2005 Summer Workshop:
Poverty in America: Empirical Trends and Theoretical Explanations

June 20-24, 2005
Ann Arbor, MI

Download printable request for applications.

We invite applications for participants in a five-day workshop that will take place in Ann Arbor from June 20 - 24, 2005. This workshop is designed as an intense introductory mini-graduate course on urban poverty, providing the background to persons who want to offer undergraduate courses or engage in poverty-related research but who did not receive substantive training about poverty research in their graduate work.


Sample reading list.

The instructors for the workshop will be University of Michigan faculty: Mary Corcoran, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science and Kerwin Charles, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics. In addition, the workshop will include presentations by other nationally recognized poverty researchers.

The number of selected participants will be limited to about fifteen. Participants will receive stipends to defray the costs of travel, lodging, and per diem.

Course content

The workshop will address three major areas. Readings will be sent to participants about a month prior to the workshop.


 How are poverty and inequality measured, and do these different measures accurately reflect how the condition affects well-being?
 What are the differences in poverty across different subpopulations?
 How has poverty changed over time - both in terms of aggregate patterns and changes in the distribution of poverty across the population?


 The labor market
How do the spatial distribution of the location of jobs, the occupational mix of employment opportunity, and skill requirements affect poverty? What role have changes in these factors played in aggregate poverty trends?

 The family
What is the importance of intergenerational transmission of economic disadvantage? How important for poverty determination are demographic decisions such as age of marriage and fertility?

 Social Factors
What role do networks, culture, and social capital play in poverty determination?


 A review of major anti-poverty initiatives and their effects

Workshop details and goals

The workshop will be held in Ann Arbor, MI from June 20 – 24, 2005. The course will consist of:

 About 20 hours of lecture and intensive classroom discussion.

 Some time devoted to one-on-one discussion designed to help attendees refine their teaching and research interests with the instructors and with other researchers at the National Poverty Center.

 Four afternoon presentations by noted poverty researchers.

The curriculum is designed to provide participants with: (1) knowledge and materials for teaching a course on poverty, including draft course outlines, and/ or (2) knowledge and resources for undertaking poverty research on their own.

To apply

The workshop is designed for applicants who meet at least three of the following criteria:

 Young scholars (primarily assistant professors);

 Persons who did not have the opportunity to take a class in poverty research during their graduate school training;

 Persons who are currently employed at universities and colleges that do not provide support for faculty to pursue additional training in poverty research, especially four-year teaching colleges;

 Persons who are members of groups that are under-represented among poverty researchers and teachers. Faculty members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) are particularly encouraged to apply.

To apply, send the following information to the address below:

1. A cover sheet with your name and institutional affiliation with mailing address, email address, phone and fax numbers.
2. A brief personal statement (about 2-3 double-spaced pages) that describes your educational background and current position and that specifies how you meet the criteria for participation listed above.
3. A brief plan (about 2-3 double-spaced pages) that documents how you plan to use the workshop experience to develop a course to teach at your institution and/or pursue a specific poverty research project.

Travel allowance

Successful applicants will be reimbursed for travel, lodging, and meals, up to a total of $1300.


Applications should be sent to:

National Poverty Center
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan
1015 E. Huron St.
ATTN: 2005 Summer Workshop
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1689

Direct Questions to:

Sarah Marsh
Program Manager, National Poverty Center
Phone: 734-615-3890


Funding for this workshop was provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and by the University of Michigan.