Diversity at MPC

The Minnesota Population Center is powered by the efforts of exceptional staff, students, and faculty who share a commitment to developing world-class, freely available demographic data and to conducting cross-disciplinary research on demographic patterns across time and space.

At the MPC, we believe that the creation of a diverse and inclusive community is central to maintaining the excellence of all of our projects. Our definition of diversity extends beyond race and gender and includes socioeconomic status, religion, gender identity and expression, and more. As a center, we aspire to represent the diversity of our city, our region, and our world and to create a space that encourages and embraces inclusiveness, equal opportunity, and respect. To this end, the MPC recently developed a Diversity Enrichment Initiative with the goal of increasing the diversity of our community.

In the summer of 2015, we welcomed our first Diversity Fellows: six highly qualified students (three graduate, three undergraduate) from underrepresented communities were hired for 8-10 weeks during the summer to work on different MPC research projects alongside a mentor. You can read more about that program and our diversity fellows in the fall 2015 issue of the MPC Newsletter.

Summer 2017 Diversity Fellows Information

The Diversity Fellowship at Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota is designed to help recruit undergraduate and graduate students to work on its U.S. or international demographic data resources or with MPC Member Faculty. Projects or units with openings this summer include: IPUMS-DHS & IPUMS-International, and faculty-led research projects with Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr., with Dr. Michelle Phelps, and with Dr. Eric Shook.

Diversity Fellowship Program

The Diversity Fellowship at Minnesota Population Center is designed to help recruit undergraduate and graduate students to work on its U.S. or international demographic data resources. Projects or units with openings include: Terra Populus (TerraPop), IPUMS-International, MPC IT Core, among others. You may find more information and links to these MPC projects at popdata.org and tech.popdata.org.


Required: Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at the University of Minnesota. The MPC works with students from many disciplines across campus. Students must have: excellent written and oral communication skills, excellent computer skills and ability to work in a technical environment, good interpersonal skills, reliability and attention to detail, and the ability to act independently and as part of a diverse team environment.

Additional Selection Criteria: Students should self-identify with a historically underrepresented group which includes, but is not limited to: African Americans, American Indians, Hispanic/Latino/a Americans, Asian Americans. Students may have: knowledge of a major statistical package (Stata, SAS or SPSS), experience analyzing census or survey microdata, experience with HTML, Unix, and XML metadata, and/or use and knowledge of ArcGIS or other GIS software packages (for Terra Pop). We are especially interested in recruiting students who could use MPC data in their own research.


Fellows will work extensively with data of various types, including historical census and survey data from the United States and spatial data. They will interpret, edit, and format technical documentation. They also will analyze data in a statistical packages and record the findings systematically. Some fellows help to prepare data for distribution through MPC's data dissemination web sites. Fellows are expected to carry out a variety of other tasks as needed for data preparation and data dissemination. Fellows will be expected to learn new software and techniques as necessary, perform work in a timely manner while being attentive to details, and show initiative in solving problems.

Fellows will report to and be mentored by research scientists, senior data analysts, faculty, software developers, or other professional staff working on the assigned project. They may collaborate with principal investigators, other research assistants, post-doctoral associates, and other project and Center staff.

Potential Projects

Terra Populous:
• Data Processing and Ingest
• Outreach and Development

Information Technology:
• Open Source Archiving
• Convert NHGIS and IPUMS from MySQL to PostgreSQL
• IT Status Dashboard

IPUMS International:
• Spatial Analysis
• Data Quality
• Constructed socio-economic index variables


Professional mentorship: each fellow will be paired with at least one mentor working on the assigned project. Paid summer stipend. Graduate students: 10 weeks, 20 hours per week, $19.94/hr. Undergraduate students: 8 weeks, 20 hours per week, $10.00/hr.

Application Instructions

Please submit a cover letter and a resume/CV. Interviews will take place in March. Note: Your cover letter should explain your interest in working with us. It also should articulate which project/s you have a special interest in and for which you are most qualified. Applicants should send materials to mpc-jobs@umn.edu

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.