The Gilbrea Centre is an interdisciplinary research hub that is dedicated to address issues of aging through collaborative and policy relevant research. 

Based on a collaborative undertaking by outstanding researchers and educators , the Centre produces and communicates socially-relevant knowledge which helps to broaden understandings of aging, the challenges that exist, and the suggested directions for change.

Our vision is to address the needs of an aging society through research that is grounded in community partnerships, and knowledge exchange with target groups including students, faculty, community organizations, decision-makers, and older people.

Created as a major step forward in addressing contemporary issues of aging, the Centre's work on aging extends beyond McMaster's campus through partnerships and collaboration with National and international research teams, and partners in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  


In addition to the above stated mission, the Gilbrea Centre coordinates research and knowledge exchange according to the following objectives:

Foster inter- and trans-disciplinary research on aging that supports the education and service mission of the University
Leverage success and attract financial support for research and knowledge exchange from the public and private sectors
Ensure that our research is grounded in the community and responsive to real needs and concerns of individuals, families and societies
Support and promote the University’s strategic plan by building on the study of aging as an area of excellence at McMaster University
To support and promote research on three broad programs: Aging and Independence; Aging and Social Inclusion; and Aging and Mental Health
Support and promote innovative research on three broad programs: Aging and Independence; Aging and Social Inclusion; and Aging and Mental Health



Gilbrea Governance Chart


Why is the Centre called the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging?

The study of aging from a social perspective has a long-established history at McMaster. In fact, McMaster was one of the first undergraduate programs of gerontology in Canada.  The McMaster Centre for Gerontological Studies was founded in 1985 and over the years has played a central role in teaching and research in Canada.

In 2011, the Centre received a generous donation, and became an endowed Centre for research into aging at McMaster. The Gilbrea name comes from our donor's ancestral estate located in the Lakes district of Northern England (photos). In 1879 our donor's family moved to Canada and Gilbrea became the name of a two hundred acre farm on Lakeshore Road between Oakville and Bronte (one portion of the farm is now the site of Oakville's Coronation Park). Although the farm has long since disappeared, the name Gilbrea continues on across the generations with the donor's family. The name Gilbrea now takes on a new meaning through its new association with leadership and innovation in the field of aging in Canada.

Advisory Board

The Centre's Advisory Board counsels the Executive Committee on matters related to the success of the Centre. These matters include: leveraging successes to attract financial support for outstanding inter-disciplinary research; translating research results into policy and care practices; developing successful partnerships in the public and private sectors; engaging in effective and sustained community outreach and partnerships; and increasing the range and prominence of aging studies in the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate curriculum.

  • Mary Burnett

    Board Member

  • Glenys Currie

    Board Member

  • Margaret Denton

    Board Member

  • Igor Gontcharov

    Board Member

  • Amanda Grenier

    Board Member

  • Meridith Griffin

    Board Member

  • Glenn Miller

    Board Member

  • Alexandra Papaioannou

    Board Member

  • Judith Phillips

    Board Member

  • Mary Sinclair

    Board Member

  • Laura Tamblyn-Watts

    Board Member

  • Ellen Yachnin

    Board Member

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee contributes to the maintenance of a strategic vision for the Centre in line with supporting high quality interdisciplinary research. The executive committee ensures that the activities of the Centre are aligned with broader University initiatives with regards to research and teaching at McMaster, including the involvement of the community at large. The Executive Committee also provides administrative and budgetary oversight, and assists with suggestions for programming, and the development of Centre policies and programming as needed.

  • James Dunn

     Department Chair, Health, Aging and Society

  • Amanda Grenier

     Director, Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging

  • Meridith Griffin

     Associate Director, Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging

  • Jeremiah Hurley

     Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences


E.B. Ryan Scholarship

The E.B. Ryan Scholarship was established in 1997 using funds raised by a performance of the play "Letter from Wingfield Farm". 

Eligibility: This scholarship is to be awarded to in-course graduate students from the Faculties of Social Sciences or Health Sciences who are conducting research on aging .

Review Process and Evaluation Criteria: The scholarship will be awarded by the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging.

Award: For 2017-18, there is ONE award valued at $1,000.00.  

Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award

The Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award was established in 1999 by Barbara Bayne to honour Dr. Ronald Bayne's valuable contribution to the study of Gerontology at McMaster University.

Eligibility: This award is to be awarded to any current graduate student from the Faculties of Humanities or Social Sciences who is conducting research in the field of aging.

Review Process and Evaluation Criteria: The award will be awarded by the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Director of the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging.

Award: For 2017-18, there is ONE award valued at $2,500.00.  




  1. Students first need to complete a profile on Mosaic.  Instructions on how to complete a personal profile and more information about the online Aid by Application process are available on the Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (SFAS) website under McMaster Aid.
  2. Once the profile is complete, students should go to their Student Center in Mosaic under “Apply for Financial Aid” and click on the “Aid by Application” tab in order to see the available applications and their descriptions.
  3. Click to expand the boxes and read the award descriptions.
  4. Click on the “Apply” box if you meet all award criteria.  The box will be greyed out if the current date is not within the award application period.
  5. Click the link and print the Required Document List.
  6. Click “APPLY”


 Submit all required documentation (HARD COPY) by December 1, 2017 to the Health, Aging & Society office (KTH 226) as noted on the application form. 

**NOTE: There is a SEPARATE application for EACH award that will need to be downloaded from Mosaic.***


  • E.B. Ryan Scholarship

  • Alison Ross

Alison Ross is a PhD Candidate in Health Studies at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. James Gillett. Alison also holds a Master’s Degree in Health Studies (McMaster University), a BA (Hons) in Health Studies and Psychology (Queen’s University, Kingston, ON) and a Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training Diploma (Vancouver Island, BC). She is currently a Research Associate with the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster and teaches in the Centre for Health Sciences at George Brown College (Toronto, ON). Alison’s research program, informed by social constructionism and symbolic interactionist perspectives, engages qualitative methods to examine polypharmacy and deprescribing. In collaboration with an interdisciplinary team in the Department of Family Medicine, Alison’s research creates space for the voices of older adults in the design of deprescribing programs as part of standard preventative medical care to reduce medication burden.

View past recipients

  • Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award

  • Kelsey Harvey

Kelsey Harvey is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON (Canada) studying Social Gerontology. She has earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Adult Education from Buffalo State College, an Advanced Certificate in Long-Term Care Administration, and dual Bachelors Degrees Summa Cum Laude in Music and Social Gerontology. Kelsey has also held teaching appointments with the University at Buffalo and Brock University, as well as spent a decade working in long-term care and community support services, holding positions such as Director of Education and Training for the Alzheimer’s Association, Western New York Chapter. Her research interests include leisure, quality of life, older adulthood, education, and physical activity.

View past recipients

  • Gilbrea Travel Award

  • Kelsey Harvey

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  • Stephanie Hatzifilalithis

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  • Rachel Weldrick

    Read more

View past recipients