Richard Tucker Gerontology Applied Research Awards Program


RICHARD TUCKER Gerontology Applied Research AWARDS PROGRAM

General Information

Richard Tucker Gerontology Applied Research Award is a competitive award specifically for Applied Gerontology Research conducted at UCF by UCF faculty, staff or graduate students under the sponsorship of UCF professors.  This award will consider all UCF faculty supported applied research in the area of Gerontology, and includes proposed or in progress research studies.

In September each year the program is announced by an email sent out by  all Deans and Department heads.  This memo references the LIFE at UCF web links that include specific instructions and application form which must be utilized for all submissions. Please contact your department administrative assistant if you have not received this email.   The grant process includes selection of finalists that are interviewed by a special Gerontology Awards committee.  This year’s program start date is October 15, 2018.  The submission deadline is January 18, 2019.

The web application is essential to the program, and must be completed and submitted through the website.  The website performs many necessary administrative actions to process each submission.   Submitting your application requires two steps, both of which are accomplished on the web site.  Detailed instructions are included on the application web page.  Applications are located at this link: Gerontology Research Award Application 

Each submission will be sent an email receipt.  Submission deadline and selection notification dates are included.

Since the total funds available for this program are dependent on LIFE membership fees, yearly specific individual grant funding limits are established.  Typical maximum grants vary between $500 & $6,000.  However, many awards only receive partial funding so it is important to prioritize your budget request.  Funds are distributed to recipients in March.

Applicants may use the monies for a variety of needs to support the research effort.  However, the monies cannot be used for staff travel or attendance to conferences to promote the research.

Awards are selected on the merits of the project submitted for consideration using the following general criteria*:

  1. How well the proposed applied research meets the purpose and intent of this  awards program.

  2. How well the proposed applied research meets or has met the stated research need.

  3. How well the proposed applied research benefits LIFE members and the elder community.

  4. The availability of other funding to support this research.

  5. The ability to fund portions of the research budget submitted.                                                                               *Proposals are not required to meet all criteria.


Examples of research grants previously awarded include the following:


This year LIFE received 36 applications for the Applied Gerontology Research Awards that requested over $102,000 in funds. The LIFE board approved $30,000 to support these awards.

1. Giselle Carnaby  Research :  “Swallowing function in the Community Dwelling elderly”                                                                                                                                   6,900.00 Award.

This research tests the hypothesis that many elderly people have serious swallowing conditions, and that the elderly are unaware this condition is common.  The research also utilizes a simple swallowing test that will show if more detailed examinations are needed.

2. Leslie David Research : “Promoting Healthy Aging by Inhibiting Amyloidogenesis to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease”                                                       $4,800.00 Award.

This research is a very advanced and sophisticated biophysics laboratory research utilizing   various spectroscopy to identify a specific peptide-based inhibitor that will reduce or prevent the buildup fibers in brain cells.

3. Nicolle Dawson Research : “Investigating the Unique Predictors of Comfortable and Fast Gait Speed in Community Dwelling Older Adults”                 $7,300.00 Award.

This research utilizes physical and cognitive measures plus ultrasonography to determine unique predictors of older adult walking performance.  The knowledge gained can then be applied directly to physical therapy to improve performance.

4. Nadine Guo  Research :”Investigation of hyperglycemia-induced sarcopenia in a human-based functional system”                                                                       $4,000.00 Award.

This laboratory research uses an in vitro human- based functional muscle system connected to a myofiber monitor strength system to study the effects of hyperglycemia –induced sarcopenia.  This award funds the initial phases of this extensive research effort.

5. Antony Kong  Research : “Elderly volunteers’ involvement in facilitating communication skills of Persons with Aphasia (PWA) in assisted living facilities”  $3,000.00 Award.

This study will test the hypothesis that trained residents of assisted living facilities can facilitate the language rehabilitative  training of post stroke victims suffering a Aphasia in that facility, and will also measure the benefits to those volunteers who perform this service.

6. Fernando Montalvo Research :  “Exploring social presence in embodied virtual agents among lonely older adults.”                                                                        $2,000.00 Award.

This research utilizes two new sophisticated robots to test their use to improve the quality of life of                       lonely older adults and determine what factors caused that improvement.

7. Pamela Wisniewski Research : “Carebit: A Privacy-Preserving “Step” Toward Remote Informal Caregiving”                                                                                        $2,000.00  Award.

This research tests the benefits of a newly developed phone application (Carebit) and Fitbits for caregivers to remotely monitor their patient’Recommendationss conditions on an Android phone.  Carebit was developed by the researcher in an earlier study.


This year LIFE received 16 applications for the Applied Gerontology Research Awards that requested over $85,000 in funds. The LIFE board approved $25,350 to support these awards.

1. Dr. Janel Cosby: $7,500.00 for research involving older adults with known hearing loss. The research investigates changes in speech perception and cognitive processing after the participant has received auditory training.

2.  Dr. Nicole Dawson: $4,900.00 for research investigating the health impact of older adults interacting with children during monitored physical activities.

3.  Dr. Helen Huang: $7,000.00 for research that will determine the brain dynamics of walking in older adults. This research will utilize new advanced equipment recently installed at UCF.

4. Dr. Ladda Thiamwong: $2,650.00 for research sponsoring a pilot study to develop a falls prevention program for older adults.

5.  Dr. Joshua Trouche: $3,300.00 for testing the effectiveness of a newly developed computer application designed to help maintain functional language with persons afflicted with dementia.

This year LIFE received 9 applications for the Applied Gerontology Research Awards that requested over $54,000 in funds. The LIFE board approved$21,000 to support these awards.

The following five applications were selected for funding:
1. Sarah Gitto a doctoral student from the Burnett School of Biomedical received a $7,800.00 award for her research investigating the role of a specific type immune system cell (Eosinophils) in pancreatic cancer. This
research may provide an early detection of this most deadly type cancer in seniors. This advanced research involves the use of mice.
2. Nicolas James, a Psychology doctoral student, received a $3,000.00 award for his research that involves a Quality of Life improvement program for older adults living in assisted living facilities. This program will involve getting these adults involved in UCF sports and entertainment activities. LIFE members will be able to participate in this research.
3. Dr. Jacqueline LaManna from the College of Nursing received a $4,200.00 award to support her research in developing a baseline of the Burdens and Satisfactions of Caregiving in Older Adults by the Elderly including the  support provided. LIFE members will be able to participate in this research.
4. Michael Rupp, a doctoral student in the Applied Experimental Psychology program, received a $3,500.00 award for his research that investigates the role in aging on our ability to carry out certain physical actions and includes separating out differences between brain and muscle control functions. LIFE members will be able to participate in this research.
5. Dr. Cecyle Carson from the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department received a $2,500.00 award for her research on the educational and practical implications of the aging effects of individual’s voice acoustic measurements. LIFE members will be able to participate in this research.

Click for Application


The 2018/2019 PROGRAM will commence October 15, 2018