Call for Student Applications
Field Research Trip: A delegation of professors and students from the University of Toronto will visit India to conduct research on clean cook stoves in March 2014. The delegation will interview actors from across the clean cook stove value chain, including engineers, manufacturers, distributors, and end-users. Prakti, a social enterprise that designs and manufactures clean cook stoves, will host the delegation. The delegation will explore research opportunities with respect to clean cook stove technology, marketing, distribution, use, adoption, and impact measurement. Students will have the opportunity to learn from and assist professors from political economy, engineering, business, and health, who study poverty and innovation in developing world settings. Students will have the chance to learn about and assist with cutting-edge, interdisciplinary, practice-oriented research on how to improve the design and delivery of impactful products to the poor.
Background: Nearly 3 billion people cook daily on open fires or rudimentary cook stoves. Exposure to smoke from traditional cooking practices causes four million premature deaths per year. Household fuel combustion contributes to climate change, households may spend up to a third of their income on cooking fuel, and women and girls may spend many hours collecting fuel and cooking. Clean cook stoves, which burn more cleanly and efficiently than traditional cooking methods, can make a significant impact on the lives of the poor.
Dates: March 23, 2014 – March 30, 2014
Locations: Auroville and Chennai, India
Cost: Flights, accommodations, and transportation in India will be covered by the Faculty of Arts and Science Dean’s International Initiative Fund. Each student may be required to fundraise up to $500 for other trip expenses.
Eligibility: This opportunity is open to all full-time undergraduate degree students in the Faculty of Arts and Science (St. George Campus) who have reached the age of majority. In an effort to provide as many international opportunities as possible for Arts and Science students, priority will be given to students who have not participated in Faculty of Arts and Science off-campus funding opportunities previously (Internationalized Course Module, 399 Research Excursion, Germany/Europe Fund or the Dean’s International Initiatives Fund).
Deliverables: This is an intensive research and experiential learning opportunity that requires a significant time commitment throughout second semester. Students will work as a team and meet as needed before and after the trip to deliver the following:
Before the trip, students will conduct secondary research, produce and present briefings on research areas including clean cook stove technology, marketing, distribution, use, adoption, and health and social impact measurement. Students will also assist with trip logistics, including arranging interviews for the field visit.
During the field visit, students will observe and assist professors in interviews with clean cook stove stakeholders during the first half of the trip. Students will conduct their own interviews with clean cook stove actors during the latter half of the trip. As well, students will work with Prakti to develop opportunities for University of Toronto students to intern with Prakti.
After the field visit, students will assist professors in synthesizing insights collected during the trip into a research article. Students may also be asked to assist professors in preparing research grant applications based on the field visit. As well, students will write articles based on findings and reflections from the field visit, which will be published on the Asian Institute website. Finally, students will present research findings and reflections on a panel at the Asian Institute at the Munk School in April 2014.
Logistics: Students will be required to register on the University of Toronto Safety Abroad database and attend pre-departure meetings. It will be the students’ responsibility to make arrangements with their professors for missed classes and assignments. The Asian Institute will provide supporting documents about the trip upon request.
Applications must include the following:
- CV (2 pages maximum. Please include student number and date of birth.)
- Updated complete transcript from ROSI
- Statement of interest (1 page maximum)
- 500 word write-up on the significance of clean cook stoves for poverty alleviation
Only complete applications will be considered. Submissions must be emailed as a single pdf document with the application components in the above order to firstname.lastname@example.org. The document title should be in the following format: “SURNAME Given Name 2014 India”. The subject line of the email should read “Application for India Clean Cook Stove Project”. A professorial committee will select students, and students will be notified of application results within one month of the submission deadline.
Deadline: January 17, 2014