Population Training and Mentoring


A collage of interconnecting arrows

Training the next generation of population scientists naturally extends to graduate student development. Research independence is encouraged through a combination of mentoring and formal research training.

Offered through numerous research grants awarded to our scholars, Research Assistantships support mentoring relationships between researchers and graduate students. The assistantships also provide students opportunities to participate in the pilot research program, work in dynamic group environments, and assist other relevant research activities.

The weekly Seminar Series features Duke scholars as well as nationally and internationally recognized population researchers. The Series offers Duke faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students the chance to meet with featured or visiting scholars to discuss their work, get feedback on ideas and stimulate future collaborative endeavors. A complete listing of upcoming and past Seminars can be found here.

Population science graduate students also benefit from monthly seminars designed for students to present preliminary work and receive faculty feedback. Presentations by pre- and postdoctoral students are scheduled each month with a special Population Association of America (PAA) preparation session held prior to the annual PAA meetings. In addition, financial subsidies are available for predoctoral students to attend PAA.


Collaboration with the Duke Network Analysis Center (DNAC) equips graduate students with access to the Social Networks and Health Scholars Training Program, an intensive week-long training program that reviews network methods rarely included in the standard social science methods sequence regularly taught to health and health policy scholars. DNAC also hosts a weekly network science seminar series which highlights innovative research from nationally and internationally renowned scholars.

Spearheaded by M. Giovanna Merli, a recent inter-institutional partnership with the French National Institute for Demographic studies (INED) grants students and faculty unprecedented access to exciting population research and training opportunities. The partnership facilitates student and faculty exchange, workshops and conferences, and encourages inter-institutional data sharing. 

In addition, a new inter-institutional partnership has been established with the International Max Planck Research School for Population Health and Data Science (IMPRS-PHDS), a unique three-year doctoral program that merges demography, epidemiology and data science. The program is hosted at the Max Plank Institute for Demographic research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany, and offers doctoral students from partner universities the opportunity to apply for three year PhD positions each year. For more information about this program, contact M. Giovanna Meril.

DPRC also provides pre and postdoctoral student access to a wide range of computational resources and statistical training customized for cutting edge population analysis.