Public Release: 

Ram earns GSA's 2015 Baltes Foundation Award

The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Nilam Ram, PhD, of The Pennsylvania State University as the 2015 recipient of the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology.

This distinguished honor, given annually, recognizes outstanding early career contributions in behavioral and social gerontology. Individuals who have received their doctorate within the last ten years are eligible. The award is given by GSA in conjunction with the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation.

The award presentation will take place at GSA's 68th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Orlando, Florida. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit for further details.

Ram is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies and the Department of Psychology at Penn State, director of StudioLab PSU, and a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research.

His work focuses on longitudinal research methodology and life-span development -- particularly in how within-person/intra-individual change and variability study designs can contribute to the understanding of human behavior. He is developing and applying novel longitudinal methods in ways that address fundamental questions about behavioral change.

A key element of Ram's research program is the explicit interplay between developmental theory, method, and data. He uses the methodological innovations to challenge, extend, and demonstrate the need for greater precision in the current theoretical viewpoints, while at the same time using the theoretical viewpoints to further reconceptualize how analytical methods can be adapted and applied to the study of individual-level processes. The work encompasses and integrates data collected at both "slow" and "fast" time-scales -- the former describing long-term developmental change; the latter elucidating the behavioral and biological mechanisms that drive developmental change. Coupling the theory and method with data collected using mobile technologies, he is contributing to a paradigm shift towards person-specific methodology and the delivery of individualized interventions/treatment.

He earned a BA in economics from Columbia University, a MS in kinesiology from the University of Colorado Bolder, and a PhD in quantitative psychology from the University of Virginia.


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society -- and its 5,500+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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