Predoctoral Opportunities

Specialized Training Program in the Demography and Economics of Aging (T32)

The Specialized Training Program in the Demography and Economics of Aging is funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) grant, #T32000243. Since its inception during the 1994-95 school year, the program has consistently produced productive and engaged young scholars in the field of aging research and demography. The program is designed to train graduate students interested in the demography and economics of aging through the development of basic and applied research, and policy-making, and analysis.

Each year, the program supports four predoctoral fellows with at least two years of graduate work at the University of Chicago in addition to two postdoctoral fellows from across the United States. In 2009, the training program was expanded to include student affiliates who do not qualify for financial support the program’s NIA fellowships. Similar to the predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, predoctoral affiliates actively participate in the training program, taking classes, working with Center mentors, and attending the Demography Workshop and Post-mortem seminar. This expansion further increases exposure to the demography and economics of aging research among incoming graduate students; encourages young scholars to pursue demography and aging research; and increases collaboration in aging research at NORC’s Aging Action Research Network, the Population Research Center, and the University of Chicago.

This training program is administered by the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS) and is affiliated with the Aging Action Research Network (AARN) at NORC at the University of Chicago. Current and past fellows have come from a variety of departments and professional schools at the University of Chicago, including: Booth School of Business, Comparative Human Development, Economics, Harris School of Public Policy, History, Public Health Sciences, School of Social Service Administration, and Sociology.

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Oral Health Dissertation Fellowship

Funded by the George E. Richmond Foundation, the University of Chicago Program in Oral Health, Systemic Health, Well-Being and the Social Sciences addresses important problems in oral health through the exploration of its effects on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. It also explores the link between oral health, systemic health, and socioeconomic factors.  Using leading-edge social and life science methods, The Program in Oral Health addresses important problems in oral health, innovates through research findings, and provides a training ground for the next wave of researchers who will transform oral health locally, nationally, and internationally.

The purpose of the Program in Oral Health Dissertation Fellowship Program is to promote the scholarship of doctoral (PhD) students in the social sciences or a related field at the University of Chicago who have decided to make oral health the focus of their doctoral dissertations.  The Fellowship award provides support for living expenses, training related expenses, and tuition (if necessary) up to the amount of $25,000 for one year.  Upon being awarded the fellowship, awardees will work with their home department and the program directors to develop a budget. Awardees are expected to provide a final written summary of activities during the fellowship period, a copy of the completed dissertation, and any other papers based on the project as they are completed. Fellows are also expected to speak about their research at the Health Economics Workshop or the Outcomes Research Workshop as well as at a Program in Oral Health workshop or symposium.

PhD students in the Social Sciences Division, Department of Public Health Sciences, Booth School of Business, Harris School of Public Policy, and the School of Social Service Administration are welcome to apply.

Read about current and past students here.

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UCANU Health Services Research Training Program (T32)

The University of Chicago and Northwestern University are partners in the University of Chicago and Northwestern Health Services Research Program (UCANU HSR), which provides training to scholars and researchers in health services and health care delivery. Funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research T32 Training Grant, UCANU HSR draws upon the complementary resources, faculty, and expertise at each university, while creating new mentoring and research opportunities for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees.

At the University of Chicago, the training program is based at CHeSS; At Northwestern, the program is based at the Center for Healthcare Studies in the Feinberg School of Medicine.

The HSR at the University of Chicago has funding for 6 predoctoral fellows and 3 postdoctoral fellows each year. Predoctoral fellows must be enrolled in a University of Chicago PhD program when they apply.  Additionally, the program now offers the predoctoral affiliate program, which was created to increase collaboration and training among students who would not otherwise qualify for support from the program’s fellowships.

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Short-Term Aging-Related Research Program (STAR)

The Medical Student Short-Term Aging-Related (STAR) Research Program offers first-year medical students opportunities to participate in aging-related research and training through the Pritzker Summer Research Program. STAR is directed by Dr. David Meltzer, Dr. Vineet Arora, Dr. William Dale, and Dr. Sam Sisodia.

First-year medical students engage in a mentored research experience and didactic training in aging throughout the summer. They also participate in the Scholar in Translational Aging Research Training Course (START), a statistics analysis course, and weekly group meetings with other faculty mentors and peers. STAR trains these future physician leaders to apply basic, clinical, and social science concepts and methods to the study and care of older persons. At the end of the course, students present their research at the annual Pritzker Summer Research Forum.

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Program in Dentistry, the Social Sciences, and Health (DeSH)

Oral health has a significant – yet often overlooked – impact on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.  Successful efforts to understand this impact and improve oral health require innovative leaders who have dental training and a deep understanding of oral health’s underlying socioeconomic causes and consequences. Cutting-edge social science research methods may offer solutions to these challenges, but oral health professionals with doctoral training in the social sciences are exceedingly rare.

Funded by the George E. Richmond Foundation, The Program in Dentistry, the Social Sciences, and Health (DeSH) offers an opportunity for individuals who are enrolled in or have completed a DDS or DMD from any institution to earn a PhD from a social science program at the University of Chicago. The goal is to train dentists to become innovative clinician-scholars and conduct groundbreaking research at the interface of oral health, systemic health, and society.

To learn more about DeSH, click here

MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH)

The program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH) at the University of Chicago trains medical students to become innovative physician-scholars at the critical interface of medicine and society. The MeSH program is an opportunity for students interested in obtaining an MD and a PhD in a field outside of the traditional biological and physical sciences. Former students have pursued PhDs in such wide ranging fields as anthropology, conceptual and historical studies of science, economics, public policy, and social service administration. Started in 1985, MeSH is one of the only programs of its kind in the country.

After gaining admissions, incoming MeSH students are integrated into the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), where they receive administrative support, access to interdisciplinary workshops and courses, and mentorship.  Consisting of 3-4 faculty members from across the University, mentorship teams provide ongoing support and advisement to MeSH students as they progress through both medical school and their respective PhD programs. The core MeSH faculty, a cadre of institutionally and nationally prominent investigators, represent a wide range of federally and privately funded collaborative projects. They also provide MeSH students unique opportunities to participate in very cohesive, interactive health services research and social science groups throughout campus.

To learn more about MeSH, click here

MeSH—National Track

Funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Track provides tuition and stipend support to MD-PhD students who will receive an MD from any medical school in the United States and a PhD from a graduate program at the University of Chicago. 

Students interested in applying to the National Track must pursue a doctoral degree in the quantitative social sciences and demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the study of aging. Candidates should apply to one or more of the PhD programs listed here:

Prospective students should apply to the National Track before their first, second, or third year of medical school. Students must apply separately and gain admissions to both the National Track, administered through the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), and any PhD programs of interest. Accepted students will work with their medical school, PhD program, and National Track faculty to develop a personalized training timeline that supports their success in both their doctoral and medical training.

Prospective students should review the National Track admissions requirements and application instructions here. Applicants should also review the MeSH Frequently Asked Questions page as well as the application requirements for any PhD programs to which they are applying.

For more information click here.