$3.4 million NIH grant to bolster population science at Brown

A five-year award from the National Institutes of Health will advance research at the Population Studies and Training Center, which confronts health inequities, economic divides and other major societal problems.

The Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The five-year award will support research within the center, whose 62 affiliated faculty members work across diverse fields of study to understand and address societal problems including health inequities, climate change and economic divides.

Susan Short, director of the PSTC and a professor of sociology at Brown, said the award will support research development activities, provide funding for administrative and technical research staff, and help researchers analyze federal data, among other key needs. The funds will help the PSTC advance its research in five focused areas: migration and urbanization; population, development and environment; children, families and health; reproductive health, HIV and AIDS; and the social foundations of health disparities.

“Population research has been and will continue to be vital to understanding and improving health and well-being across the globe,” Short said. “Support from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has long been critical to the PSTC’s ability to advance population science. A new round of dedicated resources will support this dynamic community of faculty and students as they continue producing high-impact research within and across social science and public health fields.”

Founded in 1964, the PSTC is widely recognized for its collaborative community of researchers in anthropology, economics, sociology, health and more. Most recently, PSTC-affiliated faculty have used computer models to shed light on the future of migration caused by sea level rise, analyzed 133 million tweets to uncover the extent to which urban Americans move in segregated circles, and used decades of birth-registry data to discover that infant health inequality is on the rise.

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