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

  • 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.

  • Amanda Bradford-Janke

     Research Manager

  • 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: This scholarship in NOT availailbe for the 2016/17 academic year.

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: There is ONE award available, and the current value is $1,000.00 for the 2016/17 academic year.



1. Application form (specific to each award) accessible through Mosaic.  Once logged in to your Student Center, go to “Finances” and then “Apply for financial aid”.  Click “Aid by Application” and then select “Aid Year” followed by “In course awards”.  Click the “Apply for this Award” box for the Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award.  Select “Click here to print required document list” and the required application form will appear.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Apply” button.

2. Copies of original academic transcripts and/or unofficial McMaster University transcripts

3. ONE-PAGE (single-spaced) Plan of Study or Statement of Interest

4. CV/resume (please include your contact information, i.e., e-mail address)

Please e-mail ONE PDF document containing all required items listed above to Kristine Espiritu, Administrative Assistant (Graduate Program), Department of Health, Aging & Society (KTH 226):  espirit@mcmaster.ca


If you have any questions regarding this award, please contact McMaster University School of Graduate Studies.

  • E.B. Ryan Scholarship

  • Rachel Weldrick

Rachel Weldrick is a PhD student in Social Gerontology and McMaster University. Her research interests include social well-being and experiences with mental illness in late life.  She currently works as a graduate research assistant with Dr. Amanda Grenier and the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging.  Her doctoral work is also supervised by Dr. Grenier. Rachel's thesis will begin to explore the connections between aging and mental health concerns among older people, particularly among disadvantaged and marginalized seniors.  She is predominantly interested in non-Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (non-ADRD) forms of mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety disorders.  This work will begin to bring a focus to the social and mental health needs of older people, and highlight the ways in which programs and policies can better serve this group.  

View past recipients

  • Ronald Bayne Gerontology Award

  • Stephanie Hatzifilalithis

Stephanie is a first-year student in the Ph.D. program in the Department of Health, Aging, and Society at McMaster University under the guidance of Dr. Amanda Grenier.  Stephanie holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Sheffield and an MSc In Cognitive Neuroscience from University College London, UK. Stephanie is the head of Communications/Secretary of the Gilbrea Student Group and is also the lead on a Student Proposal for Intellectual Community & Engaged Scholarship (SPICES) Grant, named Seniors of Canada. Her work thus far has focused on health and wellbeing, the benefits of social interaction, and cognitive vitality among older people. Her Ph.D. project will investigate the theoretical frameworks, methodologies, and applications of Intergenerational Learning.

View past recipients

  • Gilbrea Travel Award

  • Catherine Dyer

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  • Jessica Pace

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View past recipients