Funded Research by Theme

Training in the Demography and Economics of Aging

Training in the Demography and Economics of Aging

The Population Studies Center (PSC) has offered predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in the demography and economics of aging, funded by NIA since 1992, to build on a strong record of producing innovative, ethical, and productive researchers, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in these disciplines. Predoctoral trainees are drawn from Michigan’s highly ranked doctoral programs in sociology, economics, public health, and public policy. They will combine the specific doctoral requirements of their disciplines with additional specialized training in demography through a combination of formal coursework, informal seminars, and a research apprenticeship program grounded in PSC’s rich interdisciplinary environment. Postdoctoral scholars are researchers from a variety of social and health sciences who benefit from focused exposure to demographic and economic approaches to aging. Most postdoctoral trainees are recruited from other universities, and benefit from matches with a new mentors, participation in a range of substantive, methodological, and professionalization seminars, and collaborative research opportunities. Trainees are mentored by investigators on some of the most central data collection projects in aging, such as the Health and Retirement Study and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, projects that integrate biological indicators of health deterioration over the life course with data capturing the social and economic determinants of differential aging by racial, ethnic, gender and socioeconomic groups. Our goal is to cultivate the next generation of health scientists for careers spent integrating knowledge, theory, and tools from economics, public health, public policy, and sociology to collect and analyze the data needed to address pressing challenges of an aging U.S. population.

The program will be co-led by Dr. Sarah Burgard, director of the PSC and NIA-funded sociologist and epidemiologist focused on the social determinants of socioeconomic, gender and racial/ethnic health disparities in later life, and Dr. Paula Fomby, established associate director and training director of the PSC since 2017, and NIH-funded family demographer. The MPIs are supported by a training committee of field coordinators from Economics/Public Policy (Dr. Dean Yang), Health Behavior and Health Education (Dr. Arline Geronimus) and Sociology/Public Policy (Dr. Jeff Morenoff, former PSC Center Director) all full professors and experienced mentors. Trainees will be mentored by diverse training faculty from these and related disciplinary departments, researchers with well-funded projects and a strong record of mentoring and placing trainees in leading academic and governmental research positions. The program will be stewarded by the PSC, one of the oldest population centers in the United States, with a distinguished 60-year record of domestic and international population research and training, and a leader in the demography and economics of aging.

Funding source: National Institute on Aging (NIH)

Funding period: 05/01/2017-08/31/2022