Interdisciplinary research on aging well and with dignity in the face of demographic change

Research Focus

Demographic change has led to fundamental changes to our society in all areas of life. To be able to react adequately to these changes, interdisciplinary research on aging is required that also seeks dialogue with practice and politics.

The GRADE Center Aging aims to foster empirical research on “aging well” from a wide range of disciplines, emphasizing conditions, processes and consequences of normal aging from relatively resource-rich to relatively resource-poor circumstances in later life. In general, aging is not seen as a deficit or a disease, but as a normal part of our lives, which more and more people are experiencing into higher ages. The focus is on the question of how life can be shaped in the course of aging, i.e. what individuals and society must learn and achieve in order to age well, contentedly and with dignity.

A special feature of aging research at Goethe University is a combination of life, cultural and social science perspectives with the aim of promoting and maintaining quality of life. This is made possible by bringing together social, educational, psychological, legal and medical expertise. This gives Frankfurt a specific profile as a location for aging research that stands out from the range of topics at other aging research institutions in Germany. The center is organized in close cooperation with the Frankfurt Forum for Interdisciplinary Aging Research (FFIA), hosting researchers from Psychology, Medicine, Law, Educational and Social Sciences.


The aim of the GRADE Center Aging is to bring together and promote early career researchers (ECR) from various disciplines and to make Goethe University Frankfurt more visible as an institution for interdisciplinary aging research. Thus, the interdisciplinary graduate college GRADE Center Aging initiates, bundles and supports dissertation and post-doctoral projects (habilitation projects) related to topics of later life. This covers conceptual and empirical research based on quantitative (cross-sectional / longitudinal) and qualitative data and designs focused on exploration and interpretation as well as explanation and intervention.

Doctoral candidates will be supported in developing viable, scientifically sound and socio-politically significant research questions as well as in designing their projects in line with the international state of the art research in order to ensure successful conclusion. Conceptual and method-specific workshops, guest lectures, conferences and networking activities are planned with the aim of creating an excellent basis for the development and implementation of the research projects. This will also include network activities that go beyond the completion of the respective dissertation or post-doctoral project.