Posted on
January 19, 2024

Apply for an RCCN Travel Award to Attend the Second Annual a2 National Symposium


Request for Applications

RCCN Travel Awards for Early Career Investigators

a2 National Symposium: Empowering Innovation in AI/Tech + Aging

March 19-20, 2024

Smilow Center for Translational Research

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

The a2 Collective invites innovators, academics, and industry leaders to convene at the University of Pennsylvania's Smilow Center for Translational Research on March 19-20, 2024, for the second annual a2 National Symposium, hosted by the Penn Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratory for Healthy Aging (PennAITech). Join us for this 2-day event to engage with awardees from both the first and second cohorts, healthcare executives, capital allocators, renowned academic experts, clinical researchers, and a host of tech startups ready to shape the future of AgeTech. The symposium will include keynote talks, panels, networking opportunities, and a pilot awardees poster session. Registration, a preliminary agenda, and additional event details are available on the PennAITech website.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) Research Centers Collaborative Network (RCCN) is offering travel awards for approximately 10 early career investigators or investigators in training to attend the symposium in person. The travel awards will cover symposium registration fee, domestic travel to and from the symposium, and hotel accommodations (see full reimbursement guidelines for additional details). Successful applicants will be affiliated with at least one center belonging to an RCCN NIA-supported center program (listed below) and have demonstrated translational or multidisciplinary interests in AI/tech and aging. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Eligible RCCN NIA-Supported Programs:

• Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers

• Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratories for Aging Research

• Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging

• Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers

• Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging

• Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research

• Roybal Centers for Translational Research on Aging

Affiliation with an NIA-supported center is defined as (1) having (partial) salary support through an NIA center program or (2) having previously received pilot funding, accessed center data, used center cores, or received mentoring through an NIA center program. Other forms of affiliation will also be considered.


To be considered for an RCCN travel award for the second annual a2 National Symposium, applicants must:

• Be an advanced doctoral student (have completed all requirements for the degree except for the dissertation), postdoctoral fellow, or early stage investigator as defined by NIH (

• Be affiliated with or a subawardee of at least one NIA-sponsored center (i.e., AITC, Shock, Roybal, RCMAR, OAIC/Pepper, ADRC, or CDEA).

• Have demonstrated translational or multidisciplinary interest relevant to AI/tech and aging.

• Be available to attend both days of the symposium.

• Be willing to complete a post-event survey that includes a summary of what they learned at the symposium.

Selection Criteria

• Qualifications of the applicant

• Academic or R&D environment

• Demonstrated interest in a career relevant to translational or multidisciplinary research in aging

• Overall diversity of NIA centers represented among travel award recipients


Submit your application using this form for a travel award to the March 19-20, 2024, a2 National Symposium by Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. Decisions will be made no later than Friday, Feb. 23, 2024.

Please complete the form and upload one PDF that includes the following: cover page, statement of interest (500 words or less), NIH-style biosketch, and statement of support from the director or principal investigator of an NIA center with which you are affiliated (100 words or less). The statement of interest should address what you hope to gain from the symposium.

Questions? Any questions about the symposium or the travel stipend can be directed to Sofia Davis at

The full RFA (including application cover page) may be downloaded as a PDF here. The cover page is also available to download via the application form.

Reimbursement guidelines for RCCN travel awards to attend the second annual a2 National Symposium can be viewed here.

About RCCN: The goal of the NIA’s Research Centers Collaborative Network (RCCN) is to bring together researchers from the seven NIA centers programs to foster the development of cross-center collaborations around issues important to the health and well-being of older adults.

About the a2 Collective: The a2 Collective represents the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Collaboratories (AITC) for Aging Research program, which is dedicated to helping Americans live longer, healthier lives through the application of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. The AITC program is funded by NIA, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) The a2 Collective Coordinating Center is managed by Rose Li & Associates, Inc.