The Stanford King Center on Global 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 may have the opportunity to discuss their work at an event organized by the Stanford King Center on Global Development
Research Project Description:
One of the major challenges for entrepreneurs is hiring the initial team to turn their ideas into prototypes and initial products. Particularly, for entrepreneurs who are not located in the epicenter of entrepreneurial activities, it becomes a major trial. Often times investors demand to see a working prototype before making an investment decision. The problem is almost like a double-edged sword – entrepreneurs need financial resources to hire employees and build the initial product, but they need employees and initial product to secure financial resources. Given financial and reputational constraints, attracting talent becomes so cumbersome that many entrepreneurs have to quit their promising ideas even before the ventures officially take off. In this study, we propose to develop a “gig economy” platform for entrepreneurs enabling them to seamlessly recruit, form, hire and possibly fire “flash teams” of workers in entrepreneurial ventures. We will develop a software platform and run a few accelerator programs in Thailand and would measure the impact of our platform on their performance. Under the guidance of Professor Chuck Eesley, the summer undergraduate research assistant (RA) will help with conduct surveys with entrepreneurs attending the accelerator and gather performance data of the enterprises. The work will also include conducting interviews, preliminary data analysis, and report writing.
Local Community Partner: Advanced Info Service (AIS), AIS is Thailand's largest GSM mobile phone operator, KBank is one of the largest of Thailand’s banks. SEAC is another local partner who is a management consulting firm.
Faculty Supervisor: Chuck Eesley, Department of Management Science & Engineering
Dates: Summer of 2020 with flexible dates but a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks.
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
The Stanford King Center on Global 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 receiving financial aid will have supplementary money added to the stipend depending on the level of aid.
Students are financially responsible for:
- pre-departure immunizations
- travel medicine consultation
- health insurance
- visa costs
- all other incidental expenses including personal travel
- Conduct surveys with entrepreneurs attending accelerators in Thailand
- Gather performance data of the enterprises
- Conduct interviews
- Conduct literature reviews and preliminary data analysis
- Write brief 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 2020.
Additional Requirements and Preferences:
- Proficiency in Thai language is preferred, but not required
- CS/programming experience is preferred, but not required
- Experience conducting field work or working in a developing country is a plus, but not mandatory
- Experience working in STATA is preferred, but not required
- Experience working with accelerators is a plus, but not mandatory
- The student should be interested in entrepreneurship research
- 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 their immigration status will allow them to travel over the summer.
- Students will be required to attend or complete in spring quarter:
- An Office of International Affairs (OIA) international travel preparation course on Canvas;
- A Stanford King Center on Global Development orientation session regarding compliance with Stanford University policies;
- A field research information session; and
- A Vaden Travel Health information session or a travel clinic appointment.
- Please note that these will be held in spring quarter and are mandatory.
- This program is supported by VPUE. Please see VPUE guidelines here for details and qualifications.
Along with the application, applicants are asked to submit a c.v., one letter of recommendation, and an official Stanford transcript.
Your letter writer may submit a letter at any time once you have entered their name in the SOLO application. Out of courtesy to the letter writer, please do not wait to add their name until you are ready to submit your application; add their name as soon as you know you will be applying and have requested a letter from them. The deadline for the letter of recommendation is the same deadline as the application.
After the application deadline of Thursday, Feburary 6, 2020 at 11:59pm, completed applications will be reviewed by a committee and finalists will be invited for an in-person interview with Professor Chuck Eesley who will be managing the selection process.
Candidates will be selected based on overall fit with the program, especially enthusiasm for the research focus, and the ability to work both on a team and independently.