2019 - 2020 Academic Year Part-time RAs
Study on Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu) in Agricultural Communities
A kidney disease of undetermined cause is devastating agricultural communities across the world. Since its first description in 2002, chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) is now known to afflict 15-25% of adult residents of arid, low-land, monocrop farming regions in Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and India. Kidney disease is the second leading cause of premature death in Nicaragua, and seventh leading cause of death in Sri Lanka. A distinct profile of patients are affected: young-to-middle aged, predominantly men, working strenuously at high temperatures, applying pesticides without protection and drinking water from nearest available field sources. CKDu is a terminal diagnosis for people living in currently described epidemic areas, where dialysis is either unavailable or unaffordable. Thus there is an urgent need to identify the cause and prevent this disease. A comprehensive study is launching in 2020 and in order to undertake this study, a standardized web-based questionnaire will need to be designed that can be administered on a repeated basis to participants, coupled with biosample acquisition and storage.
Faculty supervisor: Shuchi Anand, School of Medicine
Research assistants: Kaitlin Harold, '23, psychology major, computer science minor; Mustafa Khan, '22, computer science major
Human Rights and Rule of Law Issues in Southeast Asia
This project involves research on several related human rights and rule of law issues in Southeast Asia, including the use of criminal defamation, blasphemy, heresy, lese majeste, and other laws limiting freedom of expression, as well as electronic communication laws that are used to prosecute individuals for communications, posting, liking, or sharing on social media. These laws are increasingly used with repressive effect in Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia. In addition to research laws, regulations and court cases in these countries, the project also involves comparative research on international best practices in both civil law and common law jurisdictions in Europe, the Americas, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Australia.
Faculty supervisor: David Cohen, Department of Classics
Research assistants: Alexandra Koch, '21, international relations major, human rights minor; Melodie Liu, '20, history major; Emma Smith, '22, international relations major, human rights minor; Lindsay Thornton, '21, international relations major, Spanish minor
Experimental Research Design and Electoral Accountability in Developing Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
Broadly speaking, there are three ongoing projects, two methodological and one substantive. The first project is related to the development of a new variant of the conjoint design related to inference over omitted features. A second methods-related paper examines enumerator-induced heterogeneity and its inferential implications. The substantive project is comprised of three articles on electoral strategies and post-election performance in sub-Saharan Africa. These articles will eventually form the basis of a book on the long-term consequences of political competition where state capacity and party strength are low. Work on the substantive project will comprise approximately 75% of the research assistant’s time. The research assistant will work mostly on topics related to experimental research design and electoral accountability in developing countries, with a strong regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. The research assistant will assist in some limited dataset generation and in producing key results using workhorse models as well as more sophisticated approaches, mostly for the purposes of robustness checks.
Faculty supervisor: Brandon de la Cuesta, King Center on Global Development
Research assistants: Abhay Singhal, '23, computer science major; Dawson Verley, '22, political science major, global studies minor; Samuel Volk, '23, computer science major
Technology Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies in Thailand
This project explores which types of institutional (policy) environments, university programs and digital platforms may foster successful high tech founding and faster growth among ventures. Increasingly, policymakers and university administrators see that entrepreneurship is a key driver of job growth, poverty alleviation, and technological advancement in society. Data can shed more light on how entrepreneurship works (or fails to work). However, less explored is whether it contributes to or alleviates inequality, and what types of educational experiences lead to a greater likelihood of success. In collaboration with two large corporate entrepreneurship programs, this project looks at whether online platforms and crowdsourcing can help to address unequal access to technical talent in emerging economies such as Thailand. It is also studying how blockchain may be able to help with supply chain lending.
Faculty supervisor: Charles Eesley, Department of Management Science and Engineering
Research assistant: Arianna Togelang, '22, economics major, human rights minor
Technology Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies in China
This project examines how Chinese grassroot entrepreneurs acquire financial resources through a fundraising platform in China. It has the data on 29,072 startups and 1,158,820 times of business plan submissions. Professor Charles Eesley is interested in how grassroot entrepreneurs, particularly from less economically developed regions, build their fundraising capabilities through interactions with investors online. Relatedly, Professor Eesley wants to understand how online platforms may play a role in resolving offline regional disparity in funding and economic outcomes in China.
Faculty supervisor: Charles Eesley, Department of Management Science and Engineering
Research assistant: Alexander Ke, '22, computer science major
Health Disparities and Chronic Disease Control in China and Thailand
Residents in low- and middle-income countries, especially in rural areas, often lack access to effective prevention and control of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) compared to their counterparts in high-income countries. Even in health systems with universal coverage like Thailand and China, delayed diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, diabetes, and other NCDs often leads to preventable complications and shortened lives. This research opportunity supports a network of researchers studying how to enhance cost-effective NCD control in Thailand and China, in comparative international perspective.
Faculty supervisor: Karen Eggleston, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI)
Research assistants: Lorenzo de la Puente, '21, economics major; Merrell Guzman, '20, economics major
On the Promise and Limitations of Non-Violent Protest: Evidence from the Indian Independence Struggle
This project involves researching biographies, and merging and entering data from secret intelligence sources and other archives on individuals who participated in India's struggle for independence. The aim is to understand who they were and what the institutional features were that allowed the movement to be successful when it was, and to fail when it did.
Faculty supervisor: Saumitra Jha, Graduate School of Business
Research assistants: Ravi Tadigadapa, '21, economics and international relations majors; Lusha Jetley, '23, economics and political science majors
Analyzing the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Asia
This project aims to collect epidemiological data in multiple countries in Asia (Korea, China, Taiwan) and examine how COVID-19 affected economic activity and perceptions.
Faculty supervisor: Yong Suk Lee, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI)
Research assistant: Yu Jin (Emily) Choi, '21, economics and Iberian and Latin American cultures majors
Building a New Moral Political Economic Framework
This project aims at building a new moral political economic framework that draws on contemporary understandings of human beliefs, values, and institutions. Such a framework must be based on better economics models, and better models of the state. It must take into account the values that people hold dear and that can inspire action. And it must enable new forms of sociability. Underlying the new framework is the question of what role technology can and should play, and what models of governance will enable us to foster innovation and harness technology for the good of society.
Faculty supervisor: Margaret Levi, Department of Political Science
Research assistants: Isaac Arocha, '21, economics major, data science minor; Camilla Camargo, '22, public policy and international relations majors
Reducing Lead Exposure in Bangladesh
This is a solution-oriented research project to reduce lead exposure. The three objectives of the project are to improve the knowledge on lead toxicity and exposure in Bangladesh, develop and pilot novel “incentive compatible” processes and technologies that reduce lead contamination within the battery and turmeric industries, and evaluate the uptake of the interventions to reduce lead exposure in Bangladesh.
Faculty supervisor: Stephen Luby, School of Medicine
Research assistant: Evelyn Correa, '22, economics major
Investigating the Effects of Public Name-and-Shame Programs Designed to Deter Human Trafficking in Various Sectors of Brazil's Economy
This project investigates the effects of public name-and-shame programs designed to deter human trafficking in various sectors of Brazil's economy. The team will use time series data on corporate share price and valuations, as well as supply chain relationships to analyze the impact of being inspected by human trafficking task forces, and being named on Brazil's "Dirty List" on corporate profit and corporate governance.
Faculty supervisor: Grant Miller, School of Medicine
Research assistant: Ana Carolina Paixao de Queiroz, '21, economics major
Women's Political Participation and Electoral Representation in India
When does women's political participation change politics and governance? This project studies the consequences of the way that women reach political office by looking at the intersection of women’s political participation and electoral representation in shaping local politics and service delivery. To do so, the project utilizes detailed government data for one state in India, Madhya Pradesh. Additionally, this project draws on more than 200 semi-structured interviews conducted in the field to document the nature of political mobilization and engagement. The goal of this project is to compare across male and female led governments, and across villages with and without politically mobilized female citizenry, to understand how women's political behavior shapes the outcomes of politics.
Faculty supervisor: Soledad Prillaman, Department of Political Science
Research assistant: Armelle Grondin, '21, economics major, mathematics minor
Increasing Sustainable Sanitation Access and Reducing Environmental Impacts of Chemical Manufacturing in Senegal
Lack of excreta collection and treatment endangers individual and community health across the developing world, particularly in rapidly growing urban centers. Through collaborative work at Stanford and in Dakar, Senegal, Professor Tapeh’s research team aims to increase sustainable sanitation access and reduce environmental impacts of chemical manufacturing by producing disinfectants and fertilizers from wastewater. Based on previous laboratory development and field trials, the research team will establish proof-of-concept of an electrochemical separation process to recover ammonia disinfectants and fertilizers from urine. By combining molecular-scale laboratory investigations with real-world evaluation, this multidisciplinary effort aims to prioritize future optimization efforts and business model development.
Faculty supervisor: William Tarpeh, Department of Chemical Engineering
Research assistants: William Chow, '21, chemistry major; Anna Park, '22, biomechanical engineering major, political science minor