EPIC is saying goodbye to six pre-doctoral fellows as they move onto new opportunities this fall. These fellows worked closely with EPIC-affiliated faculty and staff on exciting research projects on climate and energy. The highly-competitive fellowships provide young researchers who have completed their bachelor’s or master’s degrees the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience working full time with EPIC-affiliated faculty and researchers.

This year’s departing class—including Jesse Adelman, Pranjal Drall, Alina Gafanova, Bogdan Mukhametkaliev, Kaixin Wang, and Yixin Zhou—are pursuing advanced degrees in Law, Sustainable Development, Finance, and Economics. Each will leave with the strong support network of professors, postdoctoral scholars, and colleagues who helped advance their research skills, knowledge base and career paths.

Jesse Adelman

Faculty Supervisor: Eyal Frank

Jesse Adelman worked with Assistant Professor Eyal Frank studying the efficacy of The Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in regulating fishing in the United States. The Act attempts to balance the economic needs of the fishing industry with ecological goals to prevent fish populations from collapsing.

Adelman will be attending Berkeley Law School where he plans to focus on environmental, immigration and labor law.

“Working at EPIC has certainly been everything I could have hoped for and more. Having the opportunity to assist in exciting research with talented faculty, meeting other passionate pre-docs from diverse backgrounds, and living in Chicago for the last few years—all while advancing my future career opportunities—makes me confident that I couldn’t have better spent my time any other way.”

Pranjal Drall

Faculty Supervisors: Ryan Kellogg and Thomas Covert

Pranjal Drall worked with Professors Ryan Kellogg and Thomas Covert, where he worked on “Frack Time versus Slack Time,” a project focused on productivity in the U.S. fracking industry. The project examines the contrasting notion that firms increase productivity when oil prices drop, despite traditional economic theory stating otherwise.

Drall will be heading to Yale University to pursue a joint JD-PhD program in Financial Economics.

“At EPIC, I gained firsthand experience with in-depth research and learned how to shape my research career. I learned to see the broader context and produce research that’s not only interesting to academic economists but also relevant for policymakers. Furthermore, it enabled me to build lasting relationships with my fellow pre-docs and faculty members at UChicago.”

Alina Gafanova

Faculty Supervisor: Amir Jina

While at EPIC, Alina Gafanova worked with Amir Jina, assistant professor at Harris Public Policy, on projects related to the economic impacts of natural disasters and monsoon seasons.

In the fall, Gafanova will be starting a PhD in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

“Working at EPIC helped me shape my research interests and improve my technical skills. I am grateful to Amir Jina and everyone at EPIC for the support and mentorship I received.”

Bogdan Mukhametkaliev

Faculty Supervisor: Michael Greenstone

Bogdan Mukhametkaliev worked with EPIC Director Michael Greenstone in estimating the demand for electricity in rural India using experimental data and discreet choice methods. He also worked on evaluating the impact of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) on electricity prices and renewable generation in the United States.

Following the predoctoral fellowship, Mukhametkaliev will be pursuing a PhD in Finance at Duke.

“My experience at EPIC solidified my interest in pursuing a career in economic research. As a predoctoral fellow, I learned from my faculty supervisor, Michael Greenstone, how to find and answer questions that are not only interesting to economists but also policy relevant. It was also a great chance to learn from peers and make life-long friends.”

Kaixin Wang

Faculty Supervisor: Michael Greenstone

Kaixin Wang worked with Director Michael Greenstone on projects such as measuring the impact of Renewable Portfolio Standards on electricity prices and renewable generation in the United States, evaluating the willingness to pay for clean air by estimating the demand for pollution masks in India, and analyzing the efficacy of a pollution market in India using emissions data and trading data.

Wang will attend UC Berkeley for a PhD in Economics.

“During my time at EPIC, I pinpointed my interests in energy and environmental economics and sharpened skills that will be useful for my future research. I am grateful for Professor Greenstone and his co-authors’ valuable guidance, as well as the strong support provided by Michelle and other administrative staff. I will always cherish the memories and experiences shared with my coworkers/friends at EPIC and BFI.”

Yixin Zhou

Faculty Supervisor: Koichiro Ito

Yixin Zhou worked with Associate Professor Koichiro Ito, where she studied the impact of electricity market integration on solar energy investment in the context of Chile.

Zhou will pursue a PhD in Economics at Harvard University.

“My experience at EPIC has been fantastic. I am very grateful to my PI Prof. Koichiro Ito, who has been an amazing mentor. I learned how to approach empirical research and how to develop a deeper understanding of economic questions. I learned a ton about energy markets, which I am personally interested in. I grew so much as a researcher here. EPIC has also allowed me to meet a great community of friends. I will miss my time here!”