The Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work is an international, multidisciplinary research network focused on the changing circumstances of work in later life. The Network was established in 2015 with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Jacquelyn James, Ph.D, Director of the Network.

Highlights of Network Activities

2019

Exploring Justice, Equity, and Inclusion for Older Workers in the Changing Context of Aging & Work
Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Collaborative Research Initiative
Sponsored by the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work, Boston College

Over the last two decades, the phrase “aging and work” has evolved from its status as an oxymoron to a well-understood reality.  It is now a clearly-recognized fact that the 3-legged stool of retirement security (employer-sponsored pensions, government pensions e.g. Social Security in the U.S., and individual savings) is rickety at best. More people need to work beyond conventional retirement ages in order to sustain financial security in the face of longer lives and growing expenses. This need is paramount for older adults in general but even greater for low-income, racial and ethnic minority, and blue-collar older workers, hereafter referred to as under-represented minorities (URM). While perceived and/or real age discrimination has been identified as a factor limiting options for older adults, less is known about factors that mitigate against such perceptions of unfairness and injustice.

Thus, we invite proposals that focus on the positive side of that equation—what workplace policies and practices enhance the prospects of justice and inclusion for older workers, especially issues faced by certain vulnerable, marginalized groups of older adults (URM)?  More information is here.

2018

Preconference Workshop in Boston (November 14, 2018)
Research that Matters to Employers: Overcoming the Constraints of Later Life Work at the Gerontological Society of America Meeting

  • Presenters focused on the workshop theme, Research that Matters to Employers: Overcoming the Constraints of Later Life Work, including keynote speaker, Kerry Hannon, a best-selling author, highly-acclaimed columnist, and nationally-recognized expert and strategist on career transitions, personal finance, retirement, and entrepreneurship. The workshop attendees had a lively discussion of proposals for new research ideas pertinent to the theme.  The closing featured a wrap-up addressing the parallels between the work of the Network and the labor dispute that continued throughout the event as well as the importance of the future of the Network.

Presentation in Boston (March 9, 2018)

  • Jacquelyn James, Director of the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work, presented a paper, Beyond the Livelong Work Day: The New Face of Retirement, at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University.

Conference in Miami, FL (January 18-19, 2018)
Current and Emerging Trends in Aging and Work, co-sponsored by the NIH-funded Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) in collaboration with NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work

  • Jacquelyn James, PhD presented a paper, All the Livelong Day: The New Face of Retirement.  All papers from the conference are included in an edited volume accepted for publication by the Springer Publishing Company (Czaja, Sharit, James & Grosch (Eds). This book, Current and Emerging Trends in Aging and Work addresses the challenges and opportunities confronting older workers and organizations. It provides an up-to-date comprehensive summary of what is known about aging and work. In addition, it includes chapters on current and emerging topics related to work and aging adults such as working in teams, the increasing diversity of the labor force, work and caregiving and the implications of technology for an aging workforce.

2017

Webinar for the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s Grand Challenge Initiative: Advancing Long (Healthy) and Productive Lives (September 19, 2017)

  • Dr. James discussed the changing needs and wishes of older workers who want to work longer and with more flexibility as well as employer responses to these requirements.

Preconference Workshop at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) World Congress in San Francisco, CA (July 23-24, 2017)
Translating Research on Aging & Work into Practice: Effective Strategies for Communicating with Employers, co-sponsored by The National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Gerontological Society of American (GSA) and the Productive Ageing Centre, Australia

  • Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work members presented papers about workplace-based policies and practices that make it possible for older adults to extend their labor force attachment. In addition, ten poster sessions introduced Early Career Scholars to aging and work issues.

2016

Fall Institute at the T. H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University (October 27-28, 2016)
Is There an App for that? Overcoming the Constraints of Later Life Work

  • Designed to leverage the considerable expertise among Network members in order to develop a research agenda around the knowledge gaps in the area of aging and work, the meeting focused on ways to overcome constraints to later work life, engaging early career scholars and developing publications to address these knowledge gaps.

Special Session at the Gerontological Society of American (GSA) Conference in New Orleans, LA (November 17, 2016)
Changing Attitudes/Expanding Possibilities for Later Life Employment

  • The Special Session examined age stereotypes and changing attitudes about older workers; opportunities and challenges of technology; barriers and facilitators of working longer; and issues for employers and public policymakers.

Special issue of the journal, Work, Aging and Retirement (July 2016; M. Wang, Ed.)
Change in the Meaning and Experience of Work in Later Life

  • The script for later life is being re-written, in part due to increased longevity, improved health, shifts in the economy, and changes to pension systems. A series of papers from members of the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work examine changes in the meaning and experience of work in later life with implications for future research, employers, and policymakers.

 2015

Pre-conference Workshop at the Gerontological Society of American (GSA) Conference in Orlando, FL (November 18, 2015)
Change in the Meaning and Experience of Work in Later Life

  • This workshop examined the power of an engaged life and challenging work for older adults and the role of employers in optimizing the older adult work experience.