IDEM 183

International Autumn School “Demographic Methods in Public Health Research”

Course organizer:  Vladimir M. Shkolnikov

The International Laboratory for Population and Health at the Higher School of Economics (Russia) and Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Germany) organize the International Autumn School “Demographic Methods in Public Health Research.”

Dates: September 24 - October 05, 2018

Location: the city of Pushkin, Saint Petersburg suburb

Deadline for applications: June 20, 2018

Course description

During the last decades, important methodological approaches for studying mortality and health have been developed in demography and related disciplines. The advanced methods, as well as the substantive results of their application, are included in the program of the International Autumn School. We invited leading international scholars to present their cutting-edge research. The course provides an opportunity to learn methods for measurement and analysis of the levels, components, and determinants of mortality and health; spatial mortality analysis; design and methods of epidemiological studies; and micro-simulation models of demographic processes. The course will also involve practical exercises to apply the skills/knowledge acquired in the lectures.

The course will be useful for researchers, master-degree and doctoral students working or studying in the fields of demography, sociology, epidemiology, public health, social geography, and related disciplines. The working language will be English.

Instructors (in alphabetical order)

Evgeny Andreev, Higher School of Economics, Russia

Pavel Grigoriev, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany

Domantas  Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany

Dmitri Jdanov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
& Higher School of Economics, Russia

David Leon, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

France Meslé, French National Institute for Demographic Studies, France

Anna Oksuzyan, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany

Jean-Marie Robine, French National Institute for Demographic Studies, France

Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany
& Higher School of Economics, Russia

Martin Spielauer, Austrian Institute for Economic Research WIFO, Austria

Sergey Timonin, Higher School of Economics, Russia

Jacques Vallin, French National Institutefor Demographic Studies, France


All participants (both students and instructors) will stay at the HSE training centre “Kochoubey” which is located in Pushkin, Saint Petersburg. The teaching rooms and the accommodation in the Kochoubey centre are located in one building.

The School will run over two weeks. Students should prepare to work full time (40 hours per week) for the duration of the course. The daily schedule will be as follows:

09:00 – 09:30 Orientation Meeting (on  September 24th )

09:30 – 11:00 Lecture

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break (served daily by the Organizers)

11:30 – 13:00 Lecture

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 to 16:30 Lecture or Practical

Students are supposed to work on their own laptops.

Provisional schedule

Data and data use in studies on population and health
Dmitri Jdanov, Domantas Jasilionis

Methods and crucial results of research on longevity and survival at advanced ages
Jean-Marie Robine

Methods of decomposition and their application
Dmitri Jdanov, Evgeny Andreev

Health inequalities: theory, methods, and findings
Domantas Jasilionis

Geography of mortality and health: methodology
and empirical research
Pavel Grigoriev, Sergey Timonin

Unraveling an enigma: design, methods, and results of Study on Cardiovascular Disease in Russia
David Leon

Gender differences in health and survival
Аnna Oksuzyan

Divergence and convergence in mortality: global trends, best practices and gender differentials
France Meslé, Jacques Vallin

Micro-simulation models of demographic and health processes: methods and applications
Martin Spielauer

Studying the mortality phenomenon of Russia: from general mortality patterns to micro-level epidemiology
Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, Evgeny Andreev

Course prerequisites

Participants should be familiar with life table construction and other basics of demography approximately corresponding to the textbook  Preston et al. (2001) Chapters 1-3, 7, and 9 prior to the commencement of the course (or another textbook covering mortality rates and the life table). We expect also the ability to use Excel as well as a basic command of the R language including data handling and for-loops.


Students will be evaluated on the basis of completion of assignments, including both practical and conceptual parts, and participation in discussions.

Financial support

The course is given for free.  Students are expected to pay their own transportation and living costs.  However, a limited number of scholarships will be available on a competitive basis for outstanding candidates and for those who might otherwise not be able to come.

How to apply

  • Applications should be sent by email to the HSE (address below).  Please begin your e-mail message with a statement saying that you apply for HSE-MPIDR International Autumn School “Demographic Methods in Public Health Research”. You also need to attach the following items integrated in a single pdf file:
    1. A curriculum vitae, including a list of your scholarly publications.
    2. A statement of your research and how it relates to the course.  Please include a short description of your knowledge of basic life table construction, decomposition methods, and of your fluency in Excel and R.  At the very end of your research statement, in a separate paragraph, please indicate (a) whether you would like to be considered for financial support and (b) if you would be able to come without financial aid from our side.
    3. For master and Ph.D. students: please include a one-page letter from your supervisor at your home institution supporting your application.
  • Send your email to Vera Sokolova (
  • Application deadline is the 20th of June 2018.
  • Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by the 10th of July 2018.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only if space is available.

Should you have any queries or require additional information, please contact Vera Sokolova at +7 495 772-95-90 (15103), email:

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.