Graduate Student Projects


1. Policy Paper and Oped
2. Translating Economics research: Wage inequality in China
3. Translating Economics research: Fairness and inequality
4. Translating History research: Devotional saints in Brazil and Peru
5. Writing Economic Development and anti-poverty Policy
6. Dissertation into creative writing, journalism, blogs, etc.
7. Reaching policy makers, think tanks, military leaders and other decision-makers
8. Developing curatorial proposal, exhibition reviews, other public art writing
9. Economics and Public Policy to a general audience: health policy in Asia
10. Professional writing in Financial industry
Undergraduate Thesis Projects
11. Health care and Public Policy
12. Graffiti and Street Art

If you’re interested in being a reader for one of these students, please email us at readerproject@duke.edu.

1. Policy Paper and Oped

I am a third year PhD student in Cultural Anthropology. My research is broadly about questions of energy transition, green capitalism, and large-scale technological change. Through a study of industrial wind farms in Southern Mexico and the engineers and policy makers who design and deploy wind turbines, I hope to shed light on the messiness of “green” technologies once they hit the ground.

I am working on a policy paper for the Woodrow Wilson Mexico Institute, which I hope to deliver to them in January/February 2014. It is a short 5 page paper about the wind energy landscape in Mexico and social challenges. This would be the first project I would like to work on. In addition, I see my research as part of a broader question about renewable energy, and see the field work I have been doing as speaking to so many issues confronting us here in the US. I would really like to write oped articles in the future to use my knowledge beyond the academy, and have some opportunities for more creative writing.

First project – 5 page policy paper for the Woodrow Wilson Center on the Wind Energy Landcsape and social issues in Mexico  Second Project – OPed piece on the rise of natural gas extraction in the US energy market and its effect on the renewable energy sector.

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2. Translating Economics research: Wage inequality in China

I am a graduate student in Economic Department, Duke University. Before coming to Duke, I earned my bachelor degree in Finance in Zhejiang Gongshang University in China. As a graduate student in Economics, my primary research interests are in the wage inequality and social inequality. From year 2011 to 2012, I led a project to examine the mechanism of economic openness on labor-demand elasticity and wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. This project was the only one in my undergraduate department to receive the government fund in China. My senior thesis further discussed how the social network can affect the wealth inequality in China through human capital accumulation. Outside the academia, I also engaged in and organized various student activities in my undergraduate study, including organizing student seminars, establishing student academic journals, and helping establishing alumni network system.

The opportunity to work with the real world issues is the most attracting fact for me to participate the Reader Project.

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3. Translating Economics research: Fairness and inequality

I am a Turkish grad student currently in the sixth year of Economics PhD program. My research area is behavioral economics, an interdisciplinary area between Economics and Psychology.

I’d like to practice talking to/writing to nonacademic audiences about my research – which I believe they would find very interesting (if can tell the story good)

My project is about fairness views towards inequality in income distribution. I am studying how beliefs about the system that generates income influence the fairness views. Specifically, I look at whether the system involves (1) agency, (2) procedural justice influences whether people find the income inequality fair or not.

I believe it would be most helpful to have a reader with professional experience in Economics, experience in journalism, and/or popular writing in economics related topics.

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4. Translating History research: Devotional saints in Brazil and Peru

I am a fourth-year PhD student in History at Duke University and a Baltimore native studying visual culture in colonial Latin America. Spanning disciplinary, linguistic, and imperial boundaries, my dissertation charts the dynamic process through which popular saints worshipped and/or crafted by or for popula