Visiting Undergraduate Research Program

The Visiting Undergraduate Research Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students at NYU New York, NYU Shanghai, and UAE-based universities to take part in research projects at NYUAD over the summer.

During summer 2021, CITIES opened two visiting undergraduate research positions in collaboration with NYUAD Transition Investment Lab under the supervision of TIL Executive director Bernardo Bortolotti.

NYU New York students Thomas Leung & Zihan (Bruce) Wen have been provided with a basic introduction to sustainable finance and impact investment by reading selected papers and reports. Additionally, two related tasks have been assigned to them:

Literature review of impact measurement and management methodologies, frameworks, and tools

Students have been invited to review the impact measurement frameworks developed by the major operators (IRIS +, Impact cloud, B Impact Assessment, GIIRS, Lean Data, Y-Analytics, Omidyar, SASB, SIFN, and SDG Impact) by describing the methodology, evaluate pros and cons, and provide case studies and useful links. This review is a critical step for the development and validation of the TIL model.

Support in the classification of a global transaction database of sovereign wealth funds
transactions according to ESG/impact themes

Under the guidance of TIL senior researchers, students will contribute to classifying 4,000+ individual investment deals executed by global sovereign wealth funds over the 2000-2020 period using IRIS+ thematic taxonomy, allowing to identify ESG related investment by an important class of global asset owners. This proprietary, augmented database will be used for empirical analyses about ESG related SWF investment trends to be published (with credit to students and CITIES) in the forthcoming TIL annual report.