Doctoral School

International Advanced Studies in Demography

Demographic change is a major challenge for contemporary societies. Population aging, continued low fertility, very long lives and high international migration are driving policy in the 21st century. In order to study population structure and dynamics, the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) has set up an advanced research training program for doctoral students and post-docs. This training program is called International advanced studies in DEMography (IDEM).

IDEM is designed to provide structured opportunities for learning for young researchers, combining coursework and research. IDEM’s curriculum includes courses on demographic change, aging, fertility, biological demography and other issues at the forefront of population research. Many of the courses offered reflect the special research expertise of the research staff of the MPIDR.  Coursework is expected to take up no more than half a student's time. Students spend the other half of their time working on a clearly articulated research project guided by a research supervisor. Thus it is essential that a student already has a well-defined research topic to pursue whilst with IDEM.

IDEM serves several important purposes. Most importantly, the program provides advanced, structured education for graduate students in demography and related disciplines. Secondly, from the perspective of the MPIDR, IDEM courses contribute to the ongoing training for current MPIDR researchers and in that way support the basic research mission of the Institute. Thirdly, the program is a vehicle for collaboration with the University of Rostock, with the goal to create a leading center for excellence in demographic training in Rostock. Fourth, IDEM familiarizes visiting students, pre-docs as well as post-docs, with the research programs and facilities of the MPIDR and thus lays the basis for future cooperative activities with the MPIDR.

IDEM is aimed principally at enhancing doctoral research. Thus most students admitted to the program are already enrolled for a PhD. Postdoctoral researchers may also apply for IDEM courses. Because demography is an interdisciplinary field, students come from many educational backgrounds. However, all need a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics and a good command of English. IDEM is open to students of all nationalities.

IDEM combines two basic elements: a core winter semester with courses mostly taught at the MPIDR, and a summer semester with shorter courses taught at different locations around Europe. It does not charge fees, and makes available a number of partial and full scholarships to enable students to attend courses.

IDEM is the successor program to the International Max Planck Research School for Demography (IMPRSD). The IMPRSD was operated from 2000 to 2012 with generous support from the Max Planck Society.

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