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King Center updates in response to COVID-19

Interim Director Jessica Leino addresses readjustments to Stanford faculty and student support programs in response to COVID-19.
Jessica Leino
Jessica Leino

As the King Center continues its operations remotely, we are working hard to support our students, faculty, and partners around the world.

The global pandemic will impact low- and middle-income countries particularly severely, and is amplifying ongoing challenges with health, infrastructure, and social protection systems. In this new reality, the King Center’s mission of catalyzing research to improve the lives of the world’s poor is critical and we are extremely grateful for your continued support. Field research may currently be on hold, but the King Center is ensuring that research progresses on these important issues during this crisis.

We have adapted our undergraduate student programs to the constraints of the pandemic by reconfiguring our summer undergraduate research assistant program to provide remote research opportunities for students to work with faculty. We are also offering a number of new opportunities to accommodate students who will no longer be able to travel and participate in other internships. Students will be able to gain meaningful research experience with a faculty mentor advancing critical topics that address global poverty and development, such as improving access to effective prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries.

The King Center has increased our support for graduate students who are facing additional challenges in completing dissertation research by doubling the number of fellowships available to support PhD students completing their dissertations over the next academic year. This week, we hosted a virtual conversation for graduate students, “Research Interrupted,” featuring three Stanford faculty members discussing how to address disruptions to field research and sharing examples of how to adapt research during a crisis. Graduate students who are not yet in their final year also have research funding available for new and existing projects. 

In support of our faculty, we are emphasizing the use of the King Center’s Emergency Research Funding window to support projects disrupted by the pandemic, and will be funding new work on the pandemic response through our junior faculty research funding opportunities. We also have funding available to support faculty capacity building and policy engagement activities.  

This spring, we launched a series of virtual events including conversations with faculty for undergraduate students, graduate students, and the broader community, and hope to continue with additional virtual events through the summer. I hope that you can join us on May 15 for a conversation on the economic impact of COVID-19 in China with several of our faculty affiliates.

I am inspired by how quickly the King Center’s staff mobilized to adapt the center’s keystone programs to this crisis. And I am grateful for the commitment and guidance from all of you that enable us to both respond to new challenges and to continue to support our ongoing work to alleviate global poverty and further global development.

Warm regards,

Jessica Leino, PhD
Interim Director and Research Scholar
Stanford King Center on Global Development

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