The Center for Family and Demographic Research (CFDR) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) seeks 5 years of funding from the R24 mechanism, NICHD Research Infrastructure for Demographic and Behavioral Population Science (RIPS - RFA HD-10-020) for a Specialized Research Infrastructure Center. The infrastructure award will provide resources for us to continue supporting our affiliates'high quality research in the area of family demography and scientific leadership at the national level. The Center's research and activities emphasize the health and well-being of children, adolescents, and adults in contemporary American families, which reflects the longstanding focus that has guided the mission of our center since its inception. The CFDR signature theme is family demography, with an emphasis on families in the United States. Families and households are integral to the study of populations, as demographic events typically unfold within a family context. CFDR affiliates'signature work on families across the life course aligns with the core tenets of family demography. Specifically, CFDR's family demographic research spans three sub-themes: 1) patterns and correlates of family and household formation, stability, and processes (i.e., parenting and partnering);2) family and household influences on child, adolescent, and adult wellbeing;and 3) measurement of families and households. Several emphases cut across these sub-themes, such as life course stage, cohort change, subgroup variation, and social context. The CFDR is requesting funds for three Research Support Cores (Administrative Core, Computing Core, and Data and Information Core) and a Research Development Core. The core activities enhance the quantity, quality, and scientific impact of research in family demography by providing cost-effective core services. This infrastructure provides: an environment in which faculty research is cultivated through interaction and collaboration among scientists who are diverse in terms of their disciplinary training, substantive emphases, methodological approaches, and seniority;the development of new research capabilities that advance our scientific vision;and specialized support for junior faculty. The CFDR is distinguished as a community of scholars that actively seek each other out to share ideas, offer expertise, and work together to develop and evaluate emerging scientific ideas. The demonstrated ability of the CFDR to foster interdisciplinary collaborations that result in grant-funded projects shows that the NICHD infrastructure support to the CFDR is advancing population research. Taken together, the CFDR provides a strong foundation for affiliates to launch and conduct innovative research projects. A renewal of the RIPS funding is essential to sustain and enhance our scientific contributions to family demography. It will ensure continued development of innovative theoretical and methodological approaches that will inform both research and data collection efforts. The RIPS funding will also launch new collaborative research teams that aggressively pursue external funds, and it will enhance the scholarly contributions of our affiliates through faculty training and mentoring. Our vision is to maintain an environment of innovation and collaboration that yields high impact research on core issues in family demography. To further this vision, the CFDR long-term plan includes expanding our role in shaping the national research agenda on families and spearheading new family demographic data collection efforts.
CFDR research aligns with the current NICHD Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB) goals of improving the health and well-being of individuals and families, with an emphasis on the DBSB domains of families, fertility, and HIV/AIDS. Our focus on families and households is appropriate for the study of populations as demographic events typically unfold within a family context and are influenced by family processes. Our research is additionally consistent with the future directions of the DBSB, including How and Why Families are Changing. Much of the research conducted under our auspices focuses on subgroup variation including attention to vulnerable populations.
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