Population Science News

Weekly News – – March 8, 2021

As in-person events are on hold, be sure to check out virtual talks and webinars. All times are Pacific unless otherwise noted. 
Demography Brown bag. Join us on March 10 to hear Jenna Nobles speak on “Women’s Welfare at the End of the Great Mexican Migration Era.” Zoom Meeting ID: 971 5170 6965 Password: DEMOG_BB. 

The Population Sciences events calendar can be found here: https://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/popsci.html.

View past talks on our Population Sciences channel. The Brown Bag talks have been organized into playlists: http://bit.ly/2kZvaME.

Monday March 8, 10:10-11:30 a.m. “Wealth Taxation and Migration Responses: Evidence from Scandinavia”, Camille Landais, LSE.  To obtain zoom link, contact: camillen@berkeley.edu

(Non-UCB) March 8, 1:00pm to 2:00pm Pacific. UCSB Broom Center presents: “Anti-Muslim Racism and Structural Impacts on Health” with Dr. Goleen Samari, Columbia University, Population and Family Health. Register in advance for this seminar here.

Tuesday March 09 @ 11:40 am – 12:30 pm. “East Bay COVID-19 Surveillance Study.” Lisa Barcellos and Eva Harris talk about their study on the current spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Bay Area. https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/98571041713

(Non-UCB) Tuesday, March 9, 12 – 1 pm, PST UCSF IGHS COVID-19 SERIES: California Prisons, Brie Williams, Professor of Medicine at UCSF and Stefano Bertozzi, Dean Emeritus, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Professor of Health Policy Management, UC Berkeley School of Public Health.  Register HERE.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 10:30am-12pm Matrix on Point: Pandemic Lessons, Assessing Educational Inequalities in the Wake of COVID-19/.  Panelists will include: Prudence L. Carter, the E.H. and Mary E. Pardee Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Berkeley; Emily J. Ozer, Professor of Community Health Sciences at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health; and Matthew Rafalow, a social scientist at Google and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society. Zeus Leonardo, Professor of Education at UC Berkeley, will moderate the panel. REGISTER

(Non-UCB) March 11th from 12:00 – 1:00pm (Pacific). UCSF Event: “Understanding and Addressing Structural Determinants of Cardiovascular Health Inequities” Kiarri Kershaw, PhD, MPH, Northwestern University. Zoom Meeting: Meeting ID: 961 6045 2241; Passcode: 515474; https://ucsf.zoom.us/j/96160452241?pwd=Tmt4ZEhpcFNCMTdtNUo0UE95M2dSQT09

Wednesday-Thursday March 10-11: Psychology and Economics of Poverty Convening. CEGA’s third annual Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Convening will showcase exciting new work on the psychological factors that perpetuate poverty and engage interested researchers, implementing partners, and policymakers in discussion. Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee will deliver the keynote. For more information about the agenda and to register, see the event page.

Friday, March 12, 2021, 2:00 PM  5:00 PM. California Housing and Homelessness in a post-COVID Economy: Lessons from Research and Practice. A series of talks hosted by UC Berkeley’s Opportunity Lab. For more information, visit the event page

(Non-UCB) Thursday, March 11, 12:00–1:00 p.m. EST “Mobilizing social capital for pretrial release” with Professor Sandra Susan Smith. Register: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/population-development/event/social-demography-seminar-with-sandra-susan-smith/


(Non-UCB) March 18, 2021 | 2:30-4pm PDT. UCSF Population Health and Health Equity Speaker Series: “Climate Change and Health: The Age of Big Wildfires: Confronting an Urgent Health Threat” Register here: https://ucsf.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Sh-RS4HcTp29k49UBiEvKg.

NIMH Mental Health Research Awards for Investigators Early in their Career in Low and Middle-Income Countries (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) – to support the scientific work and research career development of exceptionally talented scientists who are in the early, formative stages of their careers and who plan to make a long-term career commitment to mental health research. This initiative seeks to assist these researchers in launching an innovative basic, translational, clinical, or services research program that holds the potential to transform the understanding, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of mental illnesses in low resource international settings. See https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MH-21-120.html

Berkeley Workshop on Formal Demography and COVID-19, May 24-28, 2021. To be held virtually. 

Join us for an educational program designed to train the next generation of population researchers in applying formal demographic methodologies to COVID-19. This week‐long program, with funding by NICHD R25HD083136, provides a hands‐on introduction to formal demography and issues around infectious disease modeling. 

Instructors and Speakers: 

Joshua GoldsteinProfessor, Department of Demography, UC Berkeley

Dennis Feehan, Assistant Professor, Department of Demography UC Berkeley

Ayesha MahmudAssistant Professor, Department of Demography UC Berkeley

And more to be announced.

Curriculum: We will be using the fundamental tools of formal demography such as stable population theory and the mathematics of mortality to understand the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Day 1 of the workshop will cover matrix population models and stable population theory.

Day 2 of the workshop will cover mortality modeling, focusing on the continuous representation of the liftable with hazards.

Day 3 of the workshop will feature applications and extensions of the formal models in Days 1 and 2, applying them to Covid-19 topics such as (1) the impact of age structure on Covid-19 outcomes, (2) measures of mortality impact beyond life expectancy, (2) optimal vaccination policy, (3) estimating R0 from contact matrices, and (4) the recovery of fertility and marriage after a temporary shock.

Days 4 and 5 will feature guest speakers presenting new research on Covid-19 using formal demographic methods.

The workshop is designed for advanced graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, junior faculty, and others wanting to learn about new approaches to social and behavioral research. We will assume some experience with R. [The website below provides links to tutorials.] 

Application materials and more information about the program and formal demography can be found on the Workshop website: http://populationsciences.berkeley.edu/population-center/programs/formal-demography. Apply by March 29, 2021. Please direct questions to Dr. Leora Lawton, llawton@berkeley.edu.

NIA Paylines: NIA will continue to take a conservative approach moving forward, but we encourage everyone to stay positive. New and early-stage investigators still have a higher pay line. Plus, there is always a chance that we will increase pay lines before the end of year. NB: Research grants get scores and percentiles and paylines are based on the percentiles.  Projects and other grants just get scores. As ever in NIH-land, lower is better. Read the full blog post.  Also, see this blog post on percentiling.

NIH NRSA (Training – F, K and T) grants provide childcare costs.  Grant recipients can now receive $2500 annually for licensed (with proof) childcare.  New applications should include it.  Continuation awards may request it in budgets. Existing awards may ask for an administrative supplement to add it. One may not rebudget or carry forward childcare funds. Seehttps://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-21-069.html

Common Data Elements (CDEs) foster rigor, facilitate data sharing, and allow multiple datasets to be integrated. They also help make data more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). Many different CDEs are currently in use and can vary across research disciplines, so we would encourage researchers check out databases like the NIH CDE Repository for examples, tools, and other related resources.  There is an effort to increase use the use of these CDEs because it facilitates harmonizing and linkages of data sets especially in data archives like IPUMS and ICPSR.  See the NIH blog post on this subject: https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2021/02/08/help-us-understand-how-you-use-common-data-elements-in-nih-supported-research/

“NIH Repays Your Student Loans: An In-Depth Overview of the NIH Loan Repayment Programs” featuring Ericka Boone, PhD. Friday, March 19th, 9:30 am PST / 12:30 pm EST. REGISTER HERE.

D-Lab is now offering expanded access to our consulting services through our new drop-in consulting hours available at our virtual frontdesk, with multiple consultants available Monday-Friday from 10am-5pm with a wide variety of expertise. Be sure to check the D-lab calendar at the website, dlab.berkeley.edu. D-Lab offers training, individual consulting and data services for the UC Berkeley community – faculty to undergrads.


All jobs and postdoctoral fellowships are posted as we receive them on the Demography Department Jobs Listserv, http://lists.demog.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/jobs. This list advertises positions of all sorts relevant for social and behavioral scientists with advanced degrees.

Migration Mailing List

Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative (BIMI.berkeley.edu) is a research center for the study of immigrants and immigration. BIMI has a mailing list which is where a good deal of immigration and migration announcements are posted, and only some of that material is posted on the PopSciences Weekly News. Sign up for it with this link

School of Public Health Mailing List

Tue$day Top Tip$ for SPH Research is a listserv with research funding opportunities and other information pertinent to public health researchers who are not necessarily population researchers. To subscribe, write to Dr. Lauren Goldstein, lhg@berkeley.edu.

Posted in Newsletter.