Guided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) mission “to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people,” demographic research provides foundational information about the health and well-being of individuals, families and groups, and the changing composition of the broader populations that they comprise. This research sheds light on the large-scale patterns and processes that shape our world and the individuals living in it. Students trained in population science are well-equipped to pursue careers across academic, government, and applied research settings, where they can work toward enhancing human health, development and well-being.

While the field of population research has continued to grow in numbers, there remains a striking lack of racial and ethnic diversity among scholars of population. To expand demographic training for undergraduates, we are developing a brief but intensive, collaborative summer program that uses pressing contemporary issues as a lens for studying population composition and change, for example, on race and income inequality, health disparities, immigration, and family change.

Funded by an NICHD R25 grant (#HD105602), this new initiative aims to increase the diversity of the population field and nurture the next generation of population scientists. NextGenPop will be coordinated by a new consortium of 27 population research centers from universities across the U.S. and will be closely linked with and administratively supported by the Population Association of America (PAA).

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