Jennifer Dowd awarded prestigious European Research Council Consolidator Grant

Professor Jenn Dowd has been awarded a European Research Consolidator grant for a project to understand the reasons for stalling life expectancy in some parts of the world.

The highly-competitive awards are given to Europe’s most innovative, high-impact academics, ‘all selected solely based on excellence’, according to Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.

Professor Jennifer Dowd, Sociology, said, ‘I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to carry out this ERC Consolidator project. As a demographer, nothing is more fundamental than mortality trends and for decades [until now] we've been accustomed to steady improvements.’

The overall goal of the project is to understand how long we are living, and why. Recently life expectancy in the US has declined for three consecutive years, the longest decline since between 1915 and 1918, a time both world war and pandemic influenza raged across the globe. Mortality stalls are happening in some but not all European countries as well. What's not clear is WHY, in this day and age of high economic development and technological and medical advances, are we seeing stalls and even reversals in life expectancy.'

The European Research Council grants, worth more than €16.3 million, have been awarded to eight University of Oxford researchers from across the university’s four divisions - representing the highest number of consolidator grants awarded in the UK. 

 

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Jennifer Dowd