The Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy, a research pillar at the University of Lethbridge (see http://www.uleth.ca/vp_research/content/research-pillars), 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 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:
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.
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.
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.
As a university-based research-centred institute, the Prentice Institute shares the fundamental principles of the University of Lethbridge in commitments to:
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: