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.



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 

Three facets of planning and postponement of parenthood in the Netherlands

Mills, M., Snieder, H., Stulp, G., & Verweij, R.

Demographic Research, Vol. 43, 23: 659 - 672

Can fertility desires and expectations explain the association of education and occupation with childlessness?

Verweij, R., Stulp, G., Snieder, H., & Mills, M.C.


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

Aburto, J.M., Kashyap, R., Scholey, J., Angus, C., Ermisch, J., Mills, M.C., & Dowd J.B.


Sociology, Genetics, and the Coming of Age of Sociogenomics

Mills, M.C., & Tropf F.C.

Annual Review of Sociology, 46:553-581

Forecasting spatial, socioeconomic and demographic variation in COVID-19 health care demand in England and Wales

Verhagen, M. D., Brazel, D. M., Dowd, J. B., Kashnitsky, I., & Mills, M. C.

BMC Medicine, 18: 203. Dashboard:

Face masks & coverings for the general public: Behavioural knowledge, effectiveness of cloth coverings & public messaging

Mills, M.C., Rahal, C., & Akimova, E.

Report for the Royal Society and the British Academy

Reply: A renewed call for detailed social and demographic COVID-19 data from all countries

Dowd, J.B., Andriano, L., Brazel D.M., Rotondi, V., Block, P., Ding, X., & Mills, M.C.

PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(25): 13884-13885.

Socio-demographic and epidemiological consideration of Africa’s COVID-19 response: what is the possible pandemic course?

Gaye, B., Khoury, S., Cene, C.W., Kingue, S., N’Guetta, R., Lassale, C., Baldé, D., Diop, I.B., Dowd, J.B., Mills, M.C., & Jouven, X.

Nature Medicine, 11:1-4.

Social network-based distancing strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve in a post-lockdown world

Block, P., Hoffman, M., Raabe, I.J., Dowd, J.B., Rahal, C., Kashyap, R., & Mills, M.C.

Nature Human Behaviour, 4: 588-596

Genome-wide analysis identifies genetic effects on reproductive success and ongoing natural selection at the FADS locus

Mathieson, I., Day, F. R., Barban, N., Tropf, F. C., Brazel, D.M. et al., Mills, M. C., Perry, J.R.B.




42-43 Park End Street

Oxford OX1 1JD

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