the Santa Fe College, Research for Undergraduate Education (RUE) committee.  It is a college wide initiative to bring together all the students that have done any type of research.  The College is trying to increase the interest of the students to get involved in research during their undergraduate years at SF College.

In 2013, ILR expanded its support of student research to include students from Santa Fe College, in Gainesville.

Annually, ILR invites a select number of Santa Fe students to present posters on multi-disciplinary research topics.  The students present their research at Oak Hammock, where ILR members and judges review their work.   ILR allocated $1,200 per year in prizes for the Santa Fe program.

To see the latest Santa Fe student winners click here.