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Undergraduate Field (or Remote) Research Assistant Program

The Undergraduate Field (or Remote) Research Assistant Program offers opportunities for full-time fieldwork or remote research experience to Stanford undergraduates interested in global poverty and development across disciplines. When Stanford University travel policies allow, selected students spend up to 12 weeks in a low- or middle-income country conducting full-time research for a Stanford faculty member or affiliate. Each research assistant receives a stipend to cover travel and living expenses.

  • Full-time research assistant positions will be offered spring and summer quarters of the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Per Office of the Provost policy, students must be enrolled full-time for two quarters (which do not need to be consecutive) and use their "Flex Term"(formerly known as summer quarter) to participate. 
  • International student must consult with Bechtel before attempting to take a "Flex Term" without three quarters of full-time enrollment first.
  • A "Flex Term" cannot count towards one of the two enrolled quarters. 
  • Students are eligible for only one "Flex Term" and one full-time, Stanford-funded experiential learning opportunity during the entire academic year; these must be taken at the same time. 
  • Students may not participate in this program while on a leave of absence (LOA).  

Students are welcome to apply to multiple opportunities, but must apply to each field research project separately via the Stanford Off-Campus Learning Opportunities (SOLO) website. This program is open only to current Stanford undergraduates. 

Please note that research must be conducted remotely until Stanford University policies allow international travel for undergraduate students. 

*Applications for 2020-21 full-time research assistant positions for summer quarter are now open! For more information on available positions, please see here. *

The 2020-21 application deadlines are: 

  • Spring quarter projects: Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 11:59 pm
  • Summer quarter projects: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 11:59 pm

Previous opportunities:

The summer 2019-20 opportunities included research projects that spanned topics from increasing sustainable sanitation access and producing disinfectants from wastewater as well as implementing strategies to improve the sustainability of clean water and hygiene services in rural healthcare facilities in Africa, to health disparities and chronic disease control in East and Southeast Asia, how COVID-19 affects technology adoption, staffing, and quality of care in nursing homes in China and other East Asian countries, and women's political participation and representation in India.  Focus countries included China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Senegal, Thailand, and Uganda. Some of these opportunities were part of Stanford's Cardinal Quarter initiative that supports students to pursue full-time, quarter-long public service opportunities locally, nationally, and across the globe.  2019-20 summer research projects were conducted remotely due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and Stanford University travel restrictions.  

The summer 2018-19 opportunities included research projects on work ranging from the impact of technology on entrepreneurship; the socioeconomic impacts of urbanization; and improving sustainability of water, sanitation, and hygiene services in rural healthcare facilities; to how moderization affects business performance of small scale retailers. The locations included Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Rwanda, Thailand and Uganda. Some of these opportunities were part of Stanford's Cardinal Quarter initiative that supports students to pursue full-time, quarter-long public service opportunities locally, nationally, and across the globe. 

The summer 2017-18 opportunities included research projects spanning India, Indonesia, Senegal, and Cote d'Ivoire and dealt with subjects ranging from blasphemy laws and political elections to medical care and artisanal traditions. Some of these opportunities were part of Stanford's Cardinal Quarter initiative that supports students to pursue full-time, quarter-long public service opportunities locally, nationally, and across the globe. 

The summer 2016-17 research assistants evaluated the effect of secondary school scholarships on life outcomes in Ghana, conducted exploratory interviews with households and business in Côte d’Ivoire for a study on the impacts of urbanization, and gathered recently declassified data to examine when civil disobedience movements succeed in India.