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


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.



Gilbrea Governance Chart

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

  • 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.

  • Gavin Andrews


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  • Equity Burke

     Research Coordinator

  • James Dunn

     Department Chair, Health, Aging and Society

  • Meridith Griffin

     Associate Professor, Gilbrea Centre Associate Director

  • Jeremiah Hurley

     Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Anthea Innes

     Professor, Director of the Gilbrea Centre, Gilbrea Chair in Aging and Mental Health


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:  For Social Sciences and Health Sciences graduate students conducting research in the field of 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.

For 2021-22, there is ONE award valued at $500.00. 

Complete application DUE:  December 3, 2021.


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: For Social Sciences and Humanities graduate students 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.

For 2021-22, there is ONE award valued at $2,500.00.  Complete application DUE:  December 3, 2021.



  1. Students can apply by going to AwardSpring, which is accessed through the “AwardSpring” tile on their Mosaic Home page. 
  2. Students will need to complete one common application to be matched with all eligible awards.  Students may be asked to submit additional information/documents for certain awards for which they apply.
  3. For detailed application instructions, please visit: Introducing AwardSpring (review the “Common App” and “To apply for a scholarship” links)
  4. Submit all required documentation by December 3, 2021 as noted on the application for the specific award.
  • E.B. Ryan Scholarship

  • Julia Kruizinga

Julia Kruizinga is pursuing a master’s of nursing thesis-based degree at McMaster University. She works as a hospice/palliative care nurse and her clinical work and passion for research drove her to pursue graduate studies. Her research interests involve early integration of palliative care, quality end-of-life outcomes, and improving access to palliative care. The focus of her thesis work is on comparing quality indicator rates for individuals receiving palliative care.

View past recipients

  • Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award

  • Harneet Hothi

Harneet has recently completed her Masters in the Health and Aging Program at McMaster University. Her thesis focused on understanding the impact of COVID-19 in long-term care on outcomes such as mortality, by different demographic and socioeconomic variables. Additionally, she took interest in learning about the social-cultural dimensions of health and aging to further her understanding about different approaches to improving health equity.

View past recipients

  • Gilbrea Travel Award

  • Emma Conway - TrentAging 2019

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  • Margherita Duesbury - Canadian Association on Gerontology 2019

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  • Kelsey Harvey - TrentAging 2019

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  • Stephanie Hatzifilalithis - Canadian Association on Gerontology 2019

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  • Blessing Ojembe - Canadian Association on Gerontology 2019

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  • Alison Ross - TrentAging 2019

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  • Blessing Ugochi Ojembe - TrentAging 2019

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View past recipients

Karl Kinanen Student Research Scholarship

These scholarship funds have been made possible due to the generous support of former McMaster faculty member Karl Kinanen, his wife, Beatrice Kemp and a number of friends and colleagues. Karl retired from McMaster University in 1992. As an Associate Professor in Social Work, Karl Kinanen taught the first Gerontology course in the mid-1970s and created the first Summer Institute on Gerontology in 1984. His work was instrumental in developing  social gerontology at McMaster, and in Canada, and marked the beginning of many continuing education events for the professional community.

In the past, these funds were used to support the Annual Karl Kinanen Public Lecture, which featured a prominent expert in the field of aging and gerontological research. The lecture was hosted by the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging at a location in Hamilton, to foster the exchange of ideas and discussion among the public, stakeholders, local providers, academics, and older people.

The shift to a student-scholarship format is intended to utilize these generous donations in a new and more focused way.. The funds will be used to support the important research conducted by students in the department of Health, Aging and Society, while broadening the connection with community programs and partners to ensure the largest reach.

Starting this year, the Karl Kinanen Scholarship will be awarded annually to 1 Undergraduate student ($1500) and 1 Graduate student ($3000) from the department of Health, Aging and Society who, through their research are dedicated to improving the quality of care of older adults and to helping people stay connected in the Hamilton community. The research must be completed in conjunction with a thesis/graduate project.

Criteria for Application:

  • Must be either an undergraduate student completing a thesis, or graduate student in the department of Health Aging and Society
  • The research should be conducted in conjunction with a thesis or graduate project.
  • A proposed statement of interest must be included with an application which includes – a description of the proposed research project, a rationale/short lit review for research, a proposed community partner, methods, and a timeline.
  • A letter of reference from the student’s supervisor must also be included.

Components of the Scholarship:

  • The chosen recipients must connect with a Hamilton Community Partner and have this partner approved by the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging.  This can be a new or existing relationship. The community partner must be informed of the research being conducted and utilized as a source of recruitment.
  • The recipients must complete a minimum of 5 interviews (conducted either in person if possible/ or virtually).
  • The interviews must be transcribed and analyzed, and a final report must be completed. Any publications must provide reference to the Karl K Scholarship fund (in addition to any other funding sources).
  • The recipient of the Undergraduate Scholarship must also complete a blog post/info sheet on their research prior to the final report that will be shared publicly and used as knowledge mobilization. The Gilbrea Centre will post on our website and circulate.
  • The recipient of the Graduate Scholarship will be required to complete a blog post/info sheet prior to the final report that will be shared publicly and used as knowledge mobilization. In addition the graduate student must complete a public seminar as part of the Gilbrea Seminar Series on their research findings. . 

How to Apply

  1. Download and fill out PDF Application
  2. Submit application and reference letter via email to the Gilbrea Centre (gilbrea@mcmaster.ca) with the subject: Karl Kinanen Scholarship Application + your name.
  3. After review, the Gilbrea Centre will reach out via email to indicate approval status and next steps.


  • Undergraduate Students: November 15, 2021
  • Grad Students: Tuesday January 11th 2022 Extended to January 25, 2022.
  • Karl Kinanen Student Research Scholarship - Undergraduate

  • Bria Mitrovica

Bria Mitrovica is completing her final year in the Combined Honours Program in Health and Society & Aging and Society. She is proud to be working as a Research Assistant to Dr. Nicole Dalmer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Aging and Society. Influenced by her love for her grandmothers, Bria has always been drawn to the field of Gerontology. Bria is weighing her options for graduate work, and hopes to find her unique role to help ensure older adults receive holistic and quality care.  

  • Karl Kinanen Student Research Scholarship - Graduate

  • Amanda Bull

Amanda Bull is an MA Student in Health & Aging in the Department of Health, Aging & Society. Her thesis project aims to build off of the work she completed as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. By seeking to gain a more nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of older adults who face ageism in the workplace, Amanda hopes to use these results to inform equity, diversity, and inclusion policies that often neglect age-related concerns.