Prentice Institute Strategic Plan


The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy

Strategic Plan 2009-2014

Who We Are

The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy, a research pillar at the University of Lethbridge (see, does research on global population and its links to economic factors and change, and makes the research known to other researchers, to relevant policy-makers, to students, and to the general public.


In December 2006, the University of Lethbridge received an $8.25 million gift from John Prentice, a Calmar, Alberta-based agri-business entrepreneur, award-winning agrologist, and industry leader, designated to create The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy (“The Prentice Institute” hereafter), a multi-disciplinary, cross-faculty institute dedicated to researching the long-term global impacts of demographic, economic and social issues related to changes in the world population patterns.  The Institute, which became operational in 2009, collaborates with researchers in Canada and across the world, to address some of the most difficult challenges of the next generation and beyond.


The Prentice Institute will excel at researching the changing human population and its potential impacts on social and economic issues, and communicating its findings widely.


  • The Prentice Institute and its research collaborators seek to understand long-term changes in the human and economic environments, within a historical context, with particular attention to the role human actions play in influencing those outcomes.
  • We conduct and integrate research on the dynamics of Canadian and global demography and their impacts on economic well-being through migration, culture, trade and natural resource availability.
  • We communicate widely the output of our work and that of others to stimulate further research and to enable individuals, governments and corporations to make better-informed decisions. We educate students and future researchers.

Current Research Themes

The Institute and its research collaborators seek to understand long-term changes in the human and economic environments, with particular attention to the role human actions play in influencing those outcomes. The Prentice Institute’s research is multi-disciplinary linking demographic processes with economic, resource utilization, social conditions, health/health care, migration, and social policy challenges. These linkages lead experts at the Prentice Institute to engage in various current research projects including, for example:

  1. Population dynamics, population health, and resource scarcity
  2. Socio-economic impacts of international migration and trade 
  3. Population dynamics and economic opportunities of development
  4. Causes and consequences of global demographic changes
  5. Comparative health risks and income inequalities
  6. Population aging and social policy challenges
  7. The impacts of demographic transitions in various regions of the world and their global socio-economic impacts
  8. Population diversity challenges and opportunities

The focus of the Prentice Institute's research is grounded in both country specific life-course perspectives and aggregative global and regional comparative analyses. The research makes a valuable scientific contribution to understanding the complex interactions among population dynamics, economic cycles, resource scarcity, health, population aging and socio-economic policy challenges, and helps individuals and governments reframe the ways they think about these issues.

What We Do

Consistent with the mission of the Prentice Institute, and the broad research agenda, we add to existing knowledge by using our expertise comprising the Prentice Institute research chair(s), University of Lethbridge faculty research affiliates, research affiliates from universities and institutes worldwide, staff, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. To this end, we build research capacity at the Prentice Institute by strategic hiring of outstanding faculty and staff, recruitment of excellent graduate students, and building collaborations with researchers across disciplines at the University of Lethbridge, across Canada and throughout the world. We also develop research resources including databases both Canadian and international.

The Prentice Institute supports training in both undergraduate and graduate studies (offering the only Ph.D program in the social sciences thus far at the University of Lethbridge) in global demographic processes and implications for societies and the economies. We also do outreach to various research communities through scholarly and policy publications in journals and books, and website postings. Outreach includes making our research known and meaningful to audiences beyond academic communities, including policy-makers and the public locally, nationally and internationally. Our research informs decisions of individuals, organizations and governments.

Where We Are Going

The Prentice Institute continues to build its research and outreach capacities to enhance its national and international reputation as a world-class source of quality research on global population and economy, consistent with both the University of Lethbridge’s Strategic Plan and the University’s Institutional Research Plan. In both, the Prentice Institute is defined as a strategic priority of the University. The Prentice Institute helps ensure that governments and other organizations, both public and private, in Canada and elsewhere have the information and analyses they need to make informed policy decisions.

Our Fundamental Principles

As a university-based research-centred institute, the Prentice Institute shares the fundamental principles of the University of Lethbridge in commitments to:

  • Developing and promoting good citizens who contribute to the building of better societies by applying knowledge, creativity and powers of critical inquiry for the improvement of regional and global economies
  • Promoting and encouraging free inquiry and expression
  • Working for the public good
  • Publicizing research and scholarship that have significance for society
  • Adopting a global perspective
Creativity, Inquiry and Discovery
  • Stimulating and supporting research and scholarship in global population and economy
  • Linking research to knowledge dissemination including teaching
  • Seeing research and scholarship is an inherent societal good
  • Developing a website for disseminating information and encouraging research collaborations and opportunities 
  • Aspiring to ignite intellectual passion among all those our research reaches
  • Seeing research and education as a lifetime journey
  • Acknowledging that good citizens are global
  • Mentoring new researchers – students, faculty, community people
  • Giving students associated with the Prentice Institute a solid foundation for personal and professional growth
  • Striving for a culture of achievement and motivation among students
  • Effectively engaging in graduate student development and program growth
  • Disseminating our research immediately and directly to students through our faculty research affiliates / teaching opportunities
Responsible Action
  • Advancing the interests of the University of Lethbridge in our work
  • Practicing procedural fairness
  • Being active and innovative in recruitment and retention of researchers and faculty
  • Practicing sound financial and resource management
  • Using technology effectively
  • Promoting social and environmental awareness

Reaching Our Preferred Future

The Institute will continue to explore new ways to expand its activities through its research, the provision of expert advice to policy makers, academic training, strategic relationships with world class institutions, and the wide dissemination of research findings. Specifically, the institute will:

  • In networks, national and international
  • In development of research themes/programs with our growing numbers of Research Affiliates
  • In continuing to develop our ‘public face’ through our website and outreach activities
  • In publications, conference papers, talks/addresses, and media interviews
  • Strategically hire faculty in diverse disciplines whose research synergistically connects with the mandate of the Institute
  • Continue to do superlative research
  • Continue to develop and expand our data base capacities
  • Continue to seek external funding for our research
  • Continue to present our research in high profile conferences, journals and books
  • Develop a graduate program for both Masters and Ph.D. students and clear graduate student recruitment strategies
  • Within the university and other universities in Alberta, Canada and internationally
  • Seek opportunities for our research to impact policy, people and lives
  • Seek further opportunities for funding and gifts
  • Develop strategic relationships with sister institutions world-wide
  • Through development of innovative teaching opportunities
  • By taking opportunities to speak in the community, across Canada and internationally about the Institute and its work
  • Use the media to make our activities and research widely known both home and abroad
  • By hosting conferences and policy related research workshops and dialogues

Events Calendar

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 19:00
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm Event Location: Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge,...