The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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CRF Student Scholar Receives National Institute of Health National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship

Might revisiting personal memories of strength and resiliency increase emotional well-being in older adults during times of distress? Healthy older adults report greater emotional well-being than younger adults, but the mechanisms underlying late-life emotional resiliency remain unknown. We are excited to announce that Irina Orlovsky, a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology and participant in our 2019 Graduate Grant Writers Program, has received a National Institute of Health National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship, a 3-year $117,696 grant to study this question. 

Irina, who’s mentor is current Family Research Scholar Dr. Bruna Martins, project is titled, Exploring the Role of Autobiographical Memory in Emotion Regulation Among Younger and Older Adults. It aims to seek to clarification in the role of autobiographical memory, or the recall of personally experienced life events, in supporting emotion regulation strategies that are particularly effortful and challenging in older adulthood. Identifying a mechanism by which older adults maintain emotional well-being could lead to targeted and enhanced cognitive-behavioral interventions that may improve the emotional health and functional independence of older adults.  Irina worked on her NRSA grant under the supportive guidance of the CRF Student Grant Writing Program run by Dr. Rebecca Spencer, and in celebrating her achievement was the first to say, “I couldn’t have done it without the help of CRF!”

Dr. Spencer says, “CRF provided feedback on her drafts, training in grantsmanship, and support in the submission process. I am thrilled for Irina's success. Her award reflects the novel and important research that she brought to the table.” Dr. Bruna Martins, her mentor, and collaborator says “Irina's efforts and passion are echoed by this momentous achievement, I have no doubt that the NRSA award will be the first of many to come. I envision Irina becoming a rising star in emotional aging neuroscience, committed to asking and addressing complex but key questions in the field. It is such an honor to support her and collaboratively begin addressing her research aims together in the coming years.”