Photo courtesy of Maria del Mar Estrada Rebull, 2019 LACS Tinker Field Research Grant Recipient.

It is an incredible honor to announce that LACS was selected to participate as an inaugural member of the Tinker Field Research Collaborative, securing funding for graduate students doing preliminary fieldwork in Latin America for the next five years! We are one of eleven Centers for Latin American Studies across the U.S. that will participate in this new program. A full listing of the members can be found here.

Since 1979, the Tinker Foundation has provided support to graduate students attending U.S. universities to conduct pre-dissertation, exploratory research in Latin America through its Field Research Grant (FRG) program. The FRGs, awarded to universities and typically administered by Centers for Latin American Studies, supported more than 9,000 recipients over its 40-year history. LACS has proudly received generous Tinker Foundation support through the FRG program for many years.

Following a comprehensive external evaluation of the program in 2019, The Tinker Foundation launched an enhanced program that seeks to deepen the impact of the field research experience for students and create a learning community of Centers.

The new program, the Tinker Field Research Collaborative, provides five years of support to selected Centers. Through the Collaborative, Tinker will not only fund student field research but also promote opportunities for joint experimentation, tool-building, and knowledge exchange on the institutional level. This may include pre-departure support to students, resources to encourage responsible practices in field research, networking of current and former FRG recipients, and approaches for monitoring, evaluation, and program improvement. In addition, members of the Collaborative commit to supporting graduate students for whom field research would not otherwise be possible.

LACS received funding at the $15,000/year level from the Tinker Foundation, along with generous matching funds from the International Institute and the Rackham Graduate School. This is a total of $30,000/year or $150,000 over the five-year grant period dedicated to graduate student research.