International Population Research. Studies aimed at improving health and life chances in the world’s population through investments in nutrition and schooling, fighting HIV/AIDS, and migration are all buttressed by a PSC infrastructure that aids international population research. The PSC’s presence in international population research is important in attracting excellent visiting scholars, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students who are crucial to the research environment at the PSC and population science more generally.
Internationalist infrastructure. Our desire to sustain international human and social capital has led to the establishment of international partnerships, a set of institutional relationships designed to foster collaborative research. The term “partnerships” reflects our desire to move away from hierarchical international relationships and toward those founded on exchange. Within Penn, we align with university-wide initiatives in global health and global engagement, with PSC expertise in international population and health studies reflected in substantial involvement in the SAS Dean’s Integrative Global Inquiries projects and in leadership in area studies centers (e.g. Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies (Parrado), Center for Africana Studies (Zuberi), and James Joo-Jin Kim Center for Korean Studies (Park).
Malawi Research Group. The Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) (H.P. Kohler, PI), a collaborative project among Penn, the College of Medicine at Univ of Malawi, and Invest in Knowledge Malawi, is one of very few long-standing publicly-available longitudinal cohort studies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). With data collection rounds for up to 4,000 individuals, the MLSFH documents over twenty-five years of demographic, socioeconomic and health conditions in one of the world’s poorest countries. Prior funding of the MLSFH included multiple grants from NICHD (R21 HD071471, R01 HD044228, R01 HD053781), as well as funding through the PSC, Penn Center for AIDS Research, the Penn Institute on Aging, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (R4d), and other agencies. Faculty who have contributed to the MLSFH are from a broad range of disciplines, including sociology, demography, economics, public health, epidemiology and anthropology. Members of the MLSFH team have established a Malawian NGO called “Invest in Knowledge (IKI)” that is not only a collaborator for the MLSFH fieldwork since 2006 but has emerged as a leading Malawian research organization that conducts studies for projects funded by NIH, the World Bank, DFID, Rand Corporation, Gates Foundation, and others. A new NICHD R01 to study the impacts of adverse childhood experiences on health both across life courses and across generations was scored at the 4th percentile and expected to receive funding (direct costs: $2.5m).
Penn-Institut National D’Etudes Démographiques (INED) collaborative. The PSC maintains a long-standing collaboration with INED France to which Smith, Guillot, and Elo have contributed in prior years. The partnership was formalized in 2019 and extended in 2022. It provides a framework for interactions that can range from common collaborative projects to external visits. Gonalons-Pons and Myriam Khlat at Penn and INED respectively are coordinating the partnership. The SAS Dean’s office has provided support. Recent outcomes include a conference in May 2023 on the “Evolution of Crime and Punishment from a cohort analytic framework” in France and a joint program to promote comparative research on immigration and health directed by Elo. In addition, the program supports interaction between graduate students at both institutions.
Other international partnerships. In addition, we maintain close but less formal institutional collaborations with at least ten more population centers across the world (more information on these partnerships is presented in the development core). We partner with the new International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health, and Data Science (IMPRS-PHDS) in Germany, as one of the 12 partner sites, to develop collaboration networks between demographers across institutions and host visiting students and scholars We also have institutional exchanges with the Centro de Estudios de Población (CENEP) Argentina. Marcela Cerrutti from CENEP will visit the PSC in Spring 2024. She is collaborating with Parrado on a project on regional international population movements. Park, with substantial new funding from the Academy of Korean Studies and the Korean Ministry of Education, and ongoing PSC infrastructural support, has established and directs the Korean Millennials Research Lab (including former PSC Research Associate G Kao [Yale]), to study the coming of age, in a family and institutional context, of the current generation of young Koreans. Behrman and Elo have been working closely with David Bravo in Chile on several projects addressing healthcare access in Chile, including among indigenous populations. The PSC has been instrumental in the development and support of international research. These institutional partnerships add to the numerous individual collaborations built around specific research projects.