The overarching goals of the program development core are to (i) initiate and develop innovative, interdisciplinary research programs, particularly in subnational and international analysis of the policy-related, social, economic and behavioral determinants of health outcomes;(ii) determine relationships between healthcare, expenditures, and disease burdens;and (iii) develop and apply innovative statistical and mathematical tools from the social sciences to understand these causal relationships. The program development core has three components. First, the Center will provide modest support for four faculty members to guide these research program areas. Three of these individuals are early-stage investigators. The core also supports the Center's Pilot Project Award program, which will be available to social scientists based around the world to develop new research into the causative drivers of health disparities, healthy aging, and longevity;to establish collaborations for comparative research outside of Center;and for established population health investigators who would like to pursue new interdisciplinary research in aging and social science-related topics. Two examples of potential pilot projects include (i) Analysis of distal and intermediate health disparities and their determinants in the United Kingdom;and (ii) Understanding the relationship between income and health outcomes across ages and counties. Finally, the Center will cultivate a new generation of leading academic investigators situated at the intersection of population health, economics, and social science disciplines by providing the support, training and mentoring for post-graduate fellows and other incipient researchers to progress towards research independence. One post-graduate researcher will be selected annually through a global, competitive application to apply their social science expertise to population health research in order to become independent academic faculty with research interests consistent with the Center's aims.
The work performed in the program development core will foster new young faculty and will advance interdisciplinary research on the determinants, costs and impacts of healthy aging and longevity that uses economic, social and population health approaches at the subnational and international levels.