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Training Programs at the PRC

Photo of COLA buildingAs our former trainees testify, the Population Research Center is one of the foremost places in the nation to learn how to conduct research in population studies at the highest level. Our training program benefits from and feeds into the PRC’s innovative and highly productive research program in four primary research areas: Family Demography and Intergenerational Relationships; Education, Work, and Inequality; Population Health; and Reproductive Health. Through a combination of rigorous coursework and collaboration on groundbreaking research projects, our training program aims to produce the next generation of leading population scientists both in the United States and in many international settings.

Who can participate?

Although this page focuses on our graduate training program, training is available at the undergraduate and postdoctoral levels as well.

Since the PRC is not a degree-granting unit, students seeking a graduate degree with a specialization in population studies must apply through an academic department at the University of Texas at Austin. The Department of Sociology at UT is the most common academic department of our graduate students and offers specializations in demography, health, family, education, religion, and other areas of central interest to population-related researchers. Graduate students from the Departments of Human Development and Family SciencesEconomics, Educational Psychology, Psychology, and Anthropology, as well as the LBJ School of Public Affairs and School of Social Work are also graduate student trainees in the PRC.

What do trainees do?

In addition to taking required coursework, trainees actively participate on research projects led by PRC faculty. In fact, research collaboration with PRC faculty (and with other graduate student trainees) is the core activity of being a trainee. Moreover, attending the PRC’s Friday Seminar Series is also a very central part of being a PRC trainee. The Friday Seminar Series exposes trainees to some of the best population researchers in the country on a weekly basis and is a key tool by which our trainees become top flight population scientists.  

How do I get involved?

  1. Apply to become a PRC Trainee. Those enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Texas may apply to become a PRC Trainee in their first year or later. By being accepted as a PRC trainee, graduate students get access to computing resources and become eligible to apply for fellowships through the PRC. When possible, the PRC also provides office space and travel funds for trainees to attend professional meetings.
  2. Attend the weekly Friday Seminars. This is an opportunity to meet faculty and staff interested in population research and to learn more about projects ongoing at UT and around the country.
  3. Take courses. PRC Graduate Trainees are required to take General Approaches to the Study of Population and Demographic Techniques. PRC Faculty Affiliates also offer courses in Mortality, Fertility, Migration, and other core topics in population. Check the course schedule (or email for information on what is offered each semester.
  4. Contact faculty. One of the biggest strengths of our training program is that it provides opportunities for trainees to get involved in research projects. Ask your faculty advisor or other PRC faculty affiliates doing research that interests you if there are opportunities to become more involved.

Is funding available?

Graduate student trainees are supported through Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, and Fellowship positions.

Where are former trainees now?

The PRC has an excellent record of placing our former trainees in top academic positions.  Recent PRC graduate students are now faculty members at Princeton University, University of California-Davis, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Kansas, Penn State University, Florida State University, Duke University, Ohio State University, and Michigan State University.  In addition, many of our recent graduates currently hold prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, such as from NICHD or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Duke University, Columbia University, and more. 

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  • Population Research Center

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street / RLP 2.602
    Mail Stop G1800
    Austin, Texas 78712-1699