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LACS Tinker Field Research Grants for Graduate Students

Funding Applications due March 1

LACS will accept funding applications until May 10, 2021, or at least two weeks before intended travel, whichever date comes sooner. Apply here. Questions? Contact

The LACS Tinker Field Research Grants are funded by the Tinker Foundation, the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, LACS, the LACS-Brazil Initiative, and the International Institute to support master’s, doctoral, and professional school students conducting preliminary or pre-dissertation fieldwork in Latin America. The grants provide students with the opportunity to establish professional and academic contacts, assess research sites, and refine their projects. Master’s candidates may use the funds for projects related to research or their theses. Ph.D. students may use the funds for preliminary dissertation research.

Research projects must be conducted in the Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America and trips must last a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four months.

Awards, up to $2,500, are made based on the quality of the proposal and the academic progress of the applicant. Funds cover international airfare, in-country transportation, and some field-related expenses.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions, we understand that some students may not be able to complete their projects as expected. On a case by case basis, and in consultation with The Tinker Foundation, LACS may approve some hybrid (in-country and remote) or virtual (fully remote) projects. Eligible non-travel dependent expenses include:

  • Access to digital resources such as archives, subscriptions, etc.
  • Access to primary documents such as books, subscriptions, etc.
  • Software required for research
  • Hardware equipment, not to exceed $200
  • Transcription, translation, and interpretation services
  • Compensation for local collaborators at the field research site (Note: such arrangements must follow U-M standards and guidelines, and reflect relevant ethical and health/safety measures)
  • Connectivity (internet access, phone cards, etc.) for local researcher collaborators, research partner organizations, or field sites.


U-M students enrolled in an M.A. degree, professional degree, and/or Ph.D. degree are eligible to apply for the grant. Priority, however, will be given to students enrolled in the LACS certificate program and those pursuing a Ph.D. degree. Master’s students are encouraged to apply. There are no nationality restrictions. The awards must be used for brief research projects, two weeks to four months in duration. Travel or virtual project must take place between May and December 31 of the award year.

Projects must take place in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America. Students who wish to propose projects in countries in which Spanish or Portuguese is not spoken should contact Alana Rodriguez at to discuss other funding options. Note that projects of at least one month in duration may be eligible for funding through the International Institute’s Individual Fellowship.

LACS Tinker Field Research Grants are not to be used for dissertation research but rather to provide graduate students with their initial exploratory experience in developing independent research projects and conducting fieldwork in Latin America.  

Grant Requirements

  • All awardees will be required to register their travel with the U-M Travel Registry on Wolverine Access and purchase U-M International Travel Health Insurance for the duration of the trip.
  • Final report (3-5 pages long) must be submitted within two weeks after travel. This report should include,  at minimum, a brief reiteration of the purpose of the trip and a description of previous research, international, or field experience, activities undertaken and objectives achieved while abroad, lessons learned, and/or recommendations for others conducting similar field research, and the uses to which the findings or results will be applied.
  • Awardees are required to participate in a workshop to share the results of their research in the fall of the same year.  
  • Any thesis, publication, video, or audio clip resulting from this research experience must include acknowledgment of funding provided by LACS, the Tinker Foundation, and co-sponsors, and a copy must be sent to LACS at the time of publication.

Application Instructions

Please submit the following application materials by 11:59 p.m., March 1, via the online application

*Note: Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the II Student Fellowships Resource Page prior to beginning the application process. This page provides detailed information on the application components.

The application includes:  

  1. Online Application form
  2. One recommendation letter
  3. Statement of Purpose: (single-spaced, 12-pt. font, 3 pages maximum, including any bibliography, citations, project timetable, graphics, etc.)
  4. Project expense sheet 
  5. Letter of Invitation or Description of In-country Resources
  6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  7. U-M Transcript.


There is one application for all of the following awards (subject to eligibility): II Individual FellowshipsRackham International Research Award, African Studies Center Funding for Research or Internship Support in AfricaArmenian Studies Program Summer Research GrantsSummer Grants for Research and Internships in Europe & Eurasia, and the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies Field Research Grants. Please visit the links above for more information and to verify your eligibility.

All travel must follow current guidelines, which are detailed in the International Institute Travel Policy