Funded Research by Theme

Development Core

Development Core

Sarah Burgard

The Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Michigan provides critical research infrastructure to promote the interdisciplinary study of human population dynamics, with a focus on the areas of demography, population health and reproductive health. PSC supports the design, creation, and use of new data that can be used to inform interventions and policies to improve health and reduce health disparities.

The Michigan Research Infrastructure for Population Sciences grant provides five years of research infrastructure support for the Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Michigan (U-M). The PSC has and will continue to use this funding to create an environment and resources that would not otherwise be available, including: (1) a vibrant intellectual community of collaborative, interdisciplinary population scientists; (2) multimodal training and start-to-finish support for scientists to enhance their competitiveness for peer-reviewed external funding in priority areas for the NICHD Population Dynamics Branch (PDB); (3) small grants to fund high-priority pilot projects, methods development, and computing resources; (4) seminars, hands-on workshops, and curated consulting across a range of resources to advance methods for collecting and analyzing data; and (5) end-to-end research project management support. In all activities, we focus particularly on the needs of junior scientists, and in the next five years we will enhance the broader research community’s access. Since its founding by Ronald Freedman in 1961, PSC has united and supported an exceptional group of population scientists in the design, creation, and use of new, publicly available data to advance population science. The Center continues to be unified by long- term, signature projects, such as the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) in Nepal—each representing major PDB investments. Together, they have produced more than 5,250 peer-reviewed publications, 300,000 citations, and thousands of data users. These highly significant projects also serve as engines of collaboration within PSC, helping to spawn a new generation of innovative projects focused on NICHD-PDB priorities. A key example is the American Family Health Study (AFHS), an innovative U-M data collection project designed to provide content previously available from the NSFG, but using a more flexible and cost effective web survey. Our objective in this application is to use P2C resources to stimulate and support: new research on significant and emergent questions in population science; the use of innovative approaches to data collection and analysis; and the development of a new generation of population scientists within this productive environment, equipped with the tools to engage successfully in PDB research priorities. PSC’s Administrative, Development and Scientific and Technical Cores currently provide innovative administrative, intellectual, career development and technical resources to 69 affiliates from 14 disciplines and 8 schools and colleges across U-M, as well as a growing number of population dynamics researchers at other institutions. Their work advances science in PSC’s three substantive PRAs: (1) Family and Intergenerational Influences on Health and Wellbeing; (2) Reproductive Health, Fertility, and Romantic Relationships; and (3) Population Health, the Life Course, and Biosocial Processes.

Funding source: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH)
Funding Years: 07/01/2022-04/30/2027