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Identifying Priorities for Future Social Science Aging Research During the Decade of Healthy Aging 2021-2030 Matthias Kliegel
Jürgen Maurer
Maud Wieczorek

An Online Modified Delphi Study and Survey Among Academic Thought Leaders, Policy Practitioners and Active Researchers in Gerontology

Aging is a major individual, social and economic challenge of contemporary societies. Using a biopsychosocial model of aging, the World Health Organization’s Healthy Ageing Framework aims at addressing the challenges and opportunities of aging by promoting individuals’ functional ability throughout the entire life course. Over the last decades, social science aging research has made important contributions to a better understanding of healthy aging and related policies. However, higher-level agenda-setting studies regarding future priorities for social science aging research are currently lacking. 

The proposed project, therefore, aims to identify current knowledge gaps and potential priority topics for future social science aging research by soliciting perceived knowledge gaps and future research priorities from panels of academic and policy experts in the field. To this end, we will conduct an online modified two-part Delphi study among an international sample of recognized academic experts and eminent policy practitioners and research funders with the aim to establish consensus on potential high-impact topics for future social science aging research. The results from this Delphi study will be complemented by a quantitative survey on perceived knowledge gaps and future research priorities of active social science aging researchers as identified by recent authorship of publications in leading international peer-reviewed social science journals on aging. 

The identification of key knowledge gaps and promising topics for future social science- aging research through a systematic, comprehensive and transparent process will contribute to the agenda setting process regarding future research priorities during the ongoing Decade of Healthy Aging 2021-2030. Our results will help to focus attention on research topics with the highest perceived impact on academic social science aging research and related evidence policy among researchers, policymakers, funders and data producers and trigger further discussions on key research priorities in this field within the broader stakeholder community.

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