OLLI @ Berkeley is aligned with the public research emphasis of UC Berkeley. To that end, OLLI partners with researchers to advance its research focus and to offer OLLI members opportunities to participate in research studies. 

OLLI @Berkeley’s research focus is:

  • The science of learning, specifically lifelong learning for the 50+ adult
  • The science of healthy living and dynamic aging

When research partnerships offer opportunities for interested OLLI members to become volunteer research participants, OLLI’s Advisory Research Team will provide this information along with an overview of the study purpose, eligibility criteria, and study contact information. Selected studies are subject to Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversight through UC Berkeley or other universities.

Current Research Opportunities


Past Opportunities

Dementia home monitoring

OLLI members involved in caring for a loved one with some form of cognitive decline or dementia were invited to participate in a series of small group sessions to gather input into the development of a home monitoring system to assist caregivers. In a second phase, participants were asked to test early-stage prototypes of the sensing equipment. The development team was led by a UC Berkeley School of Engineering doctoral candidate and included participation from the School of Public Health, the Haas School of Business, and CITRIS (Center for Information Technology and Research in the Interest of Society). 

SilverLearning study

An opportunity for OLLI members to participate in an online survey study that is investigating the formal lifelong learning behaviors of mature adults in the United States and Germany. Eligibility criteria are to be 65 or older and to be currently taking or auditing courses or lectures (non-credit or credit). You can learn more about the study at www.silverlearning.org

UC Berkeley wellness research: BeFriend Study

The UC Berkeley Friendship, Emotion and Wellness study (BeFriend) recruited women volunteers, along with a friend, between the ages of 25 and 80 years old, to participate in the study in order to investigate the social, emotional, cognitive and biological factors associated with friends helping each other during challenging life events. Learn more at the BeFriend website