Gokul Sampath is a 2023-24 Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) Fellow and PhD student in the department of urban studies and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gokul's research centres on improving access to safe drinking water in developing countries. He was awarded the Rasikbhai L Meswani Fellowship for Water Solutions by J-WAFS for his work on behavioural health strategies to address the issue of arsenic in drinking water in India and Bangladesh. His research tests whether the injunctive norms enabled by caste ties constrain villagers’ ability to choose the safest water source.
Prior to his studies at MIT, Sampath received a master’s degree in Middle East, South Asian, and African studies from Columbia University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and history from the University of California at UC Davis. He has extensive experience working on water management in India, beginning in 2015 as a Fulbright scholar studying households’ water source choices in arsenic-affected areas of the state of West Bengal. He also served as a senior research associate with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, where he conducted randomised evaluations of market incentives for groundwater conservation in Gujarat, India.