Strategic Plan


Andrew D. Foster, Professor of Economics and Community Health, began his five-year term as the PSTC director in July 2011. His vision is summarized in the abbreviated strategic plan, which outlines the major goals of the PSTC—some of which remain the same from previous years so as to build upon past successes.

Organizational Goals:

  • To produce innovative research on the causes and consequences of population size, composition, distribution, and well-being with the major goal of influencing the trajectory of population research in the social sciences and more broadly.
  • To increase the size, strength, and diversity of the network of population researchers, and promote the use and development of population-based methods, including survey research, formal demographic and behavioral modeling, state-of-the-art statistical inference, and ethnographic methods.
  • To efficiently provide high-quality, service-oriented research support to PSTC associates in the form of grants management, computational, spatial, and statistical services, research skill development, flexible financial resources, and effective communication, dissemination, and translation of results.

Specific Objectives:

  1. To reorganize the Center's signature research themes around the social structures and systems that influence population change and well-being.
  2. To create a new senior staff position of Assistant Director, who is responsible for strategic planning and communications.
  3. Institute a Communications Core to promote the production, dissemination, and translation of PSTC research.
  4. Since 2005, PSTC expanded its external grant funding by 60 percent. The Center plans to continue to augment its grant portfolio over the next five years (from 2011-2016).
  5. Attract population-related scholars of the highest quality into the PSTC’s intellectual community.
  6. Foster the development of junior faculty and aid more senior faculty in the exploration of new research lines.
  7. Promote innovative and high-quality research in population studies.

These goals will be carried out by: 1) collaborating with Brown University senior leadership to attain support for personnel and research administration; 2) providing targeted resources to help develop, recruit, and retain high-quality faculty; 3) allocating flexible and timely financial resources to seed research by individual PSTC associates or groups of associates; and 4) underwriting small yet high-yield activities proposed by any individual or group such as the sponsorship of a small workshop or conference designed around an emerging line of research.