The IIC Summer Policy Lab combines an academic approach with an action-oriented perspective to translate research findings into on-the-ground impact. 


The Opportunity


The International Innovation Corps (IIC) at Chicago Harris is partnering with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), USAID, Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM) to launch a summer opportunity to address pressing issues in biodiversity conservation policy in Brazil.

Three UChicago graduate students will spend 10 weeks in Brazil bridging the gap between cutting-edge scientific findings and Brazil’s efforts to reach zero deforestation.

Students will work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team with an international group of students, researchers and policy experts. This is an exceptional opportunity to study the effects of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and create actionable recommendations to the Brazilian government. Working in Brazil with biodiversity and ecosystem experts, policy experts, students and government officials, UChicago students will learn how research can be used to drive broad-scale change across one of the world’s most important and vulnerable ecosystems. 






A great deal of what we know about the interactions of deforestation, forest resilience, agriculture and climate comes from a group of Brazilian and US researchers who have developed a series of large, integrated experiments on forests, fire, watersheds, soils, climate and agricultural practices. This team includes Christopher Neill (WHRC), Paulo Brando (IPAM), and Michael Coe (WHRC) and others who conduct ecosystem and biodiversity-related research at Tanguro Ranch in Mato Grosso.


Students in the IIC Brazil Summer Policy Lab will collaborate with research teams, Brazilian students, ecosystem experts, policy experts, and government officials.

They will identify important­ policy questions and assemble and apply data from field experiments and other sources to develop and evaluate policy options targeted at Brazilian Amazon forest and biodiversity conservation.

Students will research strategies, economic models and policies for the implementation of the Brazil Forest Code to protect forest and riparian buffers.


Tanguro science team meeting Nov 2014.jpg

Participating Students Will...


Spend the summer in the Brazilian capital collaborating with a global team of leading scientists, policy experts, and Brazilian students to tackle pressing environmental challenges. Engage in basic language training at UChicago. 

Travel from Brasilia to Amazonian sites to gain first-hand experience of the region’s most important conservation and ecological challenges. Analyze comprehensive datasets from research sites in the Amazon to evaluate policy implications.

Work on a collaborative, multidisciplinary team to generate policy statements for how new policies might impact biodiversity in the Amazon. Put policy expertise to use by presenting specific policy recommendations and an implementation strategy to the Brazilian government.



The application has closed for the
2017 Brazil Summer Policy Lab. 




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