Field Research Funding

Students from Vanderbilt University. Credit: Beth Koontz
Students from Vanderbilt University analyze skeletal remains in the south-central highlands of Peru. Credit: Beth Koontz

Updated November 7, 2019 

The Tinker Foundation announces its call for applications for the Tinker Field Research Collaborative. Please read the Call for Applications for more information, which replaces existing information on program guidelines and application procedures. As previously, individual students should contact their university's Latin American studies center (or related program) for information and application materials. Visit the Grants Awarded section to view the list of universities that currently administer Tinker Field Research Grants.

The Field Research Grant (FRG) program, which began in 1979, provides support to graduate students in U.S. universities to conduct research in Latin America. When created, the stated program objectives were to 1) promote the study of Latin America by U.S. graduate students by directly supporting research, and 2) foster contact and relationship-building between U.S. and Latin American individuals and institutions.

Tinker FRGs are awarded to universities and typically administered by Centers for Latin American Studies, which select student recipients through a competitive, campus-based application process. FRG funding is available to graduate students from all academic disciplines. Pre-dissertation doctoral students and those seeking master’s or professional degrees are eligible to apply. The program offers students an opportunity to acquire a deeper knowledge of language and culture; to familiarize themselves with information sources relevant to their studies; to conduct pilot studies and preliminary investigations that will inform their dissertation proposals or theses; and to develop contacts with scholars and institutions in their fields of study.

To date, Tinker has granted more than $6.5 million, matched by over $4 million in university funds, to more than 40 U.S. universities, supporting field work in Latin America for nearly 9,000 individuals. Today, approximately a third of FRG recipients are citizens of Latin American countries enrolled in U.S. graduate programs.

2019 marks the fortieth anniversary of the FRG program. Tinker used this meaningful milestone as an opportunity to assess the continued relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and impact its field research grantmaking. The evaluation, conducted independently by the Institute of International Education, concluded that the program is “a highly useful, cost-effective, and impactful opportunity for graduate students.” The evaluation also provided recommendations, drawn from student and Center feedback, on potential strategic and administrative improvements. Tinker considered these recommendations as well as its own grantmaking experience in the decision to create the Tinker Field Research Collaborative.

Call for Applications for Tinker Field Research Collaborative

The Tinker Foundation invites U.S. universities with Centers for Latin American Studies (or the equivalent) to submit applications for the Tinker Field Research Collaborative. With forty years of experience in funding field research in Latin America, Tinker is launching the Collaborative to connect Centers committed to working together to enhance the impact of the student field research experience. Successful applicants to the Collaborative will receive field research grant funding for their Centers for a five-year period and have access to opportunities for network-building and knowledge exchange. The Collaborative replaces Tinker’s prior annual selection process for field research grants, i.e., the Tinker Field Research Grants program.

The Call for Applications outlines the background, objectives, eligibility considerations, and application and award process for the Tinker Field Research Collaborative.