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Population Studies and Training Center

The Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) is a multidisciplinary unit organized to promote and support innovative research on the causes and consequences of population size, composition, distribution, and well-being in the U.S. and globally. Its more than seventy faculty associates are primarily from the Departments of Sociology, Economics, and Anthropology, while others are affiliated with the School of Public Health, the Department of Education, the Department of History, Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, the Department of American Studies, the Watson Institute for International Studies, and the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences initiative. This breadth and diversity of expertise has yielded an extraordinarily dense network of collaborations both within and across disciplines. Our scholars are committed to population science that recognizes that people and places are connected, and
that health and well-being are intertwined with social, economic, and political systems.

The PSTC is a source of infrastructure and research support for associated scientists, and the nexus of intellectual activity for empirically driven and theoretically grounded scholars with population interests at Brown. The PSTC is highly regarded in and outside of Brown for its interdisciplinary community. It is a leader among population centers in several areas, including anthropological demography, innovative approaches to multi-method data collection and analysis, and global population health. Current research themes include Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development, and Environment; Children, Families, and Health; Social Foundations of Health Disparities; and Reproductive Health and HIV. Scholars also conduct research in other areas. 

The PSTC provides a competitive interdisciplinary training program in demography conducted in cooperation with Ph.D. programs in Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and the School of Public Health. The program is designed to prepare demography trainees to be successful scholars in their respective disciplines, and to give students the skills to successfully participate in the broad intellectual community of population studies. Degree requirements are described under the departmental listings, although all trainees are required to complete selected methods and interdisciplinary course requirements. Many PSTC students receive funding for their studies through Center training awards. Students who are not supported by PSTC fellowships obtain funding through research assistantships and support from the Graduate School. PSTC students also have an excellent record of obtaining competitive external support for their studies and research.

Those interested in learning more about research and training activities at the PSTC should visit the Center’s website at