Asian Demographic Research Institute at Shanghai University

♦A new initiative for in-depth analysis of Asian demographic and socioeconomic changes

Shanghai University, a renowned Chinese academic institution, has decided to establish a new population research institute – the Institute for Asian Demographic Research. The formal decision to establish the institute was made on July 1, 2015.

The new initiative is inspired by the fundamental demographic and socioeconomic changes that have been experienced by China and other Asian countries over the past decades and the absence of research institute that comprehensively addresses these changes in a comparative manner. Demography as a scientific discipline has recently seen great progress in many Asian countries but the existing institutions tend to have a predominantly national focus. There is a clear need for in-depth comparative analysis in Asia using the most advanced demographic methods and the best available data in order to identify commonalities and differences among the populations that make up more than half of the world population.

♦Shanghai - ideal choice to host the institute

Shanghai’s position as an international economic, financial and trade center, makes it an ideal choice for hosting an international institute that aspires to contribute to the advancement in demographic research in the Asian region and beyond.

♦Advanced demographic methods and a wide range of population researches

Formal demography will be at the core of the scientific foundation of the institute. Building on the methods of multi-dimensional demography it will study population dynamics by age, gender, education, rural/urban residence, household status, and health condition. These formal models cater for a wide range of policy relevant topics in population research and population-economy-environment interactions.

♦A platform for regional collaboration

The new institute will also createa platform for regional collaboration in demographic research and training, through fostering research projects of common interest, holding annual Asian Population Fora, organizing demographic training workshops around the region, and hosting international visiting scholars. It has also reached a collaborative agreement with the principal Investigators of the Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development and will function as the new headquarter of the MetaCentre ( The MetaCentre was established in 2000 with initial funding from the Wellcome Trust as a regional center of excellence in population which organized many international seminars and training workshops. This new initiative will revitalize and broaden its activities with the focus on organizing relevant workshops, providing training for skills development, engaging in research projects and hosting the MetaCentre website. In this context the institute will closely collaborate with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the other members of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, the National University of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Australian National University and other relevant centers.

♦Internationally recruited faculty

The institute will have a faculty of around 15 scientists with international training who is being recruited internationally. The goal is that about half of the faculty will be non-Chinese. The working language will be English and Chinese. All the courses for graduate students at PhD and Master degree levels will be taught in English and the teaching materials will be adopted from American and European universities. Graduate students and post-doc fellows will also be recruited globally. In order to be able to recruit international faculty members and post-doc fellows the institute will offer competitive salaries and allowances.

A group of renowned formal demographers and broader population experts has already agreed to take leading positions in the institute contributing to its main research areas.

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