EHPS-Net International Summer School in Historical Demography

Introductory course Fifth Edition

Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 17 – 23 July 2017

Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The Centre for Population Studies and EHPS-Net announce the fifth edition of the Summer School in Historical Demography, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, between the 17th and 23th of July, 2017. The course is organized under the auspices of the European Historical Population Sample Network (EHPS-Net).

The propagation of new tools – historical population databases – and methods – event history analysis, life course analysis – is not in itself sufficient to ensure that new kinds of big data will offer new answers to old questions in demography. The accuracy and meaningfulness of analysis relies first of all on the existence of a well-trained and cohesive community of scholars, extending beyond Western and Northern Europe.

Conceived as a work instrument for students and young researchers in historical demography, the EHPS-net Introductory Summer School in Historical Demography represents the first step towards the creation of this community. The course is the first, basic level of the summer and winter school program organized by the European Historical Population Sample Network. It is meant to serve as a stepping stone for the more advanced courses held yearly in Nijmegen and Lund, and will be held in Cluj-Napoca, at the Centre for Population Studies, one of the only institutions of its kind in the region.

The course is envisaged as theoretical, methodological, and practical entry point into the most recent advances in historical demography. Following a brief introduction into the sources and methods employed by demographers, the students will have the opportunity to attend lectures concerning: migration and family reconstitution; the state-of-the-art research issues and theories in the fields of nuptiality, mortality, and fertility studies; the impact of the life course approach on these demographic matters. The course also offers an extensive basic-level introduction into designing and working with historical population databases. Following the experiences of the previous summer schools, this year’s edition will take place a greater emphasis on the transmission of basic practical knowledge related to the analysis of micro-level population data. Students are expected to have at least basic knowledge of Access, and R, the main programs which will be used for the analysis of demographic data. As a result of the course, students will gain confidence in working with these programs to deal with the main questions of historical demography.

The course will take place between the 17th and the 23th of July 2017. The structure will be twofold, including theoretical lectures and hands-on computer workshops, where the students will have the chance to get acquainted with the nuts and bolts of data gathering, management, and analysis with Access and R. Because a strong emphasis will be placed on performing basic descriptive and statistical analysis with R, students are advised to familiarize themselves with this program (reading structured data into R, basic packages needed for analysis, basic visualization possibilities, etc.).

The course in Cluj-Napoca is intended for two main categories of students: PhD candidates and other graduate students in fields connected to historical demography, who have had limited guided and practical exposure to the main topics discussed above; PhD candidates and young scholars, working in historical demography or connected fields, who are employed in research grants at various institutions and wish to develop their theoretical knowledge and practical analysis skills.

Aims: A general understanding of basic demographic/population processes in historical change and in a global view, Basic, hands-on practical knowledge of working with Access and R for the analysis of demographic data;

Target: PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, young researchers focused on historical demography and/or family history.

Note: A maximum of 15 students will be admitted.


  • A very good knowledge of English
  •  A research subject connected to historical demography
  • Basic knowledge of Access and R
  • Familiarization with quantitative methods and statistical analysis

Admission process and documents: Your application must contain a one page statement of research interest and its connection with the course, and a two page curriculum vitae, including publications. All the applicants will be interviewed through Skype. Applications should be sent by email to Luminița Dumănescu, at

Deadline for application: 1st May 2017. The interviews will be scheduled on the 25st and 26nd of May. All the students will be informed about their admittance before the 1st of June.

No tuition fee is requested. Babes-Bolyai University will cover the lodging costs.