This application requests a five-year renewal of the predoctoral training program in demographic and
population studies focused on child health and human development at the California Center for Population
Research (CCPR) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). CCPR is the primary center for
research and training in population studies at UCLA. CCPR faculty are concentrated in Sociology, Economics,
and Community Health Sciences (CHS), the three primary disciplines in which population scientists are trained
in the U.S., as well as in related fields, e.g., geography, public policy. Recent hiring of population scientists has
increased the number of CCPR affiliates and attracted increased numbers of students interested in
demographic and population studies. Accordingly, funding is requested for 6 predoctoral traineeships per year,
an increase of 2 over our training grant award in 2001 and the renewal in 2006, 2011, and 2017.
The training program we seek to renew and expand builds on strong graduate programs in sociology,
economics, and public health; distinguished multi-disciplinary faculty with a diverse research portfolio spanning
economic, social, and health demography and reflects the NICHD/PDB mission; and abundant resources for
population research at UCLA. We seek to train the next generation of population scientists to carry out
theoretically informed, methodologically sophisticated research on topics of contemporary relevance that relate
to population studies. We have built an innovative curriculum in each of the three core departments, Sociology,
Economics, and CHS, and integrated interdisciplinary training in population science into their programs.
For the renewal, we retain the existing features of our successful program, including a training seminar
with presentations by invited speakers, trainee proseminar, mentorship, and cross-disciplinary coursework.
Since the previous renewal, we have added a Student Seminar Series, initiated the Annual Robert Mare
Student Lectureship, and now participate in two cross-center virtual Seminar Series. We also strengthened our
training on demographic methods with a new course on population dynamics and models complementing the
existing course on demographic indicators and measurement. We also introduced a Certificate in Population
Research to recognize student Affiliates who participate in training activities in two consecutive years and at
least once in the annual meetings of the Population Association of America (PAA).
The program has a remarkable record of success at producing independent investigators who carry out
cutting-edge research in social, economic, and public health topics that reflect the NICHD mission. Of the 31
trainees who have completed their PhD since 2007, 14 are now assistant or associate professors at major
universities, 4 are postdoctoral researchers at major universities, and 6 hold research intensive-positions.
Thus, most trainees secure tenure-track faculty or other research intensive positions, often preceded by
prestigious postdoctoral fellowships.