LAWRENCE — This spring, the University of Kansas Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies will award Tinker Field Research Grants to graduate students for research in Latin America during 2016. The funds come from the Tinker Foundation.
Interested students can find application materials and directions on the center’s Graduate Funding Page. An informational session for interested applicants will take place at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, in 318 Bailey Hall. Applications are due before noon Feb. 15. The grants are open to graduate students in any field, including the natural sciences and professional programs.
The Tinker Foundation has supported the center in the past with field research grants, from 1996-1998, 2001-2004 and 2008-2011. This year will be the last of the current three-year cycle of funding that began in 2014, and the awards will be higher than in previous years. The foundation requires that grantee institutions wait two years after the end of each grant period before applying again, so this will be the last opportunity until at least 2019. During each of the previous periods, at least 60 graduate students were funded for short-term research abroad. These students went on to develop superior research proposals for external funding based on their time in the field as well as superior dissertations and theses. Many are now faculty members themselves, while others enjoy successful careers in private industry, the nonprofit sector and government service.
Tinker recipients often pursue projects related to public health, conservation, community development, anthropology, culture, education, music and art. Project sites may range in Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking countries from the Southern Cone to the Caribbean islands and from countries in Central America to the border regions of Mexico. Recent grantees have visited such countries as Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil.
“Tinker Field Research Grants let graduate students go where they’ve never gone before,” said acting Center Director Brent Metz. “Our past experience makes it clear that they find the opportunity to make contacts and conduct exploratory research in the field a life-transforming experience. Our past Tinker fellows have done well in national competitions for larger research grants and on the job market. Many go on to dedicate their lives to Latin American issues.”