Gradtasks enable graduate students to experience working for desired employers while still in school. And Entities expand research capacity without impacting their budgets.
A GradTask is a project a nonprofit or public entity delegates to a graduate student to perform remotely.
GradTasks enable intelligent, motivated graduate students to experience working for desired employers while still in school. These GradTasks expand entities’ productive capacity while minimally impacting budgets. At the moment, the majority of employers and students populating this site have an environmental focus.
GradTasks can take many forms:
- Type of work. If you are in graduate school and have a professional interest in environmental issues (i.e. clean energy, land use, air quality, water quality, etc.), there is likely a GradTask for a student with your profile. GradTasks may target students with policy, business, legal, humanities, and social sciences backgrounds. They also may target students with backgrounds in math, natural sciences, engineering, computer sciences, etc.
- Time Commitment. GradTasks could take less than one hour, or they could entail commitment of several weeks or months.
At present, environmentally-oriented graduate students from a diverse group of universities, including Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Michigan, Berkeley, and Johns Hopkins, are engaging in GradTasks.
The GradTask concept was piloted in early 2014 with 4 graduate students from Duke University performing tasks for reputable environmental nonprofits. Two of the four students subsequently received summer internships from their GradTask supervisors, and a third student had their GradTask supervisor write recommendations for her as she applied to other jobs. The nonprofits, in the meantime, received four fantastic work products from intelligent and motivated volunteers at no cost, as well as confidence that these students would make productive, manageable interns.
"Not only did my GradTask lead to an internship, I continued to work with my GradTask supervisor after my internship for my master's thesis. At the moment, the paper my GradTask supervisor and I have co-authored is in review at the peer review journal Energy Policy."
~ Xinxing Zhang, MEM '15, Duke Nicholas School.