The overall goal of UNC's Population Science Research Training Program is to create a cadre of future leaders in social science and public health disciplines with the subject matter expertise, interdisciplinary orientation, population perspective, and data skills to address and have an impact on pressing issues in demography, population health, and reproductive health. Housed in the Carolina Population Center (CPC), the program has assembled an outstanding training faculty drawn from 11 departments, roughly balanced between social science and public health disciplines; their participation in the training program is broad and sustained. The training, based in research, is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The predoctoral program combines disciplinary PhDs with a strong grounding in population science through coursework, seminars, and workshops and a mentored research practicum with one or more faculty members that continues throughout training. The postdoctoral program is structured around a close mentoring relationship between the training faculty and postdoctoral scholars, customized to fit the goals and interests of both. Consistent with CPC's strengths as best practice, the predoctoral and postdoctoral programs promote interdisciplinarity and teamwork, provide opportunities for professionalization, and create a welcoming and supportive community for emerging population scholars. The predoctoral program recruits from among graduate students already accepted into PhD programs at UNC, a highly selective pool. As an accommodation to the multidisciplinary nature of the program, all new and returning predoctoral trainees apply and are reviewed each year. Newly minted scholars with PhDs or equivalent in a social science or health discipline are recruited directly into the program for a two- year appointment (with review after a year). Support is requested for eight predoctoral and two postdoctoral traineeships per year, a level well justified by the competitiveness of the current program and the outstanding productivity and placement of prior trainees.
The NICHD/NRSA-supported Population Science Research Training Program, housed at UNC's Carolina Population Center, combines disciplinary PhDs with interdisciplinary predoctoral and postdoctoral training in demography and population science. Hallmarks of this longstanding program are: the integration of social and health sciences, an outstanding and experienced training faculty from 11 departments in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the interdisciplinary team orientation of much of the training and research, and a well-established track record of success in the recruitment, training, and placement of trainees.
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