Developmental Core

The Developmental Core, co-chaired by Neeraj Kaushal and Matthew Neidell, is charged with facilitating innovative interdisciplinary population research and supporting the professional development of junior faculty. It is responsible for six coordinated sets of activities—those of the four large primary research area groups and small working groups, as well as a seed grant program, workshops, a seminar series, and a junior scholar mentoring program.

Primary Research Area Groups

With the assistance of the Administrative Core staff, the Developmental Core coordinates activities for each of the primary research area groups: Children, Youth, and Families; Gender, Sexuality, Health, and HIV; Immigration/Migration; and Urbanism. In addition, the Developmental Core has developed a reporting system so it can oversee each group’s collaborative progress and outcomes.

Small Working Groups

For researchers organized around a specific topic, the Developmental Core not only provides the administrative support available to the larger primary research area groups, but it also convenes internal proposal reviews, assists with formatting proposals and manuscripts, and connects investigators with appropriate resources in the Methodology and Computing, Data, and Information Cores. Working groups may also apply for seed grants to support more extensive preliminary research.

Seed Grant Program

The Developmental Core’s seed grant program is designed to galvanize population research at Columbia by providing strategic support for the ideas most likely to bear fruit in the form of fundable, highly significant research proposals and publications likely to have a major impact on their field. The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) has committed $45,000 annually for six years of seed grant funding.

Priority is given to applications which 1) have been developed through the working groups; 2) include investigators from at least 2 units from around campus (so that they build cross-campus and cross-disciplinary collaborations); 3) represent the mentorship of a junior investigator by a more senior one, and 4) are likely to result in an application for funding to NIH, NSF, or a major foundation.

To see the Developmental Core’s request for proposals, click here.


Workshops and mini-conferences bring together researchers from around the campus and across the city, providing an informal yet in-depth opportunity for researchers to get to know each other and explore the complementarities in their work. Each workshop varies in length from half a day to two days, and provides either hands-on training in specific research methods or an opportunity to present work-in-progress or completed work for critique. Priority is given to workshop topics that 1) build research capacity through cutting-edge methodological training; 2) provide a venue for critical reflection about existing research; and 3) promote new collaborative relationships. To learn about CPRC’s upcoming workshops, go to the Events page.


The CPRC offers a regular seminars series that features scholars from within and beyond the Columbia community working in our primary research areas. The current schedule of seminars can be found here.

At Columbia, as at many other universities, the seminar calendar offers an overwhelming number of formal presentations of population research. The Developmental Core makes strategic use of communications technology to enable CPRC researchers to learn about and attend a wider range of these existing seminars. Each month, the Administrative Core creates a seminar list that centralizes relevant seminar events at CPRC-affiliated departments and centers. This seminar listing is disseminated through the CPRC listserv and is also available on the CPRC Google calendar.

Junior Faculty Mentoring Program

In addition to the above activities, which support all CPRC researchers, the Developmental Core targets two services specifically to junior faculty. First, CPRC’s co-directors are available to meet with affiliated junior faculty at least once a year to review their progress and ensure they are receiving opportunities to collaborate with senior CPRC faculty. Second, the chairs of the Developmental Core organize ad hoc proposal reviews for junior faculty.