Research Category

PSTC Undergraduate Fellows Program

The Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) conducts and promotes innovative research on social, institutional, and environmental dimensions of population structures and processes that are fundamental to health and well-being. Signature research areas include the social foundations of health disparities; children, families, and health; reproductive health and HIV/AIDS; migration and urbanization; and population, development, and environment. The PSTC is known inside and outside of Brown for its collaborative, interdisciplinary community. Across all of these areas, projects engage anthropologists, economists, sociologists, health scientists, and others. The PSTC builds understanding of local, national, and global population challenges through fieldwork, data science, and research to policy approaches.

The PSTC Undergraduate Fellows Program is an eight-week, paid summer fellowship that aims to prepare current Brown undergraduates to engage in rigorous empirical research in population studies, public policy, and related fields, in support of the center’s mission to produce evidence in support of efforts to improve public health and inform public policy. Along with partner units, the PSTC participates in the Brown Undergraduate Research Fellows for Social Science and Public Policy

During the course of the program, a cohort of 4-6 Fellows will participate in two modules. The first phase will operate jointly with the Annenberg Undergraduate Fellows Program and will consist of a “boot camp” that introduces skills in statistics, data management, and data analysis. The second phase will consist of a mentored research experience that pairs small teams of Fellows with faculty members and other PSTC researchers to gain firsthand experience with the process of doing research. This team-based approach emphasizes mentorship and peer learning, and allows Fellows to develop relationships with faculty members that may continue.

Training Goals Include:
1. Understand key questions related to population studies and how a social science approach informs understanding of health and well-being.
2. Develop skills in data management and data analysis.
3. Gain fluency in using statistical software to conduct quantitative analysis.
4. Practice communication skills including data displays, visualization, and academic writing.
5. Become an effective member of a research team.

Completion of this training will allow Fellows to develop relationships with Brown faculty members and will also facilitate Fellows’ transition to related graduate study programs or professions in social science and policy.

Program Requirements:
Fellowship applicants should have a strong interest in social science and motivation to continue to pursue research during their time at Brown.
Selected Fellows are expected to commit to the entire 8-week, residential, full-time (35 hours/week) training program.
Selected fellows will have to complete an I-9 (federal verification of eligibility to work) in order to receive the fellowship stipend.

The program is open to Brown undergraduate students in their freshman, sophomore, or junior years.
Undergraduates from all concentrations and backgrounds are welcome to apply.

Coursework in introductory statistics (e.g., EDUC 1110, SOC 1100, CLPS 0900, APMA 1650, ECON 1620 or equivalent) is required.
Selected Fellows will receive substantial training in statistical computing software during the program. Familiarity with statistical computing software (e.g. Stata, R, etc.) is preferred, but though not required.

Program Dates: May 30, 2023 - July 21, 2023

Deadline: The deadline to apply is Monday, January 9, 2023 (application period has closed)

Funding Award: The Population Studies and Training Center will provide a $4,200.00 stipend to selected fellows, disbursed in four equal installments over the course of the fellowship program. Note: Housing is NOT provided by this fellowship but Fellows are normally eligible for affordable, summer housing via Brown Residence Life. For details/To apply, see here or contact [email protected].

How to Apply: Applicants should submit the following information.

1. An internal transcript/current Academic Record.
2. A completed application form. Applicants will be required to respond to the following short-answer questions on the application:

  • In a short paragraph, please tell us why you are interested in becoming a PSTC Undergrad Fellow? (max 250 words)
  • In a short paragraph, please share how your coursework, volunteer, and/or work experiences prepares you to engage in research relevant to population studies? (max 250 words)
  • At the PSTC, we believe that having a cohort of fellows with diverse backgrounds/perspectives is essential to fostering new and innovative ideas for addressing social issues. Please describe what you hope to contribute to this cohort.
  • Please design a research question, the study of which you believe would help equalize and improve individual or societal health and well-being. PSTC is committed to fostering a dynamic, diverse, and supportive intellectual community.

Students from underrepresented groups and students from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Click here to apply.