Field Research Grants Overview

Please note the following changes which take effect as of Fall 2015:

** Stipulations regarding travel versus non-travel expenses have been lifted **
** Centers receiving $10,000 grants must distribute a minimum of six awards **
** At least nine awards must be made at the $15,000 level ** 

Tinker Field Research Grants are awarded to university Centers or Institutes of Latin American Studies for the provision of travel grants to graduate students with little or no previous field experience so they can conduct pre-dissertation research in specific regions of Latin America defined here as the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of the region.

Awards are open to students across all academic disciplines. The goal of the program is to offer students an opportunity to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of language, terrain and culture; to familiarize them with information sources relevant to their studies; to conduct pilot studies and preliminary investigations that will inform their dissertation proposals; and to develop contacts with scholars and institutions in their fields of study. Pre-dissertation doctoral students and those seeking master’s or professional degrees are eligible to apply for support.

Award Levels

Two levels of support in the Field Research Grants competition are available – $10,000 and $15,000 per annum.  Programs that are less developed and/or relatively new are encouraged to apply for the $10,000 level award.

Matching Requirement

Successful Centers or Institutes must match the award with a minimum of the amount awarded with funds from the university or other sources.  The matching monies must be unencumbered, real monies.  Overhead and faculty time are not deemed eligible to meet the matching funds requirement.  The total sum of the Tinker Foundation award plus the matching, unrestricted funds from the university or other sources must be allocated to individual recipients to cover the cost of international and in-country travel and limited field-related expenses.  No administrative costs may be deducted.


Three new Tinker Field Research Grants may be awarded annually for each funding level.  Each award will be for one year initially, with the possibility of two one-year renewals if the program satisfies program objectives.  Thus, the total Tinker award at the $10,000 funding level, if renewed for both extensions, will be $30,000 with a matching requirement over three years of $30,000.  The total Tinker award at the $15,000 funding level, if renewed for both extensions, will be $45,000 with a matching requirement over three years of $45,000.

Recipients are permitted to apply for a new round of support after a hiatus of at least one full calendar year from the time they complete the final year of their award program, expend all funds and submit the required reports.  For example, if all funds have been expended and all reporting requirements have been met by the end of 2016, the earliest a Center or Institute may reapply is October 1, 2018.  The year 2017 would be a hiatus year, during which an application will not be accepted.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the Foundation's selection process:

  1. Quality of the overall program in Latin American Studies, with particular emphasis on its graduate component.
  2. Immediate benefits to the Latin American Studies program that will result from the availability of Field Research Grants at the university.
  3. Level of general university support for Latin American Studies as demonstrated by past commitments and future projects.


Applications must be received in the Tinker Foundation offices by October 1.