Students at the Joint Program

A key aspect of our mission is to cultivate the next generation of global change researchers. While we do not grant degrees, students participate directly in our core work, within collaborative, multidisciplinary research teams. The program's student research assistants hail from a wide range of departments and disciplines, such as climate and ecosystems science, economics, urban planning and political science. They include PhD, master's degree candidates and undergraduates.

The Joint Program Student Experience

Supported by unique access to state-of-the-art computing and policy analysis, students involved in Joint Program research find many opportunities to publish and present their research, to teach and to develop other professional skills.

Guided by Joint Program faculty and research scientists, our student research assistants have:

  • developed an aerosol-cloud interaction model to enable more accurate assessments of the climate’s response to aerosols
  • led a study on how China can dramatically increase its use of wind power
  • developed a model of natural emissions of methane from the biosphere
  • coauthored a study on U.S. economic benefits of a global mercury emissions reduction treaty

For more examples, see our lists of current students and student publications below.

Joint Program students meet regularly to discuss global change issues, present their work and teach one another about research methods. They also initiate innovative sessions for the MIT Independent Activities Period. Graduate students engaged in Joint Program research have gone on to faculty positions at U.S. and European universities, taken highly responsible government posts and assumed leadership roles in their field.

How to Become a Joint Program Research Assistant

To participate in Joint Program research, a student must first be enrolled in an MIT academic degree program. While a student enrolled in any department at MIT may pursue Joint Program research, most of our research assistants have an academic advisor (a faculty member or senior scientist/engineer) who is affiliated with the Joint Program. Prospective students should therefore apply to whichever academic department best fits their interests, and consult with potential advisors about research possibilities. To learn about how to apply to MIT and departmental requirements, please visit the MIT admissions website.

Common departments, programs and schools for Joint Program research assistants include:

Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences / Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate

Institute for Data, Systems and SocietyTechnology and Policy Program

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Urban Studies and Planning

Economics

Sloan School of Management

Political Science

Joint Program Student Publications

Student Dissertation or Thesis
Libardoni, A.G. (2017).
PhD Thesis, College of Earth and Mineral Science, The Pennsylvania State University [Download]
Student Dissertation or Thesis
Kearns, J.T. (2017).
Master of Science Thesis, Institute for Data, Systems and Society/Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering, MIT [Download]
Student Dissertation or Thesis
Shen, X. (2017).
Master of Science Thesis, Technology and Policy Program, MIT [Download]
Student Dissertation or Thesis
Giang, A. (2017).
PhD Thesis, Institute for Data, Systems and Society, MIT [Download]
Student Dissertation or Thesis
Singh, A. (2017).
Master of Science Thesis, Technology and Policy Program, MIT [Download]

Joint Program Affiliated Students

  • Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
  • Joint Program
  • Technology & Policy Program
  • CGCS
  • Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
  • Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
  • Joint Program
  • China Project
  • Joint Program
  • Joint Program
  • Sloan
  • Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
  • Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
  • Joint Program
  • Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
  • Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences
  • Joint Program
  • Joint Program
  • Joint Program
  • Joint Program
  • MIT Technology and Policy Program, Engineering Systems Division
  • Joint Program
  • CECP