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OPPORTUNITIES FOR LUBY LAB

New (5 January 2021): Stanford PhD Student: Leading an RCT

Please see Announcement

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From: Steve Luby <sluby@stanford.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 12:23 PM
To: Stephen P Luby <sluby@stanford.edu>
Subject: Field research opportunity for Stanford PhD student

 

Dear all,

Attached is a PhD research opportunity. I would appreciate your circulating it to potentially interested students.

Steve

--
Stephen Luby, MD
Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases & Geographic Medicine)
Director of Research, Center for Innovation in Global Health
Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment
Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Stanford University

 

Seeking a Stanford PhD student interested in leading a randomized controlled field trial in Bangladesh

 

Problem statement

Across South Asia, the brick manufacturing industry is dominated by inefficient kilns that generate enormous quantities of black carbon, carbon dioxide, and fine particulate matter. The pollution released by the brick industry impacts local air quality and health and agricultural productivity, as well as contributes to global climate change. Globally, 6.5 million deaths are attributable to air pollution, however the vast majority of pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Reducing the emissions and air pollution generated by this industry has the potential to achieve massive social benefits in terms of improved health and slower global warming. Rather than being costly, many improvements that increase combustion efficiency can increase kiln profits, but take-up is limited. A number of barriers are at play preventing successful adoption and sustained use of improved technologies among kiln owners. We propose a randomized intervention among traditional kiln owners in Bangladesh that relaxes these barriers to improve kiln performance and ultimately reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Current hypotheses

Kiln owners lack information on the private returns to well-managed zigzag kilns (i.e. benefits are unknown and/or misperceived)

Kiln owners lack knowledge and capacity to properly build and fire a zigzag kiln

Asymmetric information & misaligned incentives between owners and managers prevents owners from being able to enforce correct adoption

A porthole attachment that diffuses the coal fed into a kiln can improve combustion efficiency.

 

We currently have a strong team including a Stanford faculty with 18 years of experience conducting studies in Bangladesh, a Stanford faculty economist, a postdoctoral scholar whose PhD work focused on brick kilns in Bangladesh, experts in kiln design and upgrading based in Delhi, a team of Bangladeshi scientific collaborators who have close relationship with the Bangladesh Brick Manufactures Owners Association and 8 years of experience conducting research on the brick manufacturing in Bangladesh. Some background work for the study has already been published and three other important articles are in review.

 

We have funding to support pilot studies of the social science interventions to a) improve knowledge on the private returns and on the techniques to properly build and operate a zigzag kiln and b) the interventions to address the potential asymmetric information and misaligned incentives between owners and managers. We also have support for a small pilot on the acceptability of the porthole attachment. This will also be a class project for students in mechanical engineering (ME 170) in winter and spring quarter. We have also secured funding for the subsequent randomized controlled trial in 500 kilns. We envision one year of piloting and 18 months to complete the trial.

 

We are looking for a Stanford PhD student who is interested in leading the trial and using the results for at least one chapter in their PhD. The PhD student would be a thought partner in working through how we move from funded proposals to more specific plans of implementing the study. S/he would provide support across the broad range of study implementation activities.

 

We are seeking a student with

* field work experience in lower income countries

* strong skills in

  - critical thinking

  - problem-solving

  - communication

  - teamwork

  - quantitative data analysis

* knowledge of

  - randomized controlled trials

  - economic theory

  - sampling

  - questionnaire development

  - qualitative research methods

 

We are open to the range of PhD disciplines that engage with the substantive component of this work.

 

If you are interested, please reach out to Steve Luby at sluby@stanford.edu

New (26 November 2020): Research Assistant: Sustainability Initiative


-------- Forwarded Message --------

Subject: Suggestions for potential research assistants?

Date:      Thu, 26 Nov 2020 12:50:57 -0800

From:     Steve Luby

To:          Luby Lab

 

Dear Luby Lab colleagues,

Attached is a proposal for which we received 1 year of initial funding from Stanford's Sustainability incubator.

We have a first pass list of 10 industries in Bangladesh that we are interested in further considering. We are looking for a research assistant who can help us work through this list, to help identify the most productive areas for us to engage. We also envision a counterpart in Bangladesh (informal recruitment underway) as well as support from Kathy Burke, who will help assess Stanford faculty interest in varying opportunities.

An ideal research assistant would be passionate about this type of work, have some background in environmental concerns and business practices. Actually, the ideal RA would have familiarity with business practices in lower income economies. Through your social networks you may be aware of people who would be interested and could assist.

I welcome your sharing this with potentially interested students and letting me know about potential candidates.

Steve

--
Stephen Luby, MD
Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases & Geographic Medicine)
Director of Research, Center for Innovation in Global Health
Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment
Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Stanford University

What we look for:

RESEARCH ASSISTANT:

* SKILLS                                                                                

   -  Data Analysis

   -  Data Cleaning                  

   -  R (programming language)

   -  Survey creation                  

   -  Machine Learning

   -  Remote Sensing       

   -  Project Management 

   -  Fieldwork Experience

   -  Foreign Language (Bengali)       

 

* We are open to all RAs in all quarters (including summers).

* We are open to motivated students who don't necessarily have these skills but have a passion for improving health and an eagerness to learn.

* Note:  We are always looking for Computer Science students for all projects.

 


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LUBY LAB MEETING SCHEDULE

Day Date Time
Friday August 28, 2020 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday September 10, 2020 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM
Thursday October 8, 2020 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday November 12, 2020 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday December 10, 2020 (canceled) 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday January 14, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday February 11, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday March 11, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* April 8, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* May 13, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* June 10, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* July 8, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* August 12, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* September 9, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* October 14, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* November 11, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
Thursday* December 9, 2021 2:05 PM - 3:30 PM
  * Subject to change