Student Engagement





PovGov collaborates with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) to provide field research internships to Stanford undergraduates through the Dachs Fund for Undergraduate Research. Since 2010, Professor Beatriz Magaloni has served as a faculty mentor, guiding students in this valuable first-hand research experience. Participants travel to Guatemala to explore issues of maternal and children's health and to study the impact of local governance on health outcomes.

“What I have truly come to recognize is that amidst the lushness of this beautiful country lies a hidden truth of hard choices and a hard life. Maria Contreras, '11”

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Professor Beatriz Magaloni and PovGov’s team provide Stanford students with the opportunity to engage in research on the ground and to experience the development of research projects from their core. The goal is to expose students to methodologies, strategies and some of the challenges faced when conducting sensitive research in areas of risk. Through a variety of activities that include site-visits, meetings with different stakeholders, as well as talks with academics and the civic society, students are able to immerse themselves in the world of on the ground research, as they learn the importance of interacting with human subjects, evaluating the overall political and social scenario, building a network of local collaborators and establishing and strengthening partnerships in order to carry out comprehensive research work. PovGov’s on the ground research initiative also aims to expose students to new avenues of investigation, encouraging innovative ways to approach issues of crime, violence, poverty, entrepreneurship and the social fabric.

Click here to read more about the Bing Overseas experience in Rio de Janeiro.

“Going to Brazil this summer was the trip of a lifetime. We were very lucky to have gifted faculty and staff who worked hard to put together such a rich program. This opportunity has literally shifted my frame of mind on many issues I was previously naive about. I have gained a more global perspective and had the opportunity to contemplate the effects of mega events on marginalized people.”

- Marilyn Travis, ‘16 — in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro.






In efforts to engage students in research initiatives, PovGov has established several partnerships with international universities. The goal is to promote interaction and collaboration between Stanford and academic institutions abroad to facilitate the expansion of research activities and contribute to the development of local students’ research skills.  Students are encouraged to engage in fieldwork, data collection and database analyses for several projects, as well as to participate in workshops and training promoted by the program aimed at enhancing competencies and helping foster knowledge. Since 2013, students from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) have engaged in several projects conducted by PovGov. For example, they collaborated in the georeferencing of an extensive homicides database for a project about violence and the use of lethal force by Rio’s military police. As part of this project, in Rio de Janeiro, PovGov worked with students from the Laboratory for the Analyses of Violence (LAV) at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) to conduct a large-scale survey with over 6,000 police officers from Rio’s state police. In Mexico, PovGov trained local students to carry out ethnographic work in Chiapas and Oaxaca – which was vital to the development of the research platform on traditional governance, citizen engagement and local public goods in Mexico. Not only did these trainees contribute an essential element to the overall research, but they also learned useful tools - which are crucial in helping them preserve their culture and language by constructing ethnographic profiles and enriching the current documentation available on these underrepresented indigenous communities.

"Being part of the Program on Poverty and Governance has given me the opportunity to get involved in a relevant research agenda, to realize about the challenges in obtaining or creating databases and the satisfaction of hard work. Furthermore, I’ve grown from the interaction with the work team members, their guidance and support”- Montserrat Trujillo, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).


Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas team (students credentials) 

ITAM Student Bios


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