Family Demography

    • The material on this page contains overview information on the NICHD T32 Pre- and Post-doctoral Training Programs in Family Demography.

Training Director: Dr. Valarie King, Professor of Sociology, Demography and HDFS            (email:

T32 Faculty: The training faculty are drawn, for the most part, from the two departments most closely associated with the training program: Sociology and Human Development and Family Studies. The family demography faculty (as of January 1, 2018) are shown in the pink box in the diagram available at: PRI_Demography_Overlap_and_Non-Overlap_Jan_2018-uvpxot

Current T32 post-doctoral trainee: Dr. Léa Pessin

Current pre-doctoral trainees: Jane Lankes, Chanell Washington, Megan Evans, and Jesse Smith.

Most recent alumni postdoctoral scholars:  Dr. Cate McNamee (Queens University, Belfast, UK); Dr. Molly Dondero (American University)

Recent T32 pre-doctoral trainees: Dr. Lisa Boyd (Yale, Postdoc), Cadhla McDonnell, Dr. Yeris Mayol-Garcia (U.S. Census Bureau), Dr. Aggie Noah (Arizona State University), Dr. Sarah Patterson (University of Western Ontario, Postdoc), Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins (Missouri State University), Ashley Larsen Gibby, and Brianne Pragg.


PRE-DOC TRAINEE AY 2018-2019 (See below POST-DOC ad)

Postdoctoral Training position in Family Demography and Individual Development

The Population Research Institute (PRI) at The Pennsylvania State University anticipates an opening for a postdoctoral fellow in the NICHD-supported Family Demography and Individual Development training program, starting on or about August 15, 2016. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in demography, sociology, family studies, or a related social science discipline by the starting date. A strong background in quantitative analysis of social science data is desirable. The training program is oriented toward a postdoctoral research apprenticeship in two areas: family demography, and life course development processes and outcomes. We seek trainees with either 1) training in demography who wish to broaden their disciplinary base by acquiring substantive expertise in individual development throughout the life course, or 2) a disciplinary background in individual development who seek to acquire the perspective, tools and techniques of demography. The interface of family demography and individual development science is an area of particular strength among Population Research Institute faculty associates. A postdoctoral fellow devotes most of his/her time to research collaborations with faculty mentors and independent research and research grant proposal writing, but may also audit selected courses to broaden disciplinary expertise. Fellowships are for one year, with possibility for a second year. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents at the time of application. Screening of applications will begin on January 15, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. Application must include 1) letter of application along with 2) a three-four page statement describing a) research interests and career plan, b) planned research during the postdoctoral period, c) proposed postdoctoral faculty mentor(s) at Penn State (see faculty list at:, 3) a curriculum vitae and 4) examples of written work as part of your application materials. See application link below. In addition, three letters of recommendation should be sent separately to Angela Jordan at For more information about the Population Research Institute research and training programs see: or contact Dr. Valarie King at, Training Program Director.

Apply to this job:

NICHD Predoctoral Family Demography Traineeships (Starting August 1, 2018)

The Penn State Population Research Institute and Graduate Program in Demography offers NICHD-funded predoctoral traineeships in Family Demography for candidates seeking a dual-Ph.D. degree in either Sociology and Demography or Human Development & Family Studies and Demography.

Preference is given to candidates who have completed some population-related graduate work. The training faculty include primarily advanced-rank demography professors who have family demography-related interests and funded research grants. Traineeship awards provide a stipend (and full tuition waiver) for a 12-month appointment, and are renewable for a second year (contingent on continued funding from NICHD). Additional funding is provided to trainees for travel to PAA, research supplies, and other training-related expenses.

The enhanced scientific research focus of this traineeship program is on the impacts of demographic structure and processes, social contexts, individual developmental processes, and biobehavioral processes on the family. Demographic structure and processes can be either outcome or determinant variables in the candidate’s research interests and goals. As part of the curriculum in pursuing a dual-Ph.D. in Demography, candidates are required to take some cross-training courses in developmental processes and biobehavioral processes on the family.

Applications for traineeship awards should be filed by February 1, 2018. Please email application materials to Valarie King (Email: Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of application.

The application should include:

1. Letter describing

  • Your family demography-related research interests
  • How cross-discipline training in developmental processes, demographic processes, and biobehavioral processes will enhance the scholarship of your research interests and goals
  • Proposed faculty mentor you would like to work with during the traineeship

2. Current vita

3. Copy of Penn State transcript

4. Writing sample/paper from your relevant prior research, or a thesis prospectus

5. Independently filed letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor

To apply, or for more information, contact:

Valarie King, Training Program Director
415 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802
Fax: 814-863-7216



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