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(SEI) is an international non-profit research organization that works to shift environmental policy and practice towards sustainability. In 2006, SEI and Tufts University formed a formal partnership in order to foster a mutual relationship of research and progress in sustainability that benefits from the dedication of both parties to innovation and improvement within the environmental sector. In celebration of the 10th year anniversary of the partnership, SEI and the Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) launched a new internship program for Tufts students to participate in SEI internships.
The internship is co-sponsored by TIE and SEI and provides students the opportunity to gain valuable, real-life experience working on global environmental policy issues throughout one school year. The students will also receive enrichment through participation in TIE’s ongoing student development activities in conjunction with TIE’s Environmental Research Fellowship program. Overall, the students will benefit from the guidance and mentorship provided by both SEI and TIE and the joint commitment to diversity of disciplines, fields, and research methods in accordance with the measures of excellence of both organizations.
(1 of 2) Robust Decision Making with WEAP for USAID’s Sustainable Water Partnership program
Overarching Research Project – The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is a five-year cooperative agreement that supports U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s thought leadership, innovation and action in global water security by integrating water security issues into Mission programming through relevant, Mission-specific initiatives. The goal is to develop comprehensive water security intervention strategies using locally owned solutions at the water basin, sub-basin and local catchment scales. See https://test-swpwater.pantheonsite.io/about/ for more details.
The program is currently working on two pilot projects: Stung Chinit (Tonle Sap basin) in Cambodia, and the Mara basin in Kenya and Tanzania. In both, SWP will commence a stakeholder-driven water security improvement process to identify and support the implementation of key actions that build resilience to the growing constraints with water resources and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services. The steps will include:
Bringing together key stakeholders in a participatory water security improvement process;
Identifying and prioritizing key water security risks and vulnerabilities with cutting-edge assessment tools adapted to the local context;
Analyzing potential impacts, outcomes and trade-offs on water availability and quality across different water management options and development trajectories, based on the specific expectations articulated by each stakeholder group;
Identifying and implementing specific, prioritized water security measures that build resilience to priority risks and that remain robust in a range of possible scenarios; and,
Developing a learning agenda to inform and enhance water security programming in the project sites and around the world through proof of concept, evidence generation, structured learning, and wide dissemination of knowledge gained.
Student Research Project – The student could pursue two different aspects of work within one of the two project sites: policy/stakeholder engagement, or quantitative analyses using the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) System to support robust decision making. Both projects will have had project launch activities by March 2018, and would move towards Steps 2, 3 and 4 outlined above in the following year.
Internship Deliverables – Expected deliverables would include: An agreed upon set of goals for the year of the fellowship; Monthly reports; Policy briefs or working paper with analysis; Presentation at a seminar or brown bag at SEI
Student Requirements – The student could support this project either via policy/stakeholder engagement, or via quantitative analyses. In either case the expectation is that the student is highly motivated with a background in these areas of research.
Travel Requirements – Depending on the interest of the student, travel could be to either Cambodia or Kenya/Tanzania
Pay rate – $18/hour
(2 of 2) Supporting Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Action Planning using SEI’s LEAP Modeling Framework
Overarching Research Project – SEI’s energy modelling program works to support developing countries in their energy and climate mitigation planning activities, which includes developing analyses to support their submissions on greenhouse gas mitigation to the UN Climate Convention (UNFCCC) and to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). SEI’s activities include conducting trainings and technical support and developing scenario analyses in partnership with agencies in many developing countries. Much of our work is centered around helping countries to apply SEI’s Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) software, a tool for energy scenario modeling. For more info on LEAP, see: www.energycommunity.org
Student Research Project –It is envisaged that the student will develop a LEAP-based GHG mitigation analysis for a country, preferably to provide a starting point for that country’s own analysis as the basis for its submissions to the UNFCCC Paris process. See: http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/Pages/All.aspx. Alternatively, there may be similar opportunities to engage with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to support countries developing National Action Plans on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs). This process is managed by UNEP and also supported by SEI. See: http://ccacoalition.org
We will coordinate with the UN Global Support Program and UNEP to identify which countries would be a good fit for this work. It is likely that the work will also provide the opportunity for the student to closely engage with agencies in the country, possibly including the opportunity to travel to the country to train users of the model and to work collaboratively with local practitioners to refine the analyses to make it as useful as possible to the needs of the country. The student will be expected to document the analysis for the country and co-author a paper (preferably submitted to a peer-reviewed journal) describing the analysis. The student will also be expected to spend time providing technical support to LEAP users via the LEAP web site, email, and other media.
Internship Deliverables – Expected deliverables would include: Monthly progress reports; A LEAP-based greenhouse gas mitigation analysis for one country; A final paper (preferably submitted to a peer reviewed journal) describing the analysis; A presentation at a seminar or brown bag at SEI; Time spent delivering technical support to LEAP users.
Student Requirements – The student taking on this project must be highly motivated and will need strong quantitative skills and experience using tools like Excel, Matlab or R. Programming skills are not required, but would be useful. More importantly, the student should have experience and a strong interest in international climate and energy policy. Prior knowledge of SEI’s LEAP software is not required since this project will provide ample opportunity to learn about LEAP.
Travel Requirements – Depending on the interest of the student, travel to selected country may be possible.
Pay rate – $18/hour
Through the TIE-SEI Internship program the student will work directly with SEI researchers and will be expected to:
Work out of the SEI office (11 Curtis Ave, Somerville, MA 02144) at least 2-4 days and up to 20-30 hours per week during the summer, with fewer hours per week during the fall and spring semesters
Produce the expected deliverables of the internship, which will likely develop further during the course of the internship
Travel, as needed, to the project locations
Through this program the student will also participate in TIE’s on-going student development activities as part of TIE’s Environmental Research Program, which includes:
Attendance at six specific events:
The Spring orientation brunch for all new TIE Fellows and TIE-SEI Interns;
The Fall retreat for all fellows and interns in your cohort;
A Fall formal recognition dinner for all current fellows and interns, current faculty advisors, and recent alumni;
One or more research workshops organized by and for your cohort;
One or more presentations given by other TIE fellows and interns within your cohort, and;
The Spring orientation brunch for the new cohort of incoming fellows and interns.
Preliminary results submitted in poster format in advance of the Fall formal recognition dinner.
Presentation of preliminary or final results to the greater Tufts community during the academic year. The TIE Coordinator must be notified at least 2 weeks in advance of the presentation in order to disseminate the presentation details to the other fellows.
Participation in the ongoing evaluation of the TIE-SEI Internship program.
Collaboration with TIE’s and SEI's communications teams to develop communication pieces of your research for public view.
The general timeline for this program will be one year from April of the first year to May of the concluding year with any major, data collection activities to occur during the summer (June-August).
TIE and SEI’s support for research completed during the internship must be acknowledged in any form of dissemination, including, but not limited to, publications, posters, oral presentations, and website postings.
To be eligible for the fellowship program, applicants must be:
Currently matriculated in a Tufts University graduate school,
Continuing their studies throughout the upcoming academic year,
Available and able to travel to the country location(s) of the internship,
Based in or around the Medford area and physically available able to work from the SEI Medford location through the duration of the internship,
Qualified for the skills and background requirements referenced in the internship descriptions, and
Committed to executing the proposed internship tasks.
Applications for the 2018-2019 opportunities are now closed.
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If you have any questions, please contact Jill Parlee, Assistant Director for Programs by email or at 617-627-3645.