RAND Postdoctoral Training Program in Population Studies
Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health
The RAND Corporation is accepting applications for one postdoctoral fellowship in Population Studies. This competitive program enables outstanding scholars to sharpen their analytic skills and advance their research agenda in the field of population studies. Scholars come from various disciplines including, but not limited to, economics, demography, and sociology.
Housed within RAND Labor and Population, the program blends formal and informal training and extensive collaboration with distinguished researchers without teaching obligations. One-year fellowships are renewable for a second year and provide a competitive stipend and health insurance. Fellows must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and must have completed a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline before they begin the program. The program is open to new scholars, as well as individuals who have some research experience or are on leave from an academic position. Fellowships are initially for a period of one year, renewable for a second year.
The program gives Fellows a great opportunity to jump-start their research careers. After completing the program, RAND Fellows have taken positions at, for example: the University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University, SUNY Stony Brook, the World Bank, and CDC.
Advantages of the RAND Environment
RAND provides a distinctive environment for fellows in the program.
- RAND's primary activity is research. The environment provides a rich variety of ongoing studies and an experienced staff of professional researchers with whom fellows can collaborate. The fellows also have the opportunity to interact with other scholars at RAND. In addition, each fellow will design and pursue an individual research program.
- RAND projects are typically interdisciplinary, bringing together, for example, economists, sociologists, psychologists, statisticians, and health professionals. Thus fellows can collaborate on research projects already under way that link research in population studies to other areas.
- RAND's research in population studies is distinguished by its scholarly orientation and by the productivity of its staff. The value and visibility assigned to publications increase the likelihood that fellows will produce scholarly articles, either individually or in collaboration with RAND staff.
- Fellows have full access to RAND's research facilities. These include state-of-the-art computer hardware and software, a nationally acclaimed library, an extensive data facility that obtains and maintains research data bases, and special consulting and training services in computing, statistical analysis, and written and oral presentations.
Structure of the Program
Each fellow, in regular consultation with a staff adviser, will design a program that reflects his or her research needs and interests, and stage in their research career.
Formal Training. When appropriate, fellows may choose from a wide range of substantive and methodological courses in policy analysis offered by the Pardee RAND Graduate School. These include statistics, econometric methods, social science research methods, health policy analysis, and a number of other courses in applied policy analysis. In addition, members of the RAND Statistics Group, who have doctorates in statistics, offer a series of short courses on current topics of interest. Examples of recent courses include survival analysis, general linear models, regression diagnostics, and the analysis of cluster-sampled data. Fellows also enhance their experience in preparing and using large data bases. In addition, fellows can sharpen their communications skills by taking advantage of classes in effective writing and briefing for scientific and policy audiences.
Collaboration and Informal Training. Fellows benefit not only from formal education opportunities, but also from the opportunity to collaborate closely with senior researchers. The Research Profile of Training Staff (see below) shows the exceptionally broad analytic interests of the RAND staff. Typically, fellows work on two or three projects each year, including ongoing studies in collaboration with RAND researchers and studies of his or her own design.
Fellows broaden their informal interaction with the research staff by participating in several seminar series on topics concerning population and aging offered at RAND, at the University of California at Los Angeles, and at the University of Southern California.
Developing a Research Agenda. An important goal of the program is to help fellows enhance their careers as independent researchers. Staff advisers will mentor fellows in the preparation of presentations for professional meetings and papers for journal publication. In addition, fellows will be encouraged to design and submit a proposal for a research project to be conducted after leaving RAND. Fellows can sharpen the skills vital to preparing a successful proposal by drawing on the experience of senior staff and by taking advantage of classes on writing effective proposals.
Research Profile of Training Staff
The training staff includes both members of RAND's permanent staff and academic consultants. The former are always available to fellows; the latter, who spend from several weeks to several months at RAND each year, enrich the training environment and extend the valuable informal scholarly network to which fellows have access.
The director of the Program in Population Studies is Megan Beckett.
We are no longer accepting applications.
Individuals interested in health may also want to consider a post-doctoral training program that is jointly housed in the RAND Health Sciences program and the UCLA School of Public Health. See http://www.ph.ucla.edu/hs/post_doctoral.asp for more details.