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Annual Workshop on Formal Demography

Jun 04

The Fourth Annual Workshop on Formal Demography will take place on June 4-8, 2018, here at the UC Berkeley Campus. Funded by NICHD R25HD083136 and co-sponsored by the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging (CEDA) and the Berkeley Population Center, this annual workshop consists of two parts. The first part is a 3-day workshop on formal demographic methods. Trainees will learn a variety of methods and applications with a hands-on active-learning approach. The next two days, Thursday and Friday, is a conference, with presentations by leading demographers. 

We seek advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, assistant professors and other researchers, including more senior researchers interested in expanding their field of expertise.

The Fourth Annual Formal Demography Workshop, is in the planning stages. Check back for updates. Registration is now open.  The special emphasis topic will be mortality.

For any questions, please write to Dr. Leora Lawton, Executive Director, Berkeley Population Center, popcenter [at] (link sends e-mail).

We encourage you to download the flyer for the program and distribute to interested parties.


Applying to the Workshop

Please read the information below in order to prepare your application. Then you may proceed to the Application Form (link is external). Applications are due March 5, 2018.

You will need to upload the following documents in the application. For your ease, please assemble them beforehand.
Create a single pdf document consisting of:

  • An up-to-date CV
  • A list of relevant courses taken in population studies and statistics
  • Optional: One feature of the Workshop is a year-long mentored research project, which will be presented as a poster session in the subsequent Population Association of America (PAA). There are limited slots for this opportunity, and it is completely optional. If you wish to be considered for this project, include a one-page abstract of your proposed project. The description should have a basic research question and hypotheses, and to the extent that you know them, specify which data you might use, and the kind of analysis you think would be appropriate. Explain how would the mentorship benefit you.

You will also need to (a) attach proof of completion of a training in Responsible Conduct of Research, either the NIH online class or CITI (see below for more detail); and (b) prepare a one-paragraph statement about your research interests that will be copied/pasted into the application.

This program is most suitable for trainees with a reasonable familiarity with statistics, including multivariate techniques, and the knowledge of a software language.

R Language
Instruction will be in R. Those unfamiliar with R are strongly encouraged to complete the R module below. Trainees are expected to have already taken basic statistics and calculus courses. The hands-on exercises will use the R computer language. Prior to attending the course, students should install R on their laptops and work through the 12 page "A (very) short introduction to R" by Torfs & Brauer available by googling or at: Short R Intro (link is external).  The information about texts and pre-workshop preparatory exercises in R can be found here.

The training lectures will assume some familiarity with demographic measures and notation. Students who have never taken a demography course should be familiar with the concepts in either Chapters 1-3 of Kenneth Wachter's Essential Demographic Methods or Chapters 1-3 of Preston, Heuveline, and Guillot's Demography: Measuring and Modeling Population Processes. An overview of demographic history and processes can be found in A Concise History of World Population, by Massimo Livi-Bacci, and a very brief introduction in McFalls, Joseph A., Jr. (2007). "Population: A Lively Introduction." Population Bulletin 62(1): 1 31 (Washington, D.C.: Population Reference Bureau). In addition, all supported trainees must have completed an acceptable form of Human Subjects/Responsible Conduct of Research instruction, and provide us a copy of the certification.

After your acceptance into the program, you will be provided (if requested) this textbook, Wachter, Ken (2014), Essential Demographic Methods, Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.

Responsible Conduct of Research
One of the following trainings must be completed and submit the certificate with your application:

  • NIH Online Training (link is external). This course takes about 2 hours to complete. (When you are done, a blue and white certificate will appear on the screen. Print this to a pdf file, or do a print screen to jpeg (in PCs: control-shift-printscreen, then open up an photo/image software such as Paint, and paste, then save)
  • CITI Training. Your institution likely has a relationship with CITI. If you aren't sure which module to take, take the Group 2 Social and Behavioral Research Investigators, Basic Course. This unit takes about 4-5 hours. 
  • An in-person course of at least 6 hours of classroom instruction. 

TERMS & CONDITIONS: We will provide lodging for trainees: please note that if you do not show up, we will still have to pay for your expenses. Should you be accepted into the program, we ask that you be committed to attending. Other details about lodging and transportation will be provided elsewhere


Find more information here.

Event information
04/06/2018 - 06/06/2018
Population Sciences at Berkeley
University of California