Oxford University is to launch a new Centre for Demographic Science with £10 million funding from the Leverhulme Trust. The Trust today made the announcement as part of their annual Leverhulme Research Centre awards.
The centre, led by Professor Melinda Mills, Professoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Nuffield College, will take an unconventional approach, uniting researchers not only from demography but also from sociology, criminology, economics, statistics, molecular genetics, biology, history, marketing and business, to bring ‘science’ into demography.
Professor Mills said: 'We are delighted to receive this award. We have never had a Leverhulme Centre at Oxford, nor has there ever been a Leverhulme Centre in the social sciences, so this is a big feather in our cap.
'Demographic research aids society, government and industry to prepare for demands related to population growth and shrinkage, climate change, migration, longevity and ageing, fertility and household change. Our aim is to build an internationally-recognised centre of research excellence that will disrupt, realign and raise the value of demography.'
The Leverhulme Trust awarded £30 million in total to three research centres to encourage original research that will establish or reshape a significant field of study and transform our understanding of an important topic in contemporary societies.
Professor Gordon Marshall, the Director of the Trust, commented, 'Leverhulme Trust Research Centres are a major investment in discovery-led inquiry at a time when funding for fundamental scholarship is under great pressure. They are our vote-of-confidence in the quality of the UK’s outstanding researchers.
'Each Centre will embrace multi-disciplinary and international collaborations designed to bring the highest calibre of expertise to bear on these exciting areas of inquiry. The Trust Board is delighted to add these new awards to its portfolio of long-term research investments.'
Nuffield College will be contributing £750k in matched funding across the 10-year lifetime of the new Centre. The College has also committed to provide space for the Centre in the refurbished premises at 42 Park End Street, into which the Department of Sociology will move as a whole in April 2019.
Other recipients of the Leverhulme Research Centre award 2018 are Imperial College London and the University of York.