About

The dominant demographic trend of the 21st century is population aging. Virtually all countries of the world are getting older, creating pressure to transform the ways in which societal and economic structures as well as individual life courses are arranged. Understanding these challenges requires deep demographic knowledge combined with interdisciplinary expertise in epidemiology and population health, and proficiency with econometric, statistical, data science and computational methods.

The International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health and Data Science (IMPRS-PHDS) is a new and unique three-year doctoral program that merges demography, epidemiology and data science. The PHDS school equips doctoral students not only with advanced knowledge of the theory and methods of demography and epidemiology (broadly defined as ‘population health’), but also with strong technical skills in statistics, mathematical modeling, and computational and data management methods (broadly referred to as ‘data science’).

IMPRS-PHDS is hosted at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR; www.demogr.mpg.de) in Rostock, Germany. Founded in 2019, the school receives core support from the Max Planck Society, MPIDR, University of Rostock, and ten affiliated institutions. It does not charge fees, and makes available about 15 three-year PhD positions every year. The school’s curriculum is targeted to pre-doctoral students entering the School with a Master’s or equivalent degree and offers

  • strong interdisciplinary research training in population, health and data science;
  • high quality supervision across at least two institutes;
  • extensive networking opportunities across 12 partner sites in Europe and the U.S.;
  • a core training program at the MPIDR.

Partners

IMPRS-PHDS is run by two core partners and ten affiliated institutions.

Core Partners:

  • Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research demogr.mpg.de
  • University of Rostock
    Institute of Sociology and Demography uni-rostock.de

Affiliated Institutions:

Students

Cohort 2020

Zohra Ansari-Thomas
University of Pennsylvania, USA
Research Topic: Family Formation, Fertility, and Labor Force Participation Among Immigrant Women
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Lara Bister
University of Groningen, Netherlands
Research Topic: Economic crises, health and mortality across Europe
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Nienke Boderie
Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Research Topic: Use of personalized incentives for smoking cessation

Lizbeth Burgos Ochoa
Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Research Topic: Health inequality in the early life
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Carolina Coimbra Vieira
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Measuring Cultural Distance and Cultural Diffusion between Countries Using Digital Trace Data
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Esther Denecke
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Population dynamics in an increasingly digitized society

Maria Gültzow
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Social determinants of depression and its comorbidity with cardiometabolic health: A focus on causal interdependency

Su Yeon Jang
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Health Inequalities in Immigrants - Burden of Multimorbidity

Benson John
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Revisiting the union-fertility nexus and fertility variation in Africa: The role of union dissolution and remarriage

Sarah Johnson
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Exploring international migration desires using social media data

Eva Kagenaar
University of Groningen, Netherlands
Research Topic: The past and future progression of the obesity epidemic by socio-economic group in European countries, and its impact on trends in socio-economic longevity inequalities

Anastasia Lam
University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
Research Topic: Social and spatial aspects of tuberculosis and diabetes

Sarah Petry
Duke University, USA
Research Topic: Policy and the Life Course

Donata Stonkute
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Educational inequalities in disability-free life expectancy – the gap between Eastern and Western Europe

Chia-Jung Tsai
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Sociology of migration, applications of big data in social sciences, causal inference, and experimental design

María Vignau Loría
University of Washington, USA
Research Topic: International migration in the North-American hemisphere, immigration enforcement in the U.S., the relationship between migration and health

Ruth Wygle
Duke University, USA
Research Topic: The Greying of the US Correctional Population
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Jesús Daniel Zazueta Borboa
University of Groningen, Netherlands
Research Topic: Changing contribution of smoking, alcohol and obesity in determining past long-term trends in socio-economic longevity inequalities
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Xinyi Zhao
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Modeling and Analysis of Migration and Mobility among Scholars

 

Cohort 2019

Mary Joul Abed Al Ahad
University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
Research Topic: Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Ethnic Inequalities in Health: Analysis and Projection Based on Longitudinal Register Data from Scotland
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Lauren Bishop
University of Stockholm, Sweden
Research Topic: Social relationships and substance misuse throughout the life course

Nicholas Campisi
University of St Andrews, United Kingdom and Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: A Spatial Approach to European Fertility Trends
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Ricarda Duerst
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Mortality forecasting: exploring the impact of method validation and health-related factors on forecast performance

Sofia Gil-Clavel
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: (1) Online Older People’s Social Support; (2) Immigrants’ Cultural Integration; (3) Immigrants’ Family Ties
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Klara Gurzo
University of Stockholm, Sweden
Research Topic: Intergenerational income mobility, peer-relations, and health
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Julia Hellstrand
University of Helsinki, Finland
Research Topic: Future of fertility: A comparative analysis of Finland and other Nordic countries

Rok Hrzic
University of Groningen, Netherlands
Research Topic: Determinants of Mortality Convergence in the European Union
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Josephine Jackisch
University of Stockholm, Sweden
Research Topic: Troubled Childhoods Cast Long Shadows: The role of childhood adversity in the development of health inequalities in a Swedish post-war cohort
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Liina Junna
University of Helsinki, Finland
Research Topic: The association between unemployment and health: evidence from longitudinal register data
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Sneha Mani
University of Pennsylvania, USA
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Neal Marquez
University of Washington, USA
Research Topic: Geographic Mobility of the Mexican Born Population in the United States
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Muhammad Naeem
University of Greifswald, Germany
Research Topic: Association of liver dysfunction with prediabetes and all-cause mortality in a general population

Steffen Peters
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: The association between personality and fertility
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Joonas Pitkänen
University of Helsinki, Finland
Research Topic: Life-course determinants of youth self-harm
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Kayla Schulte
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Research Topic: Who cares about the air? Inequalities in air quality information acquisition
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Shubhankar Sharma
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Burden of cognitive impairment in the US
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Jiaxin Shi
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
Research Topic: Mortality inequality and its consequences
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Shuye Yu
University of Groningen, Netherlands
Research Topic: The role of flexible employment in health related well-being
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Faculty

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Duke University

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Scott M. Lynch is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Duke University and currently serves as its director of graduate studies and the Director of training for the Duke University Population Research Institute (DUPRI). He conducts research in two main areas: statistical demographic methods and social epidemiology. His methodological work involves developing, evaluating, and applying statistical methods for modeling life course and demographic processes, including latent trajectory modeling, hazard modeling, and life table methods. His substantive work investigates physical and mental health and mortality disparities by race, socioeconomic status, and geography across the lives of individuals and across time. He has published extensively in both methodological and substantive areas in leading sociology, gerontology, demography, and methodology journals.

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M. Giovanna Merli is Professor of Public Policy, Sociology and Global Health in the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University and the director of the Duke Population Research Center. A significant component of Dr. Merli’s research has been devoted to data collection: the design of surveys of sexual behavior and sexual networks, the conduct and evaluation of innovative network-based sampling approaches to recruit samples of hidden populations at risk of HIV/STDs and of rare populations of immigrants to the U.S., Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa and the implications of the political and social context of data collection for the validity of the information collected in social surveys.

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James Moody is the Robert O. Keohane professor of sociology at Duke University. He has published extensively in the field of social networks, methods, and social theory with over 70 peer reviewed papers and extensive applied consultation with industry and DoD. His work has focused theoretically on the network foundations of social cohesion and diffusion, with a particular emphasis on building tools and methods for understanding dynamic social networks. He has used network models to help understand organizational performance, school racial segregation, adolescent health, disease spread, economic development, and the development of scientific disciplines (among others). Moody's work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the James S. McDonnel Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and has appeared in top social science, health and medical journals. He is winner of INSNA's (International Network for Social Network Analysis) Freeman Award for scholarly contributions to network analysis and in 2014 was named a Thomson Reuters “Highly Cited Researcher,” for authorship of papers in the top 1% of citations within the field. He is founding director of the Duke Network Analysis Center, former editor of the on-line Journal of Social Structure and co-founding editor of the American Sociological Association’s new Open Access journal Socius.

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Don Taylor is an associate professor of Public Policy at Duke University. He holds three degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including PhD in Health Policy and Management from the School of Public Health. He has published numerous peer review articles and co-authored several books. His papers have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ, Health Affairs, The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and Social Science and Medicine. Most of his ongoing research is in the area of end-of-life policy, with a focus on patient decision making and Medicare hospice policy. He was named a member of the HRSA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee that was created by the Affordable Care Act to reconsider how the federal government identifies Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas. He has written over 30 columns on health reform for the Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer and has contributed to The New York Times’ Room for Debate forum.

 

Erasmus University Rotterdam

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Jasper Been is a consultant neonatologist and associate professor in perinatal public health at Erasmus MC – Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam. He obtained his MD, PhD and MPH from Maastricht University, and completed his training in paediatrics and neonatology at Maastricht University MC, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and Erasmus MC. He was a post-doc at The University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute and visiting scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. His current research interest centres on prevention of adverse health outcomes in early life, with a special focus on reducing inequalities. Jasper’s expertise includes working with large-scale linkages of routinely-collected data, applying robust quasi-experimental methods, and undertaking comprehensive systematic reviews

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I am a senior epidemiologist at Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, Netherlands). My research interests concentrate on the intergenerational effects of social disadvantage on the health and development of (unborn) children in their early life. I am involved in a wide range of research types covering this research interest; ranging from cohort research in vulnerable populations to epidemiological research using large datasets and exploiting natural experiments.

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- Health, work ability, and labour force participation: Studies on effects of hazardous working conditions and individual lifestyle factors on work ability and health, and subsequent consequences for work (i.e. productivity, sickness absence, permanent disability, and early retirement). Studies on effects of health on labour force participation in the general population and among workers with chronic diseases. Methodology development in assessment of long-term consequences of ill health (lifecourse perspective; working life expect and c) in measurement of productivity loss at work.
- Health impact assessment: Studies on effects on primary preventive interventions on population health (Rotterdam) and studies on the costs and effects of interventions on population health and life expectancy.
- Reintegration towards paid employment: Experimental and observational studies on effects of reïntegration programmes combining health interventions and labour market activities.

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I am working at the intersection between public health and demography. My research interest concentrate on health expectancy, disability and mortality. My work focusses on describing and explaining socioeconomic and gender differences, and variations herein between countries. I am particularly interested in the contribution of diseases and risk factors to variations in disability, mortality and health expectancy. My work also focusses on health impact assessment and projecting life and health expectancy. I am interested in developing, using and disseminating tools that help to understand better trends and disparities in disability, mortality and health expectancy and to assess the impact of risk factors and policy interventions on health and health disparities.

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Marta Rado is a postdoctoral researcher at Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, Netherlands). Her methodological interest is in complex statistical methods, including program evaluation methods (e.g. matching methods, longitudinal data analysis and synthetic control method), simulations, and network analysis. From a substantive point of view, she has done research on population health, fertility, prejudice, and inequalities. In her current project, she investigates the effects of tobacco control policies on child health.

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My research interests concentrate on understanding the mechanisms and factors involved in the explanation of socioeconomic inequalities in health and health related behaviours, both at the individual and neighbourhood level. I am intrigued by understanding the development of socioeconomic inequalities in health in early childhood and in old ages, at the individual and neighbourhood level. In my research, the role of economic, physical, social, and cultural factors for health and health inequalities are important. As a result of the interest in environmental factors, a related interest concerns healthy ageing among cities in Europe. In addition to understanding the background of health inequalities, I am interested in understanding how to reduce health inequalities though policies, (natural) experiments and behavioural interventions. In all work, state-of-the art social epidemiological methods are preferably used.

 

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

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I am a demographer and sociologist, with a strong interest in the analysis of mortality trends. My research mostly focuses on the analysis of: mortality shocks (period effects) during epidemics and pandemics; influence of cohort and generation membership (cohort effects) on mortality; exogenous causes of death, i.e. airborne infections and behaviorally driven causes of death. From a methodological perspective, I have specialized in the analysis of Age, Period, and Cohort (APC) effects on mortality; decomposition analysis; and formal demography."

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Network Science, Migration and mobility, Big Data Modeling and Analysis, Bibliometrics, Data Science, Complex Systems

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My research is in the field of social demography, and primarily concerns how family conditions are related to health and mortality with a particular focus on the interrelationship between health and fertility. For example, my research has addressed how health affects childbearing, and how an individual's reproductive history affects their post-reproductive health and mortality. A primary theme of my work has been to examine the consequences of parental fertility decisions for their children; for example, my research has examined how parental age at the time of birth, spacing between births, family size, and birth order affects children's health and mortality at various stages of the life course, as well as their educational and socioeconomic attainment. I am also interested in how health affects partnership formation, and how bereavement affects subsequent mortality. More generally, I am also interested in how families contribute to health inequality at the macro-level. I am mainly working with Nordic population registers, but some of my research also examines low- and middle-income countries using the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

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I am an epidemiologist, demographer, and applied statistician with a strong interest in methods from counterfactual causal inference. My current research focuses on the g-formula, a flexible method for modeling complex dynamic longitudinal relationships. Substantively, I am very interested in the life-course, and with this method I am investigating the relationship between health, fertility, partnership and employment across the life course. Methodologically, I am combining the g-formula with multilevel modelling techniques and with techniques accounting for unmeasured confounding. Furthermore, I have developed expertise in the topic of age-period-cohort analysis and continue to have an interest in APC methods and their application. More generally, I am interested in population health, in particular cardiovascular & mental health, drug utilization and drug effectiveness. I aim to do more work in the field of fertility and families as well.

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I have deep expertise in data analysis and its broad application in the social sciences. My particular research interests are in the fields of demographic forecasting, method validation, formal and statistical demography, and complex data visualization. I typically combine cutting-edge methods of statistical analysis, computational science, and statistical demography to analyze population processes and their driving forces from different angles. The methods I develop and the human demographic contexts in which I apply them vary widely, covering, e.g., mortality, population health, and fertility.

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I am a quantitative researcher with a Ph.D. in statistics, a highly multidisciplinary research perspective (biostatistics, epidemiology, demography, health economics) and interest in computational methods and data. My expertise is mainly in statistical modeling of infectious disease data and international migration data.

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- Life course research with a focus on labor market outcomes and modeling of life course trajectories
- Inequality measurement with a focus on income and wealth, and an interest in health inequalities
- Causal inference with a special interest in identification and partial identification
- Other topics I am interest in or I have worked on include: survey statistics, in particular imputation and variance estimation; household economics; social policy and population aging; kinship; demographic forecasting, in particular stochastic forecasting

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Health economics - Aging and retirement; work, health and health behavior; determinants of healthcare utilization; use of preventive care and screening; neighborhood determinants of health; fertility; Applied econometrics – Causal inference on observational data; regression discontinuity design; Bayesian econometrics; spatial econometrics

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Statistical Demography; statistical modelling in demographic applications; event history analysis, including complex sampling patterns; recovering latent information from observed data; multi-state models; micro-simulation; smoothing techniques and estimation under penalty restrictions.

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Family sociology, Social stratification, Agent-based computational modelling

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Socio-economic and geographical inequalities in health; health transition in developed and developing countries; mortality and health in Central and Eastern Europe; determinants of international migration in Central and Eastern Europe; demographic data and their quality assessment; digital linkage-based demographic databases; applications of demographic methods in public health research.

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Demographic and epidemiological analyses at macro- and micro-levels; formal and statistical demography; methods of decomposition; quality of demographic data; demographic and medical statistics; socio-economic and geographical inequalities in health; mortality and health in Central and Eastern Europe; applications of demographic methods in public health research

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My research interests lie at the intersection of health and family dynamics. It primarily concerns how health, mortality and well-being are associated with family dynamics such as parenting, separation and widowhood as well as re-partnering. A primary theme of my work has been to examine health of single parents and their children. My research takes a life course approach explaining health inequalities, and considers heterogeneity among single parents as pathways into single parenthood or living arrangements. I am also interested in analyzing the association between maternal labor market participation and health. For example, my research has addressed how transitions into employment affect partnered’ and single mothers’ health and well-being. Other topics I am interested in include: Gender differences in health and mortality, Health differences in East and West Germany, Cross-country comparisons of health care systems and family policies.

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After receiving my PhD in social psychology, I joined the interdisciplinary Digital and Computational Demography lab at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research as a research scientist. Broadly, I am interested in self-regulation, health, and how digital data can help us study both of these topics. My research includes projects on temporal and affective components of intentions, effects of adult social media use on well-being, and how topics including Covid-19 and climate change are discussed in online communities. I often take an interdisciplinary perspective in my research and have led collaborations with researchers from social psychology, clinical psychology, demography, marketing, epidemiology, statistics, and computer science.

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My research is in the field of social demography, and concerns the study of native-immigrant physical and mental health disparities, particularly in the European context. A primary theme of my work is to examine life course exposures and later consequences on the immigrant-native health gap. My work has addressed the healthy immigrant effect and the immigrant-native health convergence process, exploring the role of material deprivation; and health disparities across immigrant generations, including children of exogamous families in the generational continuum. My current work builds up on my previous research and aims at (1) advancing the understanding of multiple exposures and their interactions on the immigrant-native health gap; (2) exploring transgenerational transmission of health disparities among immigrant generations; (3) integrating life course approaches into migrant health disparities interventions.

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His research is in social demography and focuses on the interplay between demographic processes and social inequalities. He investigated how childhood circumstances are related to work and health at older ages and how retirement impacts cognitive functioning and social participation in later life. He is also interested in methodological developments on causal inference and multistate modeling.

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Population health with particular focus on behavioral factors as determinants of trends and differentials in health and mortality; causes and consequences of low and late fertility; the demography of labor markets; multistate demography; demographic forecasting.

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I am a social demographer focused on patterns, causes and consequences of fertility. Cross-cutting themes in my research are gender and social stratification. More recently I have become interested in patterns and determinants of sub-national regional variation in fertility. I study these topics using a variety of causal and descriptive methods. Most of my research so far has analyzed fertility in European countries characterized by low fertility, with particular focus on Finland. My work is largely based on register-based data sources and I have expertise in the analysis of such data. I am interested in exploiting possibilities for comparative research using register data, particularly in the field of fertility and demography of families.

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Gender differences in health and survival; life course and health; migrant health; cross-national comparison studies of health; dynamic of healthcare use at older ages; biological markers of health; register-based research

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digital and computational epidemiology; infectious disease modelling; participatory surveillance systems; human migration and mobility; data science; social media data; data for social good

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My research centers on the intersection of mathematical demographic approaches, population health, and mortality. My mathematical interests divide roughly into three application areas: 1) extensions of stable and stationary population theory, and its applications to the indirect estimation of age-at-onset patterns for difficult-to-detect transitions to unhealthy states, such as pre-clinical dementia; 2) Developing a rigorous framework of high-order Lexis time relationships and data operations, with applications in health pattern detection, as well as the measurement, modeling, and prediction of demographic phenomena; 3) Developing decomposition techniques that can be used to measure and understand changes and inequalities in population health attributable to i) mortality, and the onset and recovery processes, and ii) the duration composition of episodic health states. These methods can be used to give fresh perspectives on classic questions of morbidity expansion or compression, as well as even more macro concerns, such as the future potential of the longevity revolution. I also develop R packages and data visualization techniques for all things demography-related.

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Variation in ages at death (lifespan inequality) and life expectancy; Socioeconomic inequalities in health and mortality; The impact of healthy/unhealthy behavior on health and mortality; Mortality forecasting; Decomposition analysis and formal demography.

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I am a social demographer interested in why some of us live longer and healthier lives than others. In particular, I apply demographic methods to better understand: socio-economic differentials in health and mortality; the role of health behaviors (such as tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption) in shaping mortality; age patterns in mortality; and recent trends in health and mortality differentials. While I focus primarily on mid- to late-adulthood in the US, I am beginning to apply lifecourse methods and comparative frameworks. My PhD is in both Sociology and Demography.

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Zagheni uses mathematical, statistical and computationally-intensive approaches to study the causes and consequences of population dynamics. Motivated by the ambition to improve people's lives through the scientific study of our societies, he is strengthening a portfolio that leverages interdisciplinary approaches to monitor demographic change, to explain population processes, and to predict future demographic outcomes. More specifically, his research addresses three main inter-related topics: (i) combining large social media data with traditional sources to track and understand migrations; (ii) evaluating the consequences of population aging on intergenerational transfers; (iii) modeling the relationships between population dynamics, the environment and infectious diseases. A common thread across his substantive interests is a consistent drive to develop methods and to analyze data in creative ways that further advance our understanding of social phenomena. Zagheni has been the Director of Training at the University of Washington Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE)

 

University of Greifswald

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Use of health claims data for assessment of quality of care and outcome evaluation in routine health care; Clinical studies in primary care; Pharmakoepidemiology; Systematic reviews and metaanalysis; Research in medical education

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Epidemiological studies with focus on cardiovascular diseases in the general population and clinical cohorts; Clinical cardiovascular studies with focus on heart failure and common cardiovascular diseases; Subclinical cardiovascular changes; Individualized therapy of cardiovascular diseases; Prevention of cardiovascular diseases; E-cardiology

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Thyroid epidemiology; Reference interval calculation; Causal inference; Non-linear modelling

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Bioinformatics; Machine learning and data mining approaches in biomedical applications; Biostatistics; Mathematical Modeling of biological and epidemiological processes

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social epidemiology, behavioral epidemiology, psychiatric epidemiology, population based intervention research, implementation research, e-health, behavior modification, tobacco smoking, alcohol use, substance use, health behavior change

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quality management in cohort studies, data quality; research consequences, focus incidental findings in MRI; statistical survey methods and selection bias; epidemiologic and genetic risk factors for subclinical diseases; primary care research; musculoskeletal diseases; routine data / data linkage; evaluation of clinical interventions

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The main aim of the whole work is the development of brief intervention strategies aiming to reduce the proportions of individuals with cardiovascular risk factors in the general population. In the past years we finished several studies according to efficacy of motivational approaches, i. e. interventions by which we aimed to increase the motivation to stop smoking or to reduce the second hand smoke exposure in children ≤ 4 years. Further, I`m interested in implementation of effective measures supporting individuals to improve their lifestyle skills in primary medical care. In 2014 we started the development and test of a brief intervention, aiming to reduce physical inactivity in leisure time. Actually, we are interested to clarify the gap between results of physical activity measurement via self-report and via wearable devices (i. e. accelerometer).

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Henry Völzke is professor for clinical-epidemiological research and head of the Department of SHIP/ Clinical-Epidemiological Research at the University Medicine Greifswald with basic training as certificated internist. He has been involved in research projects funded by European Union, the German Research Foundation and numerous other public and private funding bodies and is member of several large national and international research consortia. His broad research interests cover common, population-relevant diseases including thyroid and other endocrine disorders, cardiovascular, metabolic and gastrointestinal diseases. In PubMed he is listed with more than 750 publications in international peer reviewed journals (h-factor 101). He is PI of the Studies of Health in Pomerania and Scientific Director of the Northeast German part of the German National Cohort as well as Co-PI of the GANI_MED project and the Greifswald site of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research. He coordinates the H2020 funded EUthyroid consortium. Henry Völzke is past president of the German Society for Epidemiology (DGEpi) e.V and the German representative in the IGN – Iodine Global Network.

 

University of Groningen

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Disparities in health and mortality across educational groups are striking and pervasive, and are considered one of the most compelling and well established facts in social science research. It is commonly assumed that a large part of the association between education and health derives from the causal effect of education on health outcomes. My main research interest is to disentangle this causal effect of education on health and mortality from the selection effects. An important aspect of my work is that I not only try to account for selective choice but also for dynamic selection, inherent to outcomes that evolve over time, such as survival and health status. For all these analysis I use state of the art event-history methods, or development new methodology. Another research interest is to measure the impact of early life circumstance and experiences on later life (health) outcomes, accounting for (dynamic) selection and selective survival. I have also interest in analyzing the return migration behaviour of recent migrants, investigating the influence of labour market and health changes. Again with a focus on (dynamic) selection. Thus allowing for interdependence between labour market and health changes and the decision to migrate.

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Helga de Valk is director of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and professor of Migration and the life course at the University of Groningen. She is part of the Migration and migrants group at NIDI and leads a research group around her ERC project MYMOVE. Her research focuses on migration and integration issues, the transition to adulthood of immigrant youth, union and family formation, the second generation, segregation, and European mobility. She was awarded an ERC Starting Grant (2010 FamiLife) and acquired an ERC Consolidator Grant (2018 MYMOVE). Furthermore she led and was part of a range of national and international projects funded amongst others by Horizon 2020 and Norface. She was editor in chief of the European Journal of Population (EJP; 2014-2018) and winner of the 2016 European Demography Award. She is currently president of the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS) and member of the Advisory Committee for Migration Affairs (ACVZ).

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Mortality, health, ageing, time trends, mortality forecasting, health determinants, lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, obesity, sex differences, geographical differences, causes of death

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Jochen Mierau (1983) is a professor of public health economics at the University of Groningen (Faculty of Economics & Business) as well as co-founder and scientific director of the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health. He is an affiliated researcher of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and an extramural fellow of the Health Econometrics and Data Group of the University of York. His research interest is at the interface between health economics, epidemiology, demography and public health. He focuses on health inequalities between and within socioeconomic groups on an individual as well as neighborhood level. While much of his research focuses on various determinants of health inequalities, he also focuses on the policy levers that may be employed to reduce health inequalities such as better data-infrastructures and more clearly assigned responsibilities. He has set up a variety of multidisciplinary educational programs such as a summer school, a minor, a research master track, and an Executive MBA. He actively participates in various regional, national and European policy dialogues and serves as advisor for a host of government agencies.

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Family life course, Residential relocations, Partnership formation and dissolution, Leaving the parental home, The transition to homeownership, Health and well-being from a life-course perspective

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Agnieszka Postepska is an Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen, a Research Affiliate at IZA (Institute of Labour Economics), and a Fellow at GLO (Global Labour Organization). She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown University. Before joining the University of Groningen, she worked at the World Bank as a short-term consultant. Her work has appeared in journals such as Journal of Applied Econometrics and World Development. Her research has an empirical focus and spans a wide range of topics, mainly in the areas of labor economics, the economics of education, and development economics.

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Population projections, Regional demography, Economic-demographic modelling, Demography of firms and enterprises, Aging and mortality, Spatial interaction models, Longitudinal data analysis

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social and economic determinants for health and longevity; policy interventions and their effects on health and mortality; intergenerational transfers, health and mortality

 

University of Helsinki

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My current research program focuses on three main areas, 1) psychosocial factors in health and well-being, 2) theory-based behavior change interventions, and 3) psychosocial aspects in genomic research. In research area (1) we are investigating how different psychosocial factors are prospectively related to health and wellbeing. Specifically, how general and behavior-specific psychosocial factors predict health and heath behavior outcomes. Related to theory based intervention studies (2), we are running school based intervention and technology based intervention studies. In research area (3), key questions include what the psychological consequences of genetic testing among families with heritable diseases, and in ongoing project how different genetic information should passed at the population level.

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My research focuses on the social determinants of health. In particular, I have been investigating employee mental health and socioeconomic inequalities of health. My other current interests regard the investigation of migrant health; as well as digitalisation and social inclusion of migrants. My research involves the application of social epidemiological methods and administrative record linkage, large-scale prospective survey designs, and RCTs.
I am one of the WP leaders (Pis) in Towards socially inclusive digital society: transforming service culture / Consortium: DigiIn; PI of the Effectiveness of internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT) in reducing sickness absence among young employees with depressive symptoms (DAQI); and one of the Co-Is of the Administrative Data Research Centre in Northern Ireland (ADRC-NI), which is a part of the UK-wide ESRC-funded Administrative Data Research Network.

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A substantial part of Pekka Martikainen’s research interests are associated with changes and causes of socioeconomic differences in cause-specific mortality. However, he is also interested in other population sub-group differences in health; these relate in particular to the effects of marital status and widowhood on health, unemployment and mortality, and the effects of household and family characteristics on health. He is also involved in cross-national comparisons of health inequalities. These have been partly carried out under the auspices of various EU-funded consortiums, partly in collaboration with the Helsinki Health Study and the Whitehall II Study. More recent interests are associated with the consequences of population ageing, formal institutional long-term care and care use before death. His most recent project tries to understand the accumulation of poor health and social disadvantage in households and across generations from a life-course perspective. Pekka Martikainen is responsible for the development and maintenance of longitudinal register based data that has been used for the study of various demographic phenomena.

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My central research topics cover socioeconomic and global health inequalities, physical and mental development of children and risk factors of metabolic diseases. I have been especially interested in biosocial interactions and international comparisons. Applying quantitative genetic models to international data makes possible, for example, to analyze how social macro-environment can modify the effects of genetic and environmental factors on health and health behavior. Currently, I am the principle investigator of the CODATwins project, which has combined twin data from 24 countries and is currently the largest twin dataset in the world.

 

University of Oxford

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- Gender inequality and ist demographic implications: health and mortality implications of son preference in infancy and childhood, prenatal sex selection and sex ratio at birth distortions, gender gaps in early and later life health.
- Digital and computational social science: agent-based modeling and microsimulation, nowcasting social development indicators with digital trace data, gender inequalities in internet and mobile phone access, implications of the digital revolution for economic and social development.
- Demographic analysis of marriage and family: assortative mating, marriage squeeze and the implications of educational expansion for marriage and family behaviour.
- Ethnicity and migration: measuring migrant integration and heterogeneity, heterogeneity in social attitudes and demographic norms among migrant communities in Europe.

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Demography; Sociology; Life course research; Sociogenomics (combining molecular genetics and sociology); Cross-national comparative research; Non-standard work schedules; Inequality; Event History Analysis; Quantitative Statistical Genetics; Fertility; Family; Assortative Mating

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I have an eclectic/elastic interest in sociological and demographic questions around family, health & mortality, and social inequality. I am interested in how societies differ in who lives with whom, who gets how much of the good and bad stuff in life and of life itself, and how (un)fortune in life is related to who your family are.

 

University of Pennsylvania

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Jere Behrman (Ph.D. Economics, MIT, 1966; Kenan Professor, Economics/Sociology, University of Pennsylvania). His research is in empirical micro economics, economic development, early childhood development, labor economics, human resources, economic demography, household behaviors, life-cycle and intergenerational relations and policy evaluation. He has published over 465 professional articles and 35 books, worked with numerous international organizations and governments, been involved in professional research/lecturing in over 40 countries, principal investigator or investigator on over 160 research projects and received various honors, including: Econometric Society Fellow, 40th Anniversary Fulbright Fellow, 2008 biennial Carlos Diaz-Alejandro Prize for outstanding research contributions to Latin America, 2017 Population Association of America Irene B. Taeuber Award, inclusion in “Highly Cited Researchers (h>100) according to their Google Scholar Citations public profiles”

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Research interests: Demographic methods, geographic, socioeconomic and racial health disparities, migrant health, population aging and cognition, life-course determinants of health and mortality.

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Pilar Gonalons-Pons is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines how work, families, and public policies structure economic inequalities in paid and unpaid work as well as earnings. She has a particular interest in understanding how social policies can transform social inequalities. Her current research focuses on the distribution of economic penalties to paid and unpaid care work across countries and over time and its contribution to gendered, classed, and racialized inequalities. Other ongoing research projects include studies about changes in women’s earnings and trends in income inequality in 8 countries 1975-2017, the effects of the Great Recession on workers’ career mobility and family formation in 30 countries, changes in couples’ work and earnings after childbirth in the US, Germany, UK, and Sweden 1970-2010. Her prior work includes studies on housework, spousal economic homogamy, and divorce.

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Research interests: Formal demography; demographic methods; determinants of trends and differentials in health/mortality; health disparities; migrant health; health/mortality in low income countries.

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Research interests: global low fertility, aging in low- and middle-income countries, global family change, life-course research, HIV/AIDS risks and prevention strategies, social networks and demographic behaviors, subjective expectations and life-course decision-makin

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Research Interests: International and internal migration, family and fertility, social and demographic change in Latin America, the Latino population in the United States

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Research Interests: Song’s major area of research centers on the origin of social inequality from a multigenerational perspective. Her research uses demographic, statistical, and computational tools to study the rise and fall of families in human populations across time and place. She has investigated long-term family and population changes by exploring the values of genealogical microdata. These data sources include historical data compiled from family pedigrees, population registers, administrative certificates, church records, and surname data; and modern longitudinal and cross-sectional data that follow a sample of respondents, their offspring, and descendants prospectively or ask respondents to report information about their family members and relatively retrospectively.

 

University of Rostock

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Trends and patterns in the health of the elderly population; Cognitive functioning and neurodegenerative disease; Care need and care need projections; Early life factors of late life health and mortality; Health of migrants; Social differences in mortality and health

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I work at the Institute of Sociology and Demography at the University of Rostock. My research interests are social inequalities and health inequalities in an international comparative perspective, demographic change, life course research, factors that contribute to social inequalities in the life course (e.g. education), health impact assessment and quantitative methods.

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Analysis of Mortality: Oldest-Old Mortality; Mathematical Demography; Statistical Demography; Mortality Forecasting; Socio-economic differences in mortality

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The research interest is in developing methods for multi-level modeling and simulation and their applications. Methodological developments range from the design of formal modeling languages, the development of efficient algorithms, to providing computational support for more effectively conducting entire simulation studies, involving diverse simulation experiments. Current applications focus on ecological, cell biological, and demographic simulation studies.

 

University of St Andrews

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Urška Demšar’s research area is Spatio-Temporal Visual Analytics with specific focus on visual analytics for computational movement analysis. She is combining analytical and visual techniques and is particularly interested in visual interpretation of results of spatial and spatio-temporal statistical methods. She collaborates with researchers in a number of application areas, including human dynamics, eye tracking research and animal movement.

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Jo Mhairi Hale’s research agenda focuses on the association between health and well-being and intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and migration, contextualized by structural factors such as economic recessions and social welfare spending. One key area of interest for Dr. Hale is identifying the social and behavioral risk factors for later-life cognitive impairment and dementia mortality, taking a life-course approach. She has analyzed administrative datasets such as the Center for Disease Control WONDER database, as well as multiple cross-sectional and longitudinal survey datasets, including the National Agricultural Workers Survey, the Health and Retirement Study, and the Survey on Income and Program Participation. She has utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods and has worked with scholars from a range of disciplines, including epidemiology, public health, formal demography, and economics.

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My research interests are in population health and wellbeing, and their intersection with family and socio-demographic factors. I have previously worked on hazardous alcohol use, health behaviours and chronic illness in later life and their interaction with reproductive and family factors. Currently I work on several projects related to infectious disease, antimicrobial resistance and multimorbidity. I often work in interdisciplinary projects, and currently collaborate with psychiatrists, biologists, biomedical scientists, clinicians, microbiologists and social scientists from many disciplines. My methodological expertise is in longitudinal analysis, and analysing secondary datasets, including large scale surveys, cohort studies and census data

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Hill Kulu’s substantive research interests lie in the field of family, migration and health studies. Within health studies, Kulu has investigated social and environmental determinants of health and mortality in industrialised countries including mortality differences by migrant status (immigrants versus natives), marital status (married versus non-married) and place of residence (urban versus rural). He is currently supervising two PhD projects on short- and long-term effects of air pollution and temperature on population health and mortality. Kulu’s methodological interests include the development and application of survival analysis and multistate models in health and mortality research including the application of simultaneous equations random effects models to detect and control for the effect of unobserved heterogeneity and selectivity. He has expertise in working on large scale administrative data (e.g. the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study) and longitudinal survey data (e.g. the British Household Panel Study; the Understanding Society study).

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My research expertise focuses on the interdisciplinary and highly policy relevant area of human migration, and a commitment to research that is of conceptual and practical significance underpins my research philosophy and activities. My research concentrates on how population mobility relates to the functioning of the economy and experiences of work. My endeavours in this area have contributed to new methodological and conceptual ways of thinking about migration, and have generated significant practical impact (impact case study for next REF). I am an Editorial Board member of Population, Space and Place (ranked second in Demography) and am an active participant in academic networks within the social sciences (e.g. I am the University of St Andrews Institutional Representative on the ESRCs Scottish Graduate School of Social Science) and have a strong record of attracting Research Council funding (e.g. part of ESRC Centre for Population Change). Consequently, I have successfully delivered a number of research projects, often involving leading numerous Research Fellows and co-investigators. I am an active contributor to the research strategy of our School via our Research Committee.

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Julia is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews and at the ESRC Centre for Population Change. Her research focuses on the consequences of changing partnership and family dynamics for individuals’ outcomes across Europe using longitudinal data and advanced longitudinal methods (e.g., (multiprocess and multistate) event history analysis, sequence analysis). More specifically, she has studied the interrelationship between multiple partnership transitions and the transition to motherhood across Europe. She has also extensively studied the consequences of separation and divorce for individuals’ residential mobility and housing in several industrialized countries. Julia has extensive experience of using the British Household Panel Study, the Understanding Society study, and data from the Generation and Gender Surveys.

 

University of Stockholm

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My research focuses on life-course mechanisms behind the intergenerational reproduction of social, economic, and health inequalities. I am particularly interested in how negative influences of early life adversity might be counteracted by processes of resilience expanding from the various contexts in which individuals are embedded. A related interest is the development of statistical methods for analyzing complex longitudinal data. Further, I am the principal investigator of the Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (SBC Multigen).

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My research interest cover welfare research, health inequalities and social determinants of health. More specifically, I have worked on topics such as the size and trends of health inequalities in Sweden and internationally; general welfare trends in Sweden (in particular during the crisis in the 1990s); income, relative deprivation and health; the importance of childhood conditions for adult health; Sense of Coherence and its connection to health; and health among older adults. I have also worked a lot with policy issues on the nationally as well as the international level. Among other things I led a Task group for the Review of Social Determinants and the Health Divide in the WHO European Region, and was appointed by the Government to chair the Swedish Commission for Equity in Health.

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Common to practically all of my research is the focus on childhood social disadvantage and its implications for people’s present and future health, as well as the ambition to identify the pathways through which such influences operate. In line with this, my more recent research addresses the question of how social inequalities in health are transferred and maintained across family lineages spanning several generations. In a different vein of my research, concentrating on a much narrower time-span, I investigate how different features of the school context shape and modify present-day children’s level of stress and mental well-being. I have a quantitative approach, using statistical techniques such as proportional hazards models, multilevel analysis, and structural equation modelling to test my hypotheses.

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Social capital and health in a policy perspective; The theoretical foundations of social capital; Immigrant health; Labour market conditions and health among immigrants; Social support, social networks and health behaviours; Health consequences by bereavement

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Elizabeth Thomson is Professor Emerita of Demography, Stockholm University, and Professor of Sociology Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has conducted research on couple childbearing decisions, family structure and child well-being, voluntary sterilization, and stepfamily childbearing. Recent projects focused on links between partnership and parenthood, including the relationship between cohabitation and family stability and complexity, and the consequences of joint physical custody for parents and children.

 

University of Washington

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I am a sociologist and demographer, researching social dynamics at the intersection of gender, globalization, migration, development, and environment. I also teach and publish in the fields of pedagogy and methodology, both related to training of graduate students, particular about research ethics, mixed methods, and qualitative field methods.

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Spatiotemporal models, graphical models, multidimensional contingency tables, loglinear models, Bayesian statistics, statistical computing, modeling of complex dynamical phenomena using big data, computational social science

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Statistical methods for population health in settings with limited or low quality data; sampling populations that are difficult to include on traditional surveys; using social media or other forms of passively observed data to infer representative population quantities.

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Estimating child mortality in a low and medium income country context; hierarchical models for survey data; spatial epidemiology; space-time models for infectious disease data; small area estimation; estimating national and subnational disease burden; ecological inference for non-infectious and infectious disease data; the links between Bayes and frequentist procedures

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Social demography, Migration and Mobility, Armed Conflict, Natural Disasters and Climate Change, Research Design and Survey Data Collection

Curriculum

The PHDS program is characterized by eight components that focus on guaranteeing strong interdisciplinary training in population, health and data science, but also aim to deliver high-quality supervision across more than one institute, give the students extensive networking opportunities, provide the students the opportunity to work at minimum at two leading research institutions, and foster a strong cohort experience despite having the students hosted at several locations.

Joint supervision

Candidates interested in joining PHDS are asked to apply to the school with a research proposal and a clear preference for a hosting institution. Each of the partners in the PHDS qualifies as a hosting institution. Upon acceptance, a student gets assigned a primary supervisor from his/her hosting institution and a secondary, informal supervisor from one of the other partner sites. With these arrangements in place, each PHDS student is jointly supervised by faculty from (at least) two partner sites. This immediately gives the students an unusually broad supervising network, facilitating dissertation work for which expertise at one site is not enough.

Annual academies

The academies are held once per year, are attended by all students and their supervisors, and run for three to five days. Each academy consists of five components: research presentations and lectures by eminent scientists who are external to the PHDS network, faculty research presentations and instruction, student presentation of dissertation research with feedback from their peers and faculty, a kick-off event for the incoming cohort, and collegial exchange between faculty and students. The first academy took place on 4-6 November 2019 at the MPIDR in Rostock.

Core training program at the MPIDR

The MPIDR organizes a core training program for the core students that are based at the core partners MPIDR and University of Rostock. The core training program at the MPIDR is mandatory for the core students and optional for the affiliated students based at the affiliated partner sites. The core training program involves a mix of basic and advanced courses. Three basic courses focus on (i) demographic measures, (ii) population health and (iii) data science and population processes. These basic courses provide an introduction to key themes of PHDS involving practical (computer) exercises and will normally be presented as 10-day intensive courses in November and December. Several advances courses focusing on specialized topics in population, health and data science are offered throughout the entire year.

Seminar courses at partner sites

PHDS partner institutions will open their already existing courses on population, health and/or data science to PHDS students. Students will thereby be offered the opportunity to participate in courses at all partner sites. A list of seminar courses at partner sites will become available in winter 2019/20.

Thematic workshops

From 2020 onwards, PHDS will offer optional thematic workshops focusing on specialized research topics within the overall theme of the school. A thematic workshop will run for two to three days and will bring together students, faculty as well as external experts working on this particular topic. Students attending thematic workshops are encouraged to present at these workshops.

Graduate workshops

From 2020 onwards, one graduate workshop will be held per year, always in Rostock. Graduate workshops will bring together the PHDS students. They will present progress reports, research outlines as well as preliminary and advanced dissertation research. Students will receive feedback from their peers and from one or two PHDS faculty.

Research stay abroad

Each PHDS student is required to complete one three-month stay abroad at one of the partner sites. For most students, this will be the site where the student’s secondary supervisor is based. Students may combine their research stay abroad with attending a course and/or a thematic workshop at the partner site. Thus, PHDS students will be internationally mobile and benefit from exchange with other European and US universities. Affiliated students are encouraged to complete their research stay at one of the core partner sites (i.e., MPIDR or University of Rostock) because most of the PHDS activities take place in Rostock.

Thesis Advisory Committees (TACs)

TACs are established as a supervisory structure for all PHDS students. A TAC generally consists of a maximum of 4 members, selected by the PhD student in close consultation with his/her primary supervisor and assisted by the Dean. In this way, TACs provide an opportunity for students to expand their professional network in a targeted way that favors their employment opportunities after the doctorate. In most instances, TAC members are recruited from the PHDS teaching faculty. When composing TACs, particular attention is paid to the fact that TAC members are independent of one another. TAC meetings are held at least once a year and are documented.

Model Schedules

Involvement in and effort for PHDS varies slightly for core versus affiliated students.

  • Model schedules A and B in the PDF below present an overview of mandatory and optional curriculum elements for core students from core partner sites MPIDR and University of Rostock.
  • Model schedules C and D in the PDF below present an overview of mandatory and optional curriculum elements for affiliated students from affiliated partner sites (i.e., all sites outside Rostock, Germany).

Model schedules A and C show basic participation (only mandatory curriculum elements) while model schedules B and D illustrate intensive participation (mandatory and optional curriculum elements). Note that optional curriculum elements can be arranged individually according to the students’ interests and needs.

Courses

Elective Courses 2021

Advanced Methods for Causal Inference with Observational Data
19.07.2021 – 23.07.2021
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany: online course
Instructors: Peter Eibich and Angelo Lorenti
Course Outline

Advances in Mortality Forecasting
28.06.2021 – 02.07.2021
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany: online course
Instructors: Carlo Giovanni Camarda and Ugofilippo Basellini
Course Outline

Data visualization – the art/skill cocktail
14.06.2021 – 18.06.2021
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany: online course
Instructor: Ilya Kashnitsky
Course Outline

Analyzing Family Data
08.06.2021 – 09.06.2021
University of Helsinki, Finland: online course
Instructors: Pekka Martikainen and Deborah Lawlor
Course Outline

 

Core Courses 2020

Population Health
16.11.2020 – 27.11.2020
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research: online course
Course coordinator: Maarten Bijlsma
Course Outline

Topics in Digital and Computational Demography
09.11.2020 – 13.11.2020
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research: online course
Course coordinator: Emilio Zagheni
Course Outline

Demographic Methods
02.11.2020 – 06.11.2020
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research: online course
Course coordinator: Alyson van Raalte
Course Outline

 

Elective Courses 2020

Data visualization – the art/skill cocktail
13.07.2020 – 17.07.2020
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany: online course
Instructor: Ilya Kashnitsky
Course Outline

Smoothing Demographic Data: Flexible Models in Population Studies
25.05.2020 – 29.05.2020
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany: online course
Instructor: Carlo Giovanni Camarda
Course Outline

Microsimulation using Socsim
09.03.2020 – 13.03.2020
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Instructors: Carl Mason and Tom Theile
Course Outline

Multistate Models: Analysis from event histories and panel data
02.03.2020 – 06.03.2020
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Instructor: Jutta Gampe
Course Outline

 

Core Courses 2019

Fundamentals of Digital and Computational Demography
02.12.2019 – 13.12.2019
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Course coordinator: Emilio Zagheni
Course Outline (PDF)

Population Health
18.11.2019 – 29.11.2019
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Course coordinator: Yana Vierboom
Course Outline (PDF)

Demographic Methods
11.11.2019 – 15.11.2019
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany
Course coordinator: Alyson van Raalte
Course Outline (PDF)

Applications

St Andrews-Max Planck PhD Studentship

Application (PDF), deadline: 31 August 2021

 

The next open IMPRS-PHDS Call for Applications will be publicized in March 2022. Please register with us and we will send you a copy: phds@demogr.mpg.de