Melinda Mills, MBE, FBA

Centre Director and Nuffield Professor of Sociology (Oxford)

Melinda Mills’ main research areas are combining a social science and genetic approach to the study of behavioural outcomes, with a focus on reproduction (fertility), chronotype, nonstandard, precarious employment and assortative mating. She joined the University of Oxford in 2014 and was previously at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2006-2014), Free University Amsterdam (2002-2005) and Bielefeld University, Germany (2000-2002). She holds a PhD in Demography (Groningen) and a Master and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (University of Alberta, Canada).


She is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, the ERC Advanced Grant CHRONO and the ERC Proof of Concept Grant and social business enterprise DNA4Science. She was the PI of the ERC Consolidator Grant SOCIOGENOME and the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods SOCGEN project as well as the Editor in Chief of the European Sociological Review and International Sociology. She is on the Executive Council of the UKRI/ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and the Supervisory Board (Raad van Toezicht) of the Dutch National Science Council (NWO). 


Mills has published 7 books and over 100 articles in the highest academic journals across multiple scientific disciplines including Nature Genetics, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Annual Review of Sociology, JAMA Psychiatry, Journal of Marriage and Family and Social Forces. Her books on globalization, uncertainty and life course have garnered considerable citations, as has her work on fertility and reproductive behaviour. She has written 2 statistical textbooks, Introducing Survival and Event History Analysis (in R) (2011) and An Introduction to Statistical Genetic Data Analysis (MIT, 2020). Mills has supervised over 20 PhD students, 50 Master students and around 15 postdoctoral researchers.

Black and white portrait of Melinda Mills



Personal Website

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Principal Investigator, ERC Proof of Concept Grant, Value of award: 150,000 (10/2020-04/2022)



Co-Investigator, John Fell OUP Research Fund: Demographic science and COVID-19 in the UK. Amount awarded: £49,981. With Dowd, J.B. (PI) and Rotondi, V., Rahal, C., Mills, MC., Kashyap, R. and Block, P.



Co-Applicant, CanD3: Consortium on Analytics for Data-Driven Decision-making, Value of Award: $2.5 Million, SSHRC, Canada (09/2020-09/2025)



Principal Investigator, ERC Advanced Grant, CHRONO: Chronotype, health and family: The role of biology, socio- and natural environment and their interaction. Value of Award: €2.5 million (11/2019-11/2024)



Principal Investigator, Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science. The Leverhulme Trust. Value of award: £10 million + ~£3 million matching (09/2019-09/2029)


Mills, M.C. Clifford C. Clogg Award for Mid-Career Achievement, Population Association of America, 2020. Watch Youtube film.

AWARDS (since 2019)


PhD Demography, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada, 2000


Webinair: Face masks work! COVID Conversations, Oxford University, 22 July 2020. Watch on the Oxford University website. 


Using demographic science to understand COVID-19, Bocconi University Seminar, Italy, 27 May 2020.



Full list of publications at Google Scholar 

Identification of 371 genetic variants for age at first sex and birth linked to externalising behaviour

Melinda C. Mills, Felix C. Tropf, David M. Brazel, Natalie van Zuydam, Ahmad Vaez, eQTLGen Consortium, BIOS Consortium, Human Reproductive Behaviour Consortium, Tune H. Pers, Harold Snieder, John R. B. Perry, Ken K. Ong, Marcel den Hoed, Nicola Barban & Felix R. Day 

Nature Human Behaviour

1 July 2021

Behind the Paper: The genetics of the timing of sex and reproduction

Professor Melinda Mills

Nature Portfolio Behavioural & Social Sciences

30 June 2021

Reconstructing Sociogenomics Research: Dismantling Biological Race and Genetic Essentialism Narratives

Pamela Herd, Melinda C. Mills, Jennifer Beam Dowd

Journal of Health and Social Behavior

8 June 2021

Lack of trust, conspiracy beliefs, and social media use predict COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Will Jennings, Gerry Stoker, Hannah Bunting, Viktor Orri Valgarðsson, Jennifer Gaskell, Daniel Devine, Lawrence McKay, Melinda C. Mills


2 June 2021

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: the five Cs to tackle behavioural and socio-demographic factors

Mohammad S Razai, Pippa Oakeshott, Aneez Esmail, Charles Shey Wiysonge, Kasisomayajula Viswanath and Melinda C Mills

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

2 June 2021

Gene-environment dependencies lead to collider bias in models with polygenic scores

Evelina T. Akimova, Richard Breen, David M. Brazel, Melinda C. Mills

Scientific Reports

3 May 2021

Health and inequality: the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

Jennifer B. Dowd, Xuejie Ding, Evelina T. Akimova and Melinda C. Mills FBA

The British Academy

23 March 2021

COVID-19 vaccination passports

Christopher Dye and Melinda C. Mills

Science Magazine

19 March 2021

Estimating the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on mortality, life expectancy and lifespan inequality in England and Wales: a population-level analysis

Jose Manuel Aburto, Ridhi Kashyap, Jonas Schöley, Colin Angus, John Ermisch, Melinda C Mills, Jennifer Beam Dowd

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

24 January 2021

The challenges of distributing COVID-19 vaccinations

Melinda C Mills and David Salisbury

EClinical Medicine

8 December 2020