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Zachary Van Winkle



I am an assistant professor of sociology at Sciences Po's Centre for Research on Social Inequalities (CRIS) and an associate member of Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. Up to 2020, I was a postdoctoral research fellow in sociology and social demography at the department of sociology and Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. My research focuses on the interplay between family demography and social inequality from a comparative life course perspective. For example, how do transitions to parenthood, marriage, and divorce affect individuals’ economic wellbeing, such as household income and poverty risk, across time and space?


My ERC starting grant project on the social demography of widowhood across ageing societies - WIDOW - is set to start in September 2024. More information on the project can be found here.

Currently I am a am a co-PI of the Network for Studies on Pensions, Ageing and Retirement (Netspar) research grant for the project “Social and Economic Consequences of Widowhood during Retirement: A Comparative Study on Pensions and Survivor Benefits” and CamPo research initiative funding for the project “Social and Economic Returns to Education in Francophone Africa”. Former projects include my ANR RÉSILIENCE-COVID-19 funded project “Assessing the Individual and Societal Economic Consequences of Premature Widowhood following the Covid-19 Pandemic” (WIDOW19), the Trilateral Initiatives in Emerging Regions Grant from the Columbia Alliance funded project “A Holistic Approach to Social & Life Course Change in China” as well as the John Fell funded project “The Consequences of Family Complexity for Adults & Children in the UK”.

My BA in the social sciences was earned from the Humboldt-University Berlin in 2013, followed by a MA in 2015. Starting in September of 2015, I was employed as a pre-doctoral research fellow at the department of microsociology at the Humboldt University and the research group on demography and inequality at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. During that time, I was hosted by Stockholm University, Princeton University and the University of Amsterdam for research visits. I defended my doctoral dissertation on the complexity of family life courses in 20th century Europe and the United States in early October of 2018, which was awarded the best PhD thesis prize from the European Consortium for Sociological Research and the German Society for Demography.







Sciences Po

Centre for Research on Social Inequalities

1 Place St Thomas d'Aquin

75007 Paris


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