Research Assistantship for Solar Power Deployment/Iron and Steel Production in Developing Countries

Project Overview:

Solar energy now accounts for nearly 3.72 percent of electricity generation worldwide, but it is growing rapidly. Emerging markets accounted for the majority of growth in solar power in the last decade. While still relatively small, solar capacity in Southeast Asia, Africa and South and Central America have experienced rapid year-over-year growth since 2013. Falling module prices and national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are believed to have driven adoption at scale. However, many developing countries located in tropical and subtropical regions have not captured the benefits of solar power with their geographical advantage. Are there factors that differentiate the pace of solar power adoption among countries and regions? What sources of finance and specific policies or regulations have contributed to major solar power installations in some developing countries? What factors may have constrained sustainable and large-scale adoption in these countries? Is it helpful to develop its own solar module production capacity to support a country’s solar power deployment? To address these questions, we will compile a detailed dataset of all major solar power projects in developing countries and analyze the conditions for their success or failure from different dimensions.

The second project is pertinent to the environmental impact associated with the iron and steel plants invested by foreign companies in developing countries. Steel demand in the developing world excluding China grew by 10.7% in 2021 and is set to continue rising to support their manufacturing and infrastructure development. The types of technologies used in these foreign invested iron and steel projects will have a relatively long-term impact on the carbon footprint of steel production in these developing countries. For this reason, it is worth investigating green innovation efforts of these foreign parent companies and the types of steelmaking technologies that they have adopted in their overseas projects. This iron and steel project compares the greenness of these foreign invested steelmaking projects and analyzes how environmental or climate policies of the investors’ countries (mainly China, Japan, and EU countries) have influenced the carbon intensity of their overseas investments.


  • Collect detailed project information regarding the two industries mentioned above.
  • Collect other data or proxies for measuring the welfare effects and environmental impact of these projects.
  • Perform comparative analysis of the collected data.

We are looking to hire two part-time RAs working approximately 5 – 8 hours per week for 10 weeks.  The pay rate is $17/hour.  Qi Qi will be the supervisor.  Work can be conducted remotely.


  • Enrolled as a student at Fletcher
  • Advanced research skills
  • Interest in, and some knowledge of, solar energy/iron and steel industries
  • Familiarity with basic economics
  • Be comfortable researching environmental and climate policies of different countries
  • Be comfortable delving into some technical details of solar power projects or steelmaking processes
  • Computer skills (e.g. Microsoft Office Suite, internet applications)
  • Excellent writing skills


Please send to no later than May 27:

  • A statement of interest and qualifications
  • Your CV

Tufts University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and actively seeks candidates from diverse backgrounds.

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