GPS assistant professor brings luck to England’s World Cup team
Enamored with libraries and the rich cultural history, Gaurav Khanna focuses on migrant research while at the University of Oxford’s Summer Research Institute
Aug. 28, 2018 | By Rachel Hommel | GPS News
For faculty at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), summer is a time to catch up on research and prepare for the new academic year. But for Assistant Professor Gaurav Khanna it was a time to commune with people from all over the world, and strengthen his body of work as a leading labor economist.
From legal scholars to art historians and sociologists, Khanna shared meals and academic insight with these experts in their fields at the University of Oxford’s Summer Research Institute. Each year, the program welcomes one academic or senior administrator from participating institutions to Oxford’s Harris Manchester College to undertake research or finish writing up a project.
"The Oxford Summer Research Institute provides a rare opportunity for faculty to spend a week at one of the world's premier institution advancing their research without the distractions of everyday life,” said Dean Peter Cowhey. “Respites like this are vital for productivity, and this one is made possible by the generosity of an alumnus, now turned donor.”
We connected with Khanna for details on his time at Oxford, and learned about his newfound love of soccer. Here’s what he had to say.
What specific research did you focus on while at the Summer Research Institute?
While I was at Oxford, I was working on research related to migration and outsourcing. There are faculty members there working on topics like the “future of work”, studying how automation and technology transfers across countries affect production all over the world. It was great to hear their thoughts and receive feedback on some of my own research, which studies the sharing of technology across migrant networks and how that relates to outsourcing and high skill immigration.
More and more of our products are being produced in countries where they are hiring migrants. In my paper “The IT Boom and Other Unintended Consequences of Chasing the American Dream,” I look at the connection between migration and the shift in where production takes place. Essentially, what is happening is a technology transfer, which is having big effects on countries like India where the IT sector is booming. It was great to network with scholars from different disciplines, like immigration law, which I found very exciting.
How did being removed from your normal workspace enable you to look at your research differently?
The program is set up like a workshop, and it’s a nice regimented scheduled where you can sit and write and meet people over meals. It’s great not doing any errands or cooking! I would go and write in a different library every day to be inspired by a different type of history and architecture. Discussing research with a new set of faculty is always helpful for a young researcher like me, as I get to know what other folks are working on.
Did you make any new connections or find new collaborators while abroad?
While I scheduled a few meetings in advance, it was very easy to meet people organically. The whole research process was very collaborative, from emailing paper drafts to sending comments on our writing. I think it was great for me to talk to faculty from across many different departments at Oxford – the Blavatnik School of Government, the Economics Department and the School of International Development – many of whom are working on issues related to developing countries, and related migration.
Personally or professionally, what was the best part of your trip?
I was there during the World Cup and England was doing pretty well. I got caught up in the fun and learned all their "football" chants! I’m pretty sure I was a lucky charm for the England football team because as soon as I got on my flight back home, they lost in the semi-finals.
Also, for someone who reads fantasy and sci-fi, Oxford is quite a treat. Most of Harry Potter was filmed there, from the dining halls to the staircases. Because we were members of the university during our stay, we could go anywhere. They were also filming the Golden Compass, His Dark Materials from my rooftop!
In sum, why are research retreats such as this important for faculty members?
The great thing about the whole institute is that I could have regimented writing time free of running errands. You can break away from all the things you are used to doing. There were always hot meals waiting for me at meal times, and in between I would jump in and out of the library to write, or go meet a faculty member working on similar issues. I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity.
- Ten things to know about our COVID-19 world
- Class of 2020 shines brightly in the face of adversity
- Students honored for academic achievements, contributions to GPS community
- Juneteenth and the GPS Community
- Statement on George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery
- A day in the life of a remote student
- Ulrike Schaede and the business reinvention of Japan
- Robertson Fellows show commitment to public service
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Jessica Keegan MAS '16 of the International Republican Institute
- A rundown of binge-worthy shows and films
- Global connections foster global solutions
- Taking the reins at CGT
- A message from Dean Cowhey on COVID-19
- A gift to enhance U.S.-China relations
- Reflections of a harrowing journey through China's turbulent revolution
- A day in the life of a teaching assistant
- Ensuring diversity and inclusion
- Deploying mangroves to fight climate change
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Alisha Tomita-Yu ’16 of Oracle
- Student group puts focus on China
- Decoding the Hong Kong protests – and more
- Is the MPP the right degree for me?
- Through knowledge we gain understanding
- Mapping a cleaner San Diego
- A day in the life of a NCAA Woman of the Year Honoree
- Nirupama Rao defines the future of Indo-Pacific relations
- Winter reading for the bibliophile
- Alumni-nominated spotlight: Booz Allen Hamilton consultant Maura Deignan
- Leading from the front
- Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies expands research on drug war and migrant crisis
- A marriage of policy and advocacy
- Decarbonizing the grid
- Sylff Fellows translate vision into reality
- Stanford study finds poor air quality responsible for one in five infant deaths in sub‑Saharan Africa
- Office hours: Associate Professor Jennifer Burney
- Class of 2018 graduates embody global citizenry and leadership
- Science Policy Fellows program nurtures effective interdisciplinary scholars
- Building cross-border relationships
- Geoengineering a greener future
- Sponsored Student Spotlight: Adnan Saygili
- Celebrating academic excellence
- Painting the picture of an MPP student’s day
- Gregory Lee looks at the future of digital health and technology
- A sustainable seafood hero
- Pass the pen: Alumnae nominated spotlight
- Campus recognizes alumni as leaders and changemakers
- Innovation in mobile technology
- Ian Johnson chronicles the rise of religion in China
- Writing the book on China’s economic policy
- Broadening horizons through international experience at BCG
- Office hours: Professor Gordon McCord
- New evening option for working professionals
- China's infrastructure investment as a development strategy
- Rethinking the war on drugs in Mexico
- Creating theoretical frameworks
- Nurturing future leaders at TechPolis
- The future is female
- Jamal Russell Black on Veridian Analytics' entrepreneurial spirit
- Love is in the air
- A day in the life of an MCEPA student
- Health and human capital
- Eduardo Porter finds journalistic inspiration at GPS
- Technology assessment at the nexus of STEM and policy
- IGCC receives coveted UC research grant
- Battery storage at the center of energy policy
- Researching how humans and the environment interact
- Office hours: Professor Ulrike Schaede
- Fighting wildfires with web based imagery
- United we dream
- Our 2017-2018 Boren Fellows
- Applying game theory to study behaviors
- Students craft views on climate change at COP23
- Molding future technical experts
- Why GPS: A niche in life
- The art of entrepreneurship
- Solar energy and pursuing the policy dream
- Social entrepreneur and first time author Ken Davenport ’90 of “The Two Gates”
- Why GPS: Discovering a passion for all things math
- Our 2017-18 Dean’s Fellows
- A Living, Learning Laboratory
- A ‘Prep Program’ for success, before day one
- Office hours: Professor Gordon Hanson
- Adding to a truly interdisciplinary academic environment
- Why GPS: Apply now and figure it out later
- Sponsored Student Spotlight: Noritoshi Kurokawa
- West Coast-Trained for a Washington, D.C. Think Tank
- Linked in Latin America
- Facilitating a ‘family affair’
- Nico Ravanilla retreats to Oxford for research
- 2016 alumni remember their first year in the real world
- Pioneering international excellence
- Research at the border: A living laboratory of transformation