Summer Data Immersion Program

Each year, the Research and Education Core (REC) will sponsor a Summer Data Immersion that will leverage University of Michigan’s considerable secondary data resources to train investigators at all levels (graduate students, post-docs, junior faculty, mid and senior faculty). The specific goals of this national, competitive program are to provide:

  1. Intensive analytic training
  2. Exposure to secondary data sources that can be used for supplementary publications and pilot data for grant applications
  3. Significant networking opportunities. During the five-day program, leaders from ICPSR, NACDA, and HRS at U-M will introduce scholars to major, large-scale, international datasets available to address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD)-relevant research questions and provide hands-on instruction in the use of these datasets.
The Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD) hosted it’s second Summer Data Immersion (SDI) program June 7-16, 2021
Forty-five researchers joined this virtual program to emphasize racial/ethnic and contextual
factors in the study of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) care using a team science approach. During
the program, data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and its
linked National Study of Caregiving (NSOC) were used to investigate AD care topics,
including: 1) immigrant contexts, 2) end-of-life caregiving, 3) multiple caregivers; 4) spousal
caregiving; 5) geographic contexts; 6) interactions with the medical system; 7) costs of AD
caregiving; 8) COVID-19 contexts; and 9) paid care in the contexts of community and long-
term environments. MCCFAD kicked off the nine-day program with plenary talks on the
topics of AD care in racial/ethnic contexts from Dr. Sheria Robinson-Lane, NHATS and
NSOC overview from Dr. Vicki Freedman, and dyadic analysis techniques from Dr. Richard
Gonzalez, including a podcast style presentation in collaboration with Dr. William Chopik.
The virtual format incorporated in-depth team work, a hack-a-thon, as well as social and
cultural activities including a chocolate tasting event where SDI participants learned about
cocoa that comes from parts of the world where racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. have
ancestry. MCCFAD’s long-term goal is to eliminate ADRD disparities through research
findings, mentorship, community links, and increased numbers of behavioral and social
scientists from underrepresented backgrounds. Each year we accept 3 Research Scientists for
our enrichment program which involves mentoring from the pilot-study investigator stage
through professional publications and independent research applications and funding. Keep
an eye out for our Request for Proposals in fall 2021. The SDI program is organized to
extend our reach and contribute to advancing the science of contextual factor in Alzheimer’s
disease. We solicit applications for our SDI in early spring.

2019 Program

Modeling Cognitive Aging in Context

By all accounts, the 2019 MCCFAD Summer Data Immersion Program was a big success!

Participants represented all career levels and various academic disciplines. The program included didactic presentations, small workgroup meetings, hands-on training in data analysis to address important research questions relevant to Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, lots of networking, and mentorship opportunities.

The 2019 workshop may be over, but it does not end here. Participants will continue to work with their group members to answer their research questions and develop their publications!