The Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work Newsletter
December 1, 2016 
As I write we are preparing our annual report to the Sloan Foundation , documenting significant progress in the building of the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work. Over the course of this year, membership has grown from 89 members from 15 countries and 14 disciplines to nearly 180 members from 21 countries and two dozen disciplines. We have added esteemed colleagues to the Steering Committee, Dr. Ruth Kanfer, professor of psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Alicia Munnell, an economist and director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and Dr. Julie Zissimopolous, also an economist, at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to strengthening the membership and the Steering Committee as well as  making progress on the proposed goals, the strength and growing visibility of the Network has attracted many opportunities to leverage the depth and breadth of this coalition of scholars for multiple activities and events.  A few details are provided below.

The Sloan Research Network Fall Institute
The Sloan Research Network Fall Institute was held at the T. H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University (HU) October 27-28, 2016.  In collaboration with Professor Lisa Berkman, director of the HU Center for Population and Developmental Studies, a request for proposals (RFP) was sent to Network members in May, 2016.  The RFP: Is there an App for that? Overcoming the Constraints of Later Life Work-generated 15 proposals from Network members who represented 9 countries and at least 7 disciplines, both senior and early career scholars Fall Institute Program.

Changing Attitudes/Expanding Possibilities for Later Life Employment
In November, we hosted a special day-long session for the annual meeting of GSA 11/17/16 in New Orleans.   Many more papers were submitted than could be included in the day-long session, but these panels/papers were scheduled throughout the GSA program. Program schedule   The day-long program included 4 sets of panel presentations, numerous poster sessions, and concluded with a vibrant discussion with the Older Worker Special Interest group. Topics included Age Stereotypes at Work; Aging Continued Work and Technology; Work and Caregiving; and Predictors, Barriers and Facilitators of Longer Working Lives.  The combination of this day of sessions and the additional papers that were accepted and scheduled for other times clearly had a multiplicative effect on the number of sessions focused on aging and work at GSA overall this year.
Translating Research on Aging & Work into Practice: Effective Strategies for Communicating with Employers
Network members have been afforded an opportunity to submit proposals for papers on the state of knowledge about workplace-based policies and practices that make it possible for older adults to extend their labor force attachment through the regular GSA peer-review process.  Again more papers were submitted than could be used for the workshop, in addition, the quality of the submissions was strong.  Thus, a 1 ½ day preconference is being planned for next summer.  The letters of invitation will go out in December.

Support for Paid Family Leave in the U.S.
We have heard from several of you who are interested in working with us to draft a letter of support for legislation being proposed by a U.S. senator to enact paid family leave with an emphasis on the caregiving responsibilities of older workers.  We will convene a virtual meeting of interested Network members in January.  Please let me know if you might be interested in being part of this group.  We plan to circulate a draft, make revisions, and then circulate a final letter for as many supporting signatures as we can get.

As always, I like to remind you that this is your Network!  Please let me know if there are additional ways that we can support you in your work

With all best wishes for a happy holiday season!


Jacquelyn James
Director, Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work
Boston College

*Network Steering Committee: Ruth Kanfer, Christina Matz-Costa, Phyllis Moen, Alicia Munnell, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Sara Rix, Ursula Staudinger, Harvey Sterns, Philip Taylor, Julie Zissimopoulos