The Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development offers undergraduate students interested in global poverty and development the opportunity to work on faculty-led projects and gain fieldwork experience through the Summer Undergraduate Field Research Assistant Program.
Selected students spend up to 12 weeks in a low- or middle-income country conducting research for a Stanford faculty member or affiliate. Each research assistant receives a stipend to cover travel and living expenses. The minimum time commitment is 8 weeks, and the maximum is 12 weeks. Stipends will be pro-rated depending on the total time commitment.
Research assistants will have the opportunity to discuss their work at an event organized by the Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development.
In recent years, African nations like Cote d’Ivoire have been experiencing rapid economic growth as well as high urbanization rates and urban sprawl, as people and businesses are moving from rural areas to capital cities and surrounding areas. Yet, there has been limited scientific analysis of a large set of issues that are peculiar to cities, such as urban poverty, employment/unemployment patterns, migration trends, firm characteristics, and urban governance. Most existing socio-economic surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa are largely focused on rural populations and many of them are cross-sectional. The Stanford Economic Development Research Initiative (SEDRI) intends to fill this gap by creating long-term panel datasets of households, businesses, and local administrators in peri-urban areas of multiple Sub-Saharan African countries. Under the guidance of senior Stanford economists and project staff, the summer undergraduate research assistant (RA) will help with need-finding and survey piloting in the greater Abidjan area. The work will include conducting exploratory interviews, gathering administrative data, preliminary data analysis, and report writing. The student will also be helping with data collection activities.
Community Partner: Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
- Summer of 2019 with flexible dates but a minimum of 9 weeks (depending on the stage of the projects) and a maximum of 12 weeks.
- Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
The Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development will cover:
- Round-trip, economy class airfare (based on fares to and from San Francisco)
- In-country accommodation
- A nominal stipend, sufficient to cover food and basic living costs including in-country transportation necessary for research
Students are financially responsible for:
- pre-departure immunizations
- travel medicine consultation
- health insurance
- visa costs
- all other incidental expenses including personal travel
- Assist with need-finding and survey piloting in the greater Abidjan area
- Conduct exploratory interviews
- Gather administrative data
- Help with data collection activities and conduct preliminary data analysis
- Write reports
- Stanford undergraduates in good academic standing are eligible to apply. All majors are welcome.
- Students must be currently enrolled at Stanford as well as during the spring and fall quarters of 2019.
- The student must be comfortable communicating in verbal and written French.
- Students who have completed the core economics major requirements or who have taken Econ 118 strongly preferred.
- Experience conducting field work or working in a developing country is a plus, but not required.
- Experience working in STATA or R is preferred, but not required.
- The student should be interested in development economics and urbanization.
Additional Requirements and Preferences:
- Per Stanford International Travel Policy, this opportunity is conditional on the security level in the country remaining at level 1 or 2. See the U.S. Department of State for more information.
- International students must check with the Bechtel International Center regarding whether or not their immigration status will allow them travel over the summer.
- Students will be required to attend or complete during spring quarter:
- This opportunity is made possible by VPUE funding. Students may not accept more than $9,000 and may not accept more than one of the following opportunities in a single academic year: UAR Major Grant, UAR Chappell Lougee Scholarship, Haas Summer Fellowship, Department Grant-supported summer research position, Faculty Grant-supported summer research position, Other full-time summer fellowship or internship. Please see VPUE guidelines under “Funding Caps” here for details.
Along with the application, applicants are asked to submit a c.v. and an official Stanford transcript.
Please email CorinneThomas@stanford.edu when you submit an application.
Completed applications will be reviewed by a committee and finalists will be invited for an in-person interview.
Candidates will be selected based on overall fit with the program, especially enthusiasm for the research focus, and the ability to work independently.