Title: Graduate scholarships (MSc and/or PhD)
Location: University of Toronto, Canada
Date: April 2, 2002

Project: Innovative approaches to optimizing balance and mobility
in older adults

The successful candidates will join a multi-disciplinary research
team headquartered at the Centre for Studies in Aging (CSiA),
Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre.
Sunnybrook & Women's is a major teaching hospital fully affiliated
with the University of Toronto. The research team is currently led
by six senior scientists: three bioengineers (Drs. Brian Maki, Geoff
Fernie and Milos Popovic), a neuroscientist (Dr. William McIlroy)
and two clinicians (Drs. Barbara Liu and Rory Fisher). The team
has been awarded a major grant from the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (CIHR), which will provide funding for the
scholarships and associated research projects.

The research program is aimed primarily at understanding effects of
aging on the control of balance and movement, and developing new
approaches to prevent falls and promote safe mobility in older
adults. Within these areas, there is a wide range of projects,
encompassing fundamental studies of biomechanics and motor
control, applied research and development of assistive
technologies, and clinical falls prevention programs. A major
strength of the program is the combination of basic science,
clinical research and product design and development. The team
will include a strong emphasis on using artificial intelligence to
compensate for age-related attentional and cognitive deficits, i.e.
development of "smart" assistive devices and building

The studies will be conducted primarily at Sunnybrook and/or
CSiA. Research facilities include a unique large-scale multi-axis
moving platform system for evoking postural reactions, and
associated instrumentation (motion-analysis systems, force plates,
EMG). Development facilities include design workstations,
electronics and machine shops, and laboratories for testing of
prototypes. Some projects will tie in with the Sunnybrook Falls
Clinic and/or other ongoing clinical programs.

The scholarships will provide up to $24,500 (Can.) per year
(approximately $15,500 US). In cases where a second award is
held, the funds will be used to augment the existing award, so as
to reach a total yearly stipend of $24,500. Although the yearly
stipend is guaranteed, students will be required each year to apply
for support from external funding agencies.

For more information about our research, see our web site:


BSc or MSc in engineering, computer science, biomechanics,
kinesiology, neuroscience, rehabilitation science or a related field.
Experience in biomechanical measurements (eg motion analysis,
EMG) and background in the control of postural balance and
movement would be advantageous. We are also looking for
individuals with a background in artificial intelligence, computational
intelligence, expert systems, neuro-fuzzy systems, cognitive
neuroscience and/or related fields.

Applicants for the MSc must hold a 3-year cumulative average of A-
(GPA of 3.7) or better in their undergraduate program. The average
in the final undergraduate year must also be A- or better.
Applicants for the PhD must have received an MSc with a standing
of B+ (GPA of 3.3) or better.

Facility in the English language must be demonstrated by all
applicants whose primary language is not English and who
graduated from a university where the language of instruction and
examination was not in English. This requirement may be satisfied
after obtaining a score of 600 in the TOEFL (Test of English as a
Foreign Language) and 5.0 in the TWE (Test of Written English).

The successful candidates will be required to register for an MSc or
PhD degree at the University of Toronto, through either the Institute
of Medical Science, the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical
Engineering, or the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science.


This is an ongoing program; therefore, there is no closing date for

If you meet the requirements described above and wish to apply,
please send a covering letter, curriculum vitae and copy of your
university transcripts to:

Brian Maki, PhD, PEng
Professor, University of Toronto
Senior Scientist, Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences

Centre for Studies in Aging
2075 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M4N 3M5
E-mail: brian.maki@swchsc.on.ca
FAX: 416-480-5856

Submissions by e-mail or FAX are preferred. After an initial
screening, selected applicants will be asked to forward three
academic and/or professional letters of reference, as well as
reprints or preprints of peer-reviewed articles or abstracts.

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