The University of Michigan


PI: Prof. Jacque Eccles

The Institute for Social Research, the Center for Human Growth and Development, as well as the Collaboratives CAPCAand LIFE- all based at the University of Michigan- provide extensive opportunities for collaborative post-doctoral training. The University of Michigan has a long tradition of being involved in international collaborative research and training activities. The Institute for Social Research is probably the most prominent center for interdisciplinary social science research and training in the world. It houses many of the most prominent longitudinal studies linking youth development to adulthood including Monitoring the Future (Schulenberg), the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (Eccles, Schoeni, Stafford), the Three Generation Study of African Americans (Jackson), and both the Michigan Study of Adolescent Life Transitions and the Maryland Adolescent Development in Contexts Study (Eccles and Davis-Kean), to name just a few. In addition, ICPSR is housed at ISR and each summer, in conjunction with the Survey Research Center at ISR, provides extensive statistical and methodological training for scholars from around the world.

Similarly, the Center for Human Growth and Developmenthas a long tradition of supporting interdisciplinary work and training focused on youth development. For example, both Keating and Sameroff have directed major longitudinal studies in the USA and Canada and have participated in multi-institution collaborative training and research efforts. In addition, this center regularly plans and hosts workshops and seminars that our trainees would be able to access.

Finally, through both CAPCAand LIFE, the University of Michigan is already involved with research and training activities with several of the faculty intending to be affiliated with this proposed post-doctoral training program. CAPCA is an NSF funded international virtual center devoted to studying longitudinal pathways across the life span. Faculty participants come from many different universities in the USA and Europe, including all of the universities and institutes associated with this proposal. CAPCA, however, provides no direct support for post-doctoral training; instead it provides support for longitudinal research studies, support that could be used by post-doctoral trainees in this program. Several of the senior faculty participants in CAPCA focus specifically on the second and third decades of life and on theoretical and policy-related issues associated with the transition from adolescence into adulthood (e.g., Bergman, Collins, Crosnoe, Davis-Kean, Dubrow, Feinstein, Eccles, Huesmann, Mueller, Schneider, Schulenberg, Schoon, Pulkkinen). The scholars meet 3-4 times per year and at least one of these meetings is devoted to longitudinal methodological training. The others are devoted to designing and discussing collaborative, comparative research. The senior faculty in CAPCA would welcome post-doctoral scholars from this program; in turn the fellows would have to opportunity to work closely with several of the leading scholars on youth development. Through these connections they would also have the opportunity to collaborate with the many other post-doctoral trainees and junior scholars affiliated with CAPCA through their associations with the senior faculty members of CAPCA. Finally, CAPCA employs two full time, highly expert, longitudinal data analysts who would be available to assist in comparative studies designed by the fellows and faculty associated with this post-doctoral training program.

The LIFE international graduate training program is based at both the University of Michigan and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. We mention this program only to provide evidence of our successful experience at organizing and then running an international virtual research training program. Eccles has chaired the University of Michigan arm of this program for more than 5 years and has worked closely with colleagues in each of the centers at the MPI on Human Development. Each year LIFE holds 2 five-day academies that are attended by all of the LIFE graduate students. The post-doctoral fellows recruited into the proposed program would be able to participate in these activities as well and thus would have the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of younger scholars also being trained in an interdisciplinary, life-span approach to understand human development in context. There is an already growing and active alumni group from the LIFE program, many of whom would be appropriate to become part of the international network of post-doctoral Fellows of the proposed programme. Thus the LIFE program is already beginning to build an infrastructure for young scholars trained in international, virtual, research training program. We can build on this infrastructure and experience.
Participating Institutions