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.
Small-scale businesses are important players in the enterprise ecosystems of developing countries and substantial economic growth can occur if significant numbers of small-scale businesses increase their productivity and transition into small or medium enterprises. Yet, the reality is that few developing country firms manage to grow and scale-up. Our research addresses the critical question of how to spur business growth among small-scale entrepreneurs in Kenya.
Many small-scale entrepreneurs in developing countries lack knowledge of how to leverage digital technologies for growth (e.g., digital marketing, online sales). This lack of digital business skills can be a significant constraint to growth in today’s digital economy. Our research aims to shed light on this problem – and potential solutions – by examining the effectiveness of a novel business development intervention. We are partnering with one of the largest banks in East Africa to investigate whether and how a digital vs. non-digital business skills training improves business growth among entrepreneurs in Kenya. This research project is using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study design to compare the effectiveness of a standard, general business skills program to a new training approach leveraging digital technologies and emphasizing digital marketing and online sales.
Local Community Partner: Equity Group Foundation (EGF). Equity Bank is one of the largest banks in East Africa and the Foundation is the philanthropy/corporate social responsibility arm of the group.
Cardinal Quarter eligibility: Students are eligible for the Cardinal Service Notation on their transcripts after successfully completing a full-time (minimum 35 hours per week), quarter-long (minimum 8 weeks) public service experience. See Cardinal Quarter for more information.
Faculty supervisor: Professor Stephen Anderson, Graduate School of Business
Dates: Summer of 2019 with flexible dates ranging from 8 to 12 weeks.
Location(s): Nairobi, Kenya; with possible travel to other areas (Kiambu, Mombasa, Kisumu, Bungoma, Thika, Nyeri, Eldoret, Kajiado and Nakuru, Nanyuki)
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 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 exploratory interviews with participating entrepreneurs at their business locations
- Assist with the development and piloting of the follow-up survey
- Assist with data collection and conduct preliminary data analysis
- Stanford undergraduates in good academic standing are eligible to apply.
- All majors are welcome.
- Students must be currently enrolled at Stanford as well as the spring and fall quarters of 2019.
- Knowledge of Swahili would be helpful but is not a must.
- Coursework in management, (digital) marketing, information systems, digital innovation and/or economics is a plus.
- 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 Center on Global Poverty and Development orientation session regarding compliance with Stanford University policies;
- A field research information session; and
- A Vaden Travel Health information session and/or a travel clinic appointment.
- Please note that these will be held in spring quarter and are mandatory.
- 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 resume or c.v.
- An official Stanford transcript and
- One letter of recommendation from a faculty member or from a supervisor in relevant work.
Completed applications will be reviewed by a committee and finalists will be invited for an in-person interview with the faculty member who will be overseeing the selection process. Please email CorinneThomas@stanford.edu when you submit your application.
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.