Brown University

Brown University

Population Studies and Training Center

The PSTC is an internationally respected demography research and training center at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The Center seeks to create a dynamic environment in which associates can contribute to the resolution of human population issues in the 21st century through interdisciplinary research with a global perspective. The PSTC’s primary mission is to produce and disseminate innovative research on the causes and consequences of population size, composition, distribution, and well-being in the U.S. and worldwide. 

PSTC faculty, predoctoral trainees, and postdoctoral fellows conduct research and fieldwork in more than 20 nations, focusing on issues from health and development to environment and spatial structures. Through this type of global social science, the PSTC aims to influence the trajectory of population studies and improve human welfare around the world by offering a stimulating environment for population-related research and interdisciplinary exchange, an outstanding interdisciplinary graduate training program, research support services, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Partially funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) for 27 consecutive years, the PSTC demography training program is at the heart of the Center’s mission. Both predoctoral trainees and postdoctoral fellows in the PSTC-affiliated programs of Anthropology, Economics, and Sociology, as well as Political Science and Public Health, provide dynamic energy for expanding traditional scholarly boundaries through their participation in faculty research, coursework, and the development of their own intellectual projects.

Recent external reviewers commended the PSTC’s interdisciplinary approach to demography: “Few population centers around the world have attempted to integrated all three disciplines [Anthropology, Economics, and Sociology] into the core of the Center, and none has achieved the level of sustained integration that is the hallmark of the PSTC.” This interdisciplinary strength is complemented by a strong program in anthropological demography, an area of research first developed by a PSTC faculty associate.

Areas of Specialization: 
Demography
Families, Fertility, and Children
Population Health and Well-being

Pathways into Program

Predoctoral students wishing to affiliate with the PSTC must first apply and be accepted to Brown University through an affiliated department: Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, or the School of Public Health. Once enrolled at Brown, students may then apply to the PSTC training program. The PSTC does not grant degrees, but rather, provides resources and opportunities in the form of faculty mentorship, financial support, workshops and colloquia, research collaboration, and physical workspace for students with population interests. To maintain affiliation with the PSTC, graduate students must reapply annually.

Degree Types

Ph.D.
  • The PSTC third-floor meeting space and offices
  • Weekly colloquia and various workshops play an integral part in the PSTC's training program
  • PSTC's Population Sciences Research Day