Program Description

Cal-ADAR seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in demography (with an emphasis on aging) by providing a robust educational program to qualified students.

Being a Cal-Adar trainee offers many important benefits:

•Financial support (fees and/or stipend)
•One-on-one mentorship throughout the program
•Paid mentored research experiences during the summer and academic year
•Specialized training in quantitative social science research
•Paid travel to one or more academic conferences, including opportunities to present research
•GRE prep training

Cal-ADAR training includes coursework in demography, in particular Demog/Soc C126 ("Sex, Death and Data", Fall) and Demog 160 ("Special Topics: Writing a Research Paper", Fall), and coursework in research design, statistics and social theory. Trainees also attend a seminar on professionalization skills and on applying to graduate schools (Demog 198, Spring). Trainees have access to the Director and Assistant Director for one-on-one mentoring, and to a GSI who provides research support during the semester. Ultimately the goal is to encourage trainees to consider and attend graduate school in a related topic of research and perhaps even become professors themselves.


Academic:  As this is a three-semester program, Cal-ADAR is targeted to juniors, although seniors may apply. Prerequisites for admittance to the program are introductory statistics, an introductory course in research design (e.g., Sociology 5), and a course in social science theory (e.g. Econ 1, Soc 1, Soc 101, PS 1, etc.). These courses are usually taken during the freshman and sophomore years, and can be completed at other institutions. The grade point requirement for coursework overall and for prerequisite courses is a 3.3 or B+. The application consists of a transcript (unofficial), an essay describing an area of inquiry, and a letter of recommendation or nomination. The Department of Demography welcomes all qualified students to take the minor degree.

Underrepresented Populations: Demography is officially a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and math) and like many STEM fields, there are many Caucasian and Asian scholars, but few African-Americans and Latinos. Disabled persons are also underrepresented. This is a problem because those voices are not being adequately expressed such that scientific results and policy do not get appropriately framed. NIH is particularly seeking out US citizens who are under-represented, that is at least one underrepresented category as defined by NIH:

  • "A. Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders...[and] individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution...
  • B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities...
  • C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as:
    1. Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds
    2. Individuals who come from educational environments such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly.

While the Cal-ADAR program in its fullest form is designed for those who fit the NIH definition of under-represented as described we will admit others to the program as space and funds allow.


Program Curriculum

Students will complete the following educational goals:

•Demog/Soc C126 and Demog 160
•An option to complete a minor in Demography (Demog 110, Demog 126, Demog 175), which includes an upper division course in statistics (e.g., Econ 140, Pub Health 141, Soc 106)
•A workshop in applying to graduate school and professionalization, held in the Spring semester (Demog 198; 1 unit)
•A paid summer internship
•Additional coursework in research methods to the extent possible (e.g., Soc 105)
•A mentored research project either with a faculty member, or with a graduate student, or through the SMART program
•An upper division course in social science theory (e.g., Economics 100A, 101A, sociology 101, or political science 112C)..