Student Testimonials

Elizabeth Wilkins

EDSD Cohort 2021/2022

Institut National d' Etudes Démographiques, INED

I started the EDSD after the first year of my PhD (as several students do each year), having decided on my research topic and questions but wanting to further my skills in advanced demographic methods and programming. It was one of the best decisions I have made. Each week we were taught by leading experts in data, methods, and demographic theory, and at the same time exposed to the latest issues and research in the field. There were lectures and workshops (in R) from Monday to Thursday, an assignment each Friday and a thesis at the end of the year. And alongside all this, we made great friends: 18 people from different countries and academic backgrounds brought together by the EDSD. Today, many are in academia, others working in industry, national governments and international organisations. We’re still in touch and visit each other around the world. This is such a unique programme and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Özer Bakar

EDSD Cohort 2020-2021

Hacettepe University, Turkey

"When I first heard about the European Doctoral School of Demography, I got very excited and I believed that it would help me widen my theoretical background in mathematical and statistical demography. My biggest motivation to attend to program was to find out what I really want to study in my PhD. After completing the EDSD successfully, I was certain that I would continue my research in mortality forecasting.

EDSD was quite an intense program and it is challenging as well. Owing to the tight schedule of education, it helped me develop my restricted knowledge about demography and gave me the chance to obtain the highest level of proficiency in all fields of demography.

EDSD is a program that hosts promising intelligent students. Besides, I consider the intercultural experience as a very important component of self-improvement and in this sense, I benefited from the atmosphere of the EDSD. Also, studying with brilliant students who came from different academic backgrounds broadened my perspective on the field of research I’m interested in.

Last but not least, the EDSD is the best environment where you can benefit from to reach your goals! Even before finishing the program, I got offered a research assistant and possible PhD position from CPop – Denmark which is, I believe, one of the most prominent Population Institutes in the world. Now I’m looking forward to joining the team of brilliant researchers there."

Momoko Nishikido

EDSD Cohort 2019-2020

Center for Demographic Studies, Barcelona

"Initially, the EDSD attracted me because it seemed like the perfect one-stop shop for all things demography. Receiving lectures from many top scholars in the field, and moreover, getting the opportunity to network with them, is a real treat for any demographer!

In the 11 months, you are not only exposed to the vital themes of demography and the more recent developments in the field, but are also taught the methodological aspects alongside it – all of which you will have in your toolkit ready to use as necessary in the future. I believe the EDSD has truly created the ideal environment for early researchers to develop a solid foundation in demography.

My favorite part of the programme was going through all the good and the bad with my fellow EDSDers – a diverse group of brilliant, young demographers that also happen to be the best people in the world. Since we are now spread all across Europe, I cannot wait to be able to travel to conferences again and see their friendly faces, visit their sessions/posters, and just catch up. Through the EDSD, I have not only been able to establish myself as an aspiring demographer, but was also able to create a network of peers who will be the future faces of demography."

Cosmo Strozza

EDSD cohort 2017-18, CPop (former MaxO), SDU, Odense, Denmark

My senior colleagues told me that EDSD would be the perfect start to my PhD journey. However, they didn't really explain why, and I had no idea what to expect from it. The first two months in Rostock already gave me a glimpse of how pivotal this year would be for my career. I quickly established connections with fellow colleagues and instructors, developing a sense of belonging to a community. The rest of the year amplified this sense. Renowned demographers visited every week to share their expertise, also becoming our colleagues. EDSD not only equipped me with comprehensive demographic knowledge but also emphasized the importance of networking. Interacting with colleagues and instructors with diverse backgrounds enriched our perspectives on different demographic topics and cultivated lasting friendships. Catching up with our EDSD colleagues and instructors is now one of the highlights of international conferences.

Ilya Kashnitsky

EDSD cohort 2017/18, CPop, SDU, Odense, Denmark

"Which cohort are you?" – one can hear this question multiple times at any demographic event these days. I can easily imagine how frustrating this may be to an uninitiated conference attendant. "What are they talking about? Is it some sort of a sect? What cohorts? What the hell is going on here?" – these were all the questions that were racing in my head when I first attended the European Population Conference in Budapest in 2014. I was finishing my demography masters, about to start a PhD in The Netherlands, and completely naive to European demography. And here they were, self-confident, always cheerful and unbelievably well-connected young guys who were all happily belonging to some "cohorts". Soon I figured out that the transcendent structure that unified them was the European Doctoral School of Demography. "Wait, school? How does it relate to other levels of education?" – so then I learned that it's an absolutely unique almost one-year-long training program for starting PhD students. And... it was not available for me – my soon to be started Erasmus PhD scholarship had not been possible to postpone or pause. This 2014 EPC left a painful scar, which was only deepend in 2016. And then, in 2017, I figured out that one does not have to necessarily be a just enrolled PhD student, and as long as one hadn't yet defended the thesis, they were able to apply. Boom! This is how I got "my cohort", which turned out to be the most amazing group of young demographers: diverse, talented, and motivated. The only regret (not really) was that I didn't learn all the cool things before my three years of doing PhD. I compensated via taking three more years, which only became possible thanks to EDSD, which brought me to Odense, where Jim Vaupel offered me to stay. And this is arguably the main benefit of the school – it gives the lucky young participants a unique exposure to the world of (mostly) European demography. For those of us who stayed in the field –and this is easily a majority in each cohort– EDSD networks became the guiding lines navigating us through our careers. So if you are interested in demography and consider applying to become part of the next cohort, don't hesitate – this is the best opportunity in demography!