University of Michigan

University of Michigan

Population Studies Center

Department of Sociology. In 1966 the Center established close connections to the Department of Economics, and since that time has become increasingly interdisciplinary, currently drawing faculty from more than a dozen academic disciplines. In 1991 PSC became an autonomous unit within U-M's College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts (LS&A). In 1998, the Center made an institutional move from LS&A into the Institute for Social Research (ISR), followed by a physical relocation in 2003. For PSC affiliates, this integration into ISR heightened opportunities for collegiality and collaborative work, and provides better access to knowledge activities focused on survey methodologies, especially those related to large data collections.

Center affiliates are population researchers who pursue independent research with the support of Center staff. PSC supports a large portfolio of both domestic and international research in several key areas of demographic research: Health and Social Inequalities; Social-Biological Interactions; Population Health and Well-being; Families, Fertility, and Children; Population Dynamics; and Methodologies and Data.

The Center provides pre- and post-award research support services to affiliates through four core units. Administrative Core staff provide management and administrative support for research affiliates and their funded projects. Computing Corestaff provide a state-of-the-art social science computing environment to support the Center's research and training missions. Information Core staff provide resources and services in three areas. Data Services assists in the acquisition, organization, and management of data for PSC research projects. Library Services maintains a collection of local holdings and offers a variety of bibliographic and references services in support of research. The Communications Office provides editorial, design, website, and database services to researchers, and disseminates research results through the working papers series. The Methodology Core, jointly operated with the Survey Research Center, provides guidance for research issues arising in survey design, implementation, and data analysis.

PSC provides apprenticeship training and fellowship support to graduate students in Sociology, Economics, and Public Health who choose population studies as a field of specialization. The goal of the graduate training program is to produce social scientists, fully trained in their discipline, with broad knowledge in population studies and specialized skills in statistical and demographic techniques. Although the Center does not award graduate degrees, all PSC student trainees gain practical research experience under the supervision of an affiliated researcher. The Center also provides postdoctoral training to demographic researchers in a variety of fields.

The Center also administers the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging (MiCDA), funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Professor Paula Fomby gives a brief overview of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan and their training opportunities during the PIPS Graduate Programs in the Population Sciences webinar in November, 2017.

Established in 1949, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) is among the world’s largest and oldest academic survey research organizations, and a leader in the development and application of social science methods and education.

With researchers from a broad range of academic disciplines, ISR serves as a national laboratory for the social sciences, advancing public understanding of human behavior through empirical research of extraordinary depth and breadth.

 

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is a unit within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and maintains its office in Ann Arbor. It seeks research data and pertinent documents from researchers, including PIs, research agencies, and government entities. ICPSR then processes, preserves, and disseminates the data and documents; the Consortium also provides education, training, and instructional resources to help users understand and analyze research data.

ICPSR is an international consortium of more than 700 academic institutions and research organizations, maintains a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences, hosts 16 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields.ICPSR's educational activities include the Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, a comprehensive curriculum of intensive courses in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social methodology. ICPSR also leads several initiatives that encourage use of data in teaching, particularly in undergraduate instruction.

Areas of Specialization: 
Demography
Families, Fertility, and Children
Health and Social Inequalities
Methodologies and Data
Population Dynamics
Population Health and Well-being
Social-Biological Interactions

Pathways into Program

Since the Departments for Sociology, Economics, Health Behavior and Health Education, and Anthropology grant graduate degrees, and the Population Studies Center does not, prospective Center trainees must apply to the relevant graduate department. In completeing the departmental application forms, applicants should indicate in the financial aid section that they are interested in a Population Studies Center Fellowship.

Degree Types

Master's Programs
Ph.D.
Postdoctoral/Fellowships
  • Institute for Social Research members briefed on the Nepal Earthquake situation and the disaster relief efforts
  • Bill Birdsall, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, leads an engaging community discussion at PSC's Brown Bag Seminar on the topic of "Really Understanding Homelessness: How the University Can Contribute."

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