The Carolina Population Center is a community of outstanding scholars and professionals associated to
- create new knowledge about population size, structure, and processes of change
- develop new sources of data to support population research
- evaluate health information systems and explore ways to improve them for better health outcomes
- promote the development and use of innovative methodologies
- build skills and capacity and train the next generation of scholars
- disseminate data and findings to population and health information system professionals, policy-makers, and the public
CPC faculty and students work together on path-breaking research to address these issues in 85 countries and across the United States, as well as locally, in central North Carolina. Based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center is rich in expertise, with 66 active faculty fellows (representing 15 departments in 3 schools or colleges), 54 predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars, and a highly skilled staff.
Scope of Research
Presently, CPC faculty fellows are engaged in funded population-related research and health information system evaluation and research on more than 50 projects, most supported by federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Public Health Service, and the US Agency for International Development. CPC’s research portfolio spans social science and health disciplines and is collaborative and multidisciplinary. The collaborative setting provided by CPC allows discipline-based projects to benefit from expertise in and expanded perspectives from other fields and provides a fertile context for the cross-pollination of ideas across disciplines.
Here are a few examples of pivotal and substantial research projects underway:
- assessing the long-term health status of US adolescents and exploring the causes of their health-related behaviors
- analyzing the effects of family structure and employment dynamics on child outcomes in the US
- examining how health, nutrition, and other factors affect education, work, and wages of Filipino youth
- analyzing individual and household responses to rapid social and economic change in Russia and China
- surveying slum and non-slum areas within cities in Bangladesh to explore intra-urban differences in health and service utilization and guide health planning, policies, and programs
CPC Training Activities
CPC's mission includes support for training of the next generation of scientists and professionals and for ongoing upgrades to the tools used. CPC’s predoctoral and postdoctoral training programs attract exceptional scholars from a broad range of disciplines. Trainees work one-on-one with faculty preceptors on significant research projects, attend and lead weekly seminars, and study population issues as well as ethics and human subjects protection. The center's undergraduate internship program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to have a summer internship experience working closely with CPC researchers.
Some of the center’s projects provide extensive tools and training materials, particularly in strengthening, and monitoring and evaluation of health information systems, as exemplified by the MEASURE Evaluation project. These non-certificate online courses are available globally to improve health systems and health status.
Network of University Resources
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a wealth of resources that CPC and its projects draw upon to expand their capabilities and expertise. Among them:
- The Odum Institute supports the social science teaching and research mission at UNC and consults on quantitative and qualitative methods, geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis, survey research, and data management. The Odum Institute has expertise in data analysis and storage, including the UNC Dataverse, which is a compilation of searchable, customizable data collections curated by the Institute and used as a data repository for CPC’s publicly available data from many projects including MEASURE Evaluation, Add Health, the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey, and the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey.
- The Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP) is committed to improving human health through health informatics research, data sharing, development, and education with a focus on practical application of theory. CHIP has expertise in data visualization, interactive information analysis, and data warehousing, now used in the developing world, which helps CPC projects such as MEASURE Evaluation prepare systems in the developing world that will be equipped for robust data use in the future.
- The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) for advanced technologies and health informatics is home to the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS), a public-private partnership to address Big Data challenges and opportunities through new tools and methods to extract and use knowledge from these large data sets.
- The UNC Information Technology Services (ITS) Research Computing develops, supports, and maintains a high-performance computing infrastructure and other tools to address computationally intensive research questions.
The Center's Organization
CPC was established in 1966 and has evolved as a preeminent population center, known for high-quality research and training. The center provides the intellectual environment and resources to support UNC faculty, allowing interdisciplinary projects that transcend departmental lines and geographic boundaries to thrive. The elected faculty fellows constitute the center’s permanent and vital core, and the center devotes its resources to facilitating their research. Professional staff provide a variety of research services:
CPC seeks employees with skills, experience, and commitment to further knowledge in population research. CPC does not hire faculty or admit graduate students; academic departments at UNC-CH are responsible for these activities. Please see Employment for current openings at CPC.
For information about contacting or visiting CPC, go to Contact CPC.