Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

CSDE Funded Fellows receive financial support and academic mentorship that permit them to fully invest in their predoctoral research. Fellows also have access to CSDE’s significant support services (computing aid, research consultations, workshops, lab equipment, and more).


CSDE sponsors 4-5 predoctoral fellowships each year through the NICHD Ruth L. Kirchstein Institutional National Research Service Award and the Shanahan Foundation.  The 12-month appointments are renewable for a second year conditional on the annual progress report. Appointments usually run from September 16 to September 15 of the following year.

Fellowship Package

  • Monthly stipend
  • Tuition
  • Health insurance
  • $500 in support of travel


Students who are committed to population research and enrolled in a PhD program in one of CSDE’s Affiliated Departments (Anthropology, Epidemiology, Geography, Health Services, Public Affairs, Social Work, Sociology, and Statistics) are eligible.

Requirements of Fellowship

In addition to the regular requirements of department graduate programs, CSDE fellowships have academic and research requirements of their own. Through one-on-one mentoring, formal courses, seminars, and scholarly engagement in professional activities (publication, conferences, interaction with CSDE affiliates, etc.), Fellows will learn research techniques as well as how to both craft research and effectively communicate in population studies. CSDE Fellows must also fulfill the requirements described below.

CSDE Fellows must fulfill the regular requirements of their department’s graduate program on the recommended timeline and continuously remain in good standing. In addition, they must fulfill these requirements below:

  1. CURRICULUM: Complete the two core courses in demography, Sociology/CSDE 513 (Demography and Ecology) and Sociology 533 (Research Methods in Demography), and the Population Studies Proseminar Series, CSDE 502. The series consists of three courses. The Autumn and Spring Proseminars are currently one credit each and the Winter quarter is currently two quarters.
  2. WORK WITH CSDE AFFILIATE MENTOR: Collaborate with a CSDE affiliate faculty mentor on a mutually agreeable research project. The expectation is that this will require 15 hours of your time each week, on average. This apprenticeship experience is central to CSDE’s training program. It is CSDE’s philosophy that graduate students become professionals and skilled demographic researchers through intensive collaboration with CSDE affiliate faculty members. The goal is for you to gain experience in research through working with an experienced CSDE faculty affiliate on a project that trains you in all aspects of the research process from design through writing and publication. In most cases, your academic advisor will serve as your mentor if they are a CSDE Affiliate, but it is also possible to arrange a mentored relationship with another CSDE faculty affiliate. Arrangements for your faculty mentor should be discussed with the CSDE Training Director or Assistant Training Director and approved before you begin your fellowship. CSDE will follow up with you and your CSDE affiliate faculty mentor about the quality and productivity of your apprenticeship program during the Winter or Spring quarter of your first fellowship year. It is important that your collaboration be a beneficial and productive experience for both you and your mentor.
  3. PARTICIPATION IN INTERDISCIPLANARY PROGRAM: Enroll and actively participate in the CSDE interdisciplinary Seminar Series, CSDE 501, and in interdisciplinary workshops, panels and other activities during the time slot, in autumn, winter and spring quarters for the duration of the funding period The seminar meets Fridays when classes are in session. The seminar and related activities begin at 12:30 PM and may extend to 2:15 PM.
    1. Collaborate or take the lead in hosting out-of-town guest speakers.
      1. Fellows may suggest speakers they would like to invite to present at the interdisciplinary seminar.
      2. Fellows are strongly encouraged to suggest speakers and ask them to read a manuscript written by the Fellow and discuss the Fellow’s research in a group meeting with CSDE Trainees and in a one-on-one meeting with the Fellow. Fellows will be asked to serve as primary hosts, where they are responsible for organizing and overseeing a schedule for the visitor and introducing the speaker, among other duties.
      3. In the past, Fellows have organized and moderated a graduate student post-seminar discussion with the guest speaker and may be asked to do so in the future. In this format, the fellow host is responsible for initiating and maintaining an interesting and useful discussion. The fellow host reviews the guest speaker’s research interests and publications and reads one of their articles in advance, so that they can prepare thoughtful and relevant questions that address the speaker’s research, as well as career development issues. Fellow cohosts are encouraged to join the CSDE hosted group lunch or another meal and may be asked to walk with the speaker to or from the meal or the seminar
    2. Fellows may be asked to serve on CSDE committees and participate in other activities.
    1. Submit progress reports and evaluations of the training program at the end of the spring quarter, or more frequently.
    2. Respond promptly to all CSDE and NIH inquiries regarding professional progress for up to 10 years post award.
  2. SUPPLEMENTATION and COMPENSATION: Since the number of graduate students exceeds the supply of financial awards, students supported by CSDE fellowships may hold only one award, except under circumstances that will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that stipend supplementation or additional compensation for work complies with NIH policy. Fellow trainees cannot receive money from other assistantships, fellowships, or jobs without pre-approval. Consideration will be given to the fellow’s academic progress, the career building benefit of the activity, and its potential impact on academic progress and other fellowship requirements. Supplementation or compensation, if approved, must not interfere with, detract from, or prolong the training program. Fellow trainees are expected to devote full time to the proposed research training (NIHGPS Therefore, compensation must be for limited part-time employment apart from the normal full-time training activities. Please note that the use of Public Health Service (PHS) funds for supplementation is prohibited (NIHGPS Funds provided as compensation for work such as teaching or research are allowable, and may be funded by Federal grants, including PHS research grants as long as the research is not the same research conducted for the dissertation or fellowship research (NIHGPS
  3. COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER NIH and UW POLICIES: Comply with all NIH and University of Washington policies, including the following:
    1. The NIH Public Access Policy requires authors to deposit manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central, if the journal does not submit the manuscript on behalf of the authors. Papers deposited in PubMed Central will receive a unique identifier, PMCID followed by a series of numbers. Please email the identifier and the citation to
    2. Appropriately acknowledge NIH and CSDE support. If presentations or publications result from your research, please be advised of the following: Each publication, press release, or other document or presentation about research supported by this award must include an acknowledgment of NIH award support and a disclaimer such as “Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number T32HD007543. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

The Award Number may change in future years

    1. The NIH and the UW strongly encourage students to outline their plan for professional growth in an Individual Development Plan (IDP). CSDE has been implementing the requirement to complete and maintain IDP’s for all new cohorts of trainees and Fellows. Trainees and Fellows are expected to discuss their IDP periodically with their mentors and achieve a mutual understanding of their personal professional goals. Fellows are also encouraged to discuss their IDP with the CSDE Training Director or Assistant Training Director who may work with them to help them achieve their plans
    2. Complete online training in Human Subjects Protection, as required in the spring quarter Proseminar (CSDE 502).
    3. Comply with all regulations of the UW Human Subjects Division and receive IRB approval before starting research involving human subjects.
    4. Obtain an eRA Commons login number. Please see John Kemner, the CSDE Administrator, about this.

If you have any questions about this award, please feel free to contact Aimée Dechter, Assistant Director for Training.


The number of outstanding applicants typically far exceeds the number of fellowships. Successful applicants tend to be strong in all criteria. Recently, the Training Committee was tasked with improving the ability of reviewers to compare the applicants with respect to the scientific, substantive, and technical merit of their previous independent research and their proposed future research. The revised application procedure is still under development; however, the primary modifications will be to request more detailed information about the research from the most competitive applications and incorporate more features of the NIH peer-review process, reflecting the emphasis on the candidate’s potential for a research career likely to have scientific impact or help advance the field of demography.


Applications are due Fall Quarter, and Fellows are typically selected early in the Winter Quarter.  The call for for applications is emailed to CSDE Affiliates, CSDE trainees, and graduate program administrators in affiliated departments.


The application will consist of a description of previous and proposed research as well as academic and career plans, responses to an online questionnaire, a CV, a transcript, and confirmation of satisfactory academic standing from the graduate program administrators. Applicants provide the materials to the graduate program administrators in their department. The departments will review and rank the files, provide a cover letter with information about the files and ranking, and forward qualified files based on the application review criteria (provided in Application Review Process section below). The application will also include two letters of recommendation.

The call for applications will contain a link to the online questionnaire. The confirmation page of the questionnaire includes the responses to the questionnaire, which may be printed/saved directly to a PDF file. Applicants combine this file with the other components of the application into one PDF file, ordered and named according to the call for Fellowship Applications. They then email the file to the Graduate Program Coordinator or Director in their home department.

CSDE will inform the candidates whose files were forwarded of the final decision.

Guided by the Evaluation Criteria, graduate program administrators forward the applications of their most competitive candidates in PDF format. These candidates are most likely to be at a stage where they have independent research experience and a commitment to a career in population research (broadly defined).

The applications will also include two letters of recommendation.  The departments are asked to include a cover letter in which they report the number of applications received and forwarded, rank the candidates according to the criteria, and discuss their ranking and any other relevant information. CSDE will inform only the students whose applications were forwarded of the committee’s decision. The departments are asked to follow up with the applicants whose files were not forwarded.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by the CSDE Training Committee based on established Review Criteria. Committee members consider each of the review criteria, score each criteria individually, and report an overall score. The distributions of scores are reported to the committee members preceding a discussion of the applications. Through discussions, applications are filtered until only the most competitive remain. Reviewers have an opportunity to revise their scores.