Who We Are

A community of population scientists

The Population Research Institute is a multidisciplinary center that supports innovative population research. PRI promotes a dynamic, talented, and collaborative research community with over 100 faculty researchers. Established over four decades ago at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1992 with generous supplemental support from PSU, this vibrant, multidisciplinary center provides strategic resources to support innovative, high impact population research. Read more for a short history of PRI.

How We Can Help You

Deliver resources that support population research

PRI’s overarching aim is to advance the scientific understanding of human population dynamics and processes, especially as they relate to PRI’s primary research areas:

  • Communities, Neighborhoods and Spatial Processes
  • Immigration, Migration and Immigrant Integration
  • Families, Networks and Social Change
  • Population Health

PRI contributes to collaborative research partnerships and the development of junior scholars through seed funding and consultation, seminars, symposia, working groups and other forums.

PRI fosters novel approaches and methods that can make important and cutting edge contributions to population research. PRI staff members provide high-quality, comprehensive research support services in spatial methods, data acquisition and management, and programming and statistics.

PRI helps researchers be more productive by reducing the barriers and burdens associated with research administration. PRI secures resources for population science, provides comprehensive pre- and post-award grant services for PRI faculty, and ensures that researchers remain in compliance with the regulations and requirements of the University, IRB, and funding agencies.

PRI Directors

Research Infrastructure Cores

PRI provides research support to its faculty associates through its infrastructure cores. Visit the resources page for information on the services we provide.

Administrative Core

The Administrative Core is the organizational hub of PRI. Through the coordinated efforts of its leadership and highly experienced staff, the Administrative Core supports the overarching aim of PRI by securing resources for population science, by providing forums for intellectual exchange, and by increasing efficiencies and reducing the workload of faculty members and staff in the CSA Core through the provision of grant support and research compliance services.

Computational and Spatial Analysis Core

PRI supports the development and application of novel approaches and methods that can make cutting edge contributions to population research through its Computational and Spatial Analysis (CSA) Core. The CSA Core provides research support services at all stages of the funded research cycle to faculty associates, postdoctoral trainees, predoctoral trainees, research assistants, and students in the dual-degree program in demography. Staff members have extensive experience in providing the services necessary for a successful research project, including research activities related to data access and dissemination, programming and statistical analysis, and geographic information analysis.

Development Core

PRI fosters collaborative research partnerships and the development of junior scholars through the activities of its Development Core. Key features and activities of the Development Core include its highly successful seed grant program, working groups that foster intellectual collaboration and interdisciplinary exchanges among faculty members, brown bag lecture series, and signature events that convene renowned scholars in population science.

SSRI/PRI Computing Team

The SSRI IT Group provides network, desktop, security, and software support for PRI faculty, students, and staff. In addition, the SSRI IT liaisons are available to consult with PRI researchers to bridge the gap between the myriad of technology solutions and the limited time researchers have to devote to the ever changing world of IT.

Become an Associate

The Population Research Institute receives external funding from the Population Infrastructure Program of the Population Dynamics Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Because PRI is evaluated by NICHD on an ongoing basis so we seek individuals whose work advances our mission of promoting population research.

Become a PRI Research Associate

PRI research associates are scholars with clear and demonstrated interests in demographic research topics. Research associates hold Penn State academic appointments and are appointed based on evidence of an active program of population-related research and consistent past, current and/or anticipated success in obtaining population-related external research funding.

Reviews of research associate status are conducted by the Internal Advisory Committee every five years, prior to the submission of PRI's application for refunding.

Potential applicants who wish to become a PRI associate should initiate the process by meeting with the PRI director to discuss the application process. Applicants are asked to provide a statement regarding their population-related training and research activity as well as a current vita. These materials are circulated to members of the PRI Advisory Board. A majority vote of the Advisory Board members is required to become a PRI associate.

Membership Expectations

Because PRI is a NICHD-supported center and our renewal is based on the effectiveness of the PRI community in promoting population research, it is important that all members of the center contribute to our mission.

PRI Associates are expected to:

  • Have an active program of population research, with population research defined broadly
  • Be actively involved in PRI through activities like attending seminars, presenting their research, participating in interest groups, mentoring junior faculty, and participating in the governance of the Institute
  • Contribute to the NIH Center Grant renewal process, to submit materials required for the production of the annual report, and deposit all population-related peer-reviewed research articles in the PubMedCentral database

Associates and are encouraged to:   

  • Publish in major demographic and population journals  
  • Become active members of the Population Association of America 
  • Submit external grant proposals to the major demographic funding agencies

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Glick