HALCyon brings together researchers who are specialists in ageing, cohort studies or research methods and non-academic partners who use research findings, so that the research is sound, comparable and shared with those who need it.
The Halcyon programme originally consisted of eight work packages each focusing on a specific area. These work packages were linked together by a central Core project which developed methodology, shared knowledge with research users and the wider community and co-ordinated the programme.
In 2013, HALCyon researchers joined forces with researchers on the Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies of Aging (IALSA) network and secured further funding from the US National Institutes of Health.
The Original Work Packages
Each work package takes one area of interest and studies it in depth:
The Core Project
With a collaborative and interdisciplinary study such as this, keeping eight work packages across nine cohorts well organised and integrated is a challenge, particularly when each discipline has a specialist language and different ways of doing research.
The Methodology part of the Core Project aims to support and integrate the research by providing comparable measures in the different cohorts that that can be used across all the work packages.
Knowledge sharing between the researchers is important, but it is also vital to get findings out to health professionals, policy makers and the general public quickly and efficiently. The HALCyon programme is doing this by including non-academic partners in its range of activities (see a list of non-academic partners).
Finally the Core Project plays host to meetings, keeps the study organised and provide a central point of contact and liaison for the study.
The Core Project is headed by Professor Diana Kuh.
Knowledge Transfer Steering Group (KTSG)
The KTSG is made up of members of partner organisations who are interested in the progress and outcomes of the study. This group aims to share knowledge and findings with the wider health practice and policy communities and the general public as soon as possible.
Groups involved in HALCyon
There are four groups involved in the study, each with a specific role to play:
Primary cohort investigators - the people who look after the cohort studies
Cross-linking methodologists - those who look at shared research methods and practice
Specialists in biological, psychological and social ageing - those who undertake the research in the individual work packages
Non-academic partners - with expertise in disseminating and using research outcomes