LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (CLACS) has been chosen as one of 11 area study centers nationwide to participate in the first grant period of the Tinker Field Research Collaborative.
The Tinker Foundation’s Field Research Grant (FRG) program was founded in 1979 to provide support to graduate students in U.S. universities to conduct research in Latin America. 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. Following a comprehensive external evaluation of the program in 2019, this year the foundation is transitioning an enhanced program that seeks to deepen the effect of the field research experience for students and create a learning community of centers.
The new program, the Tinker Field Research Collaborative, will not only fund student field research but also promote opportunities for joint experimentation, tool-building and knowledge exchange on the institutional level. This includes potential collaboration on areas such as 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 January 2020, CLACS was successful in securing a two-year Tinker Field Research Grant. Following the center’s acceptance into this new Field Research Collaborative, research funding will now extend for five years, with $15,000 per year ($75,000 total) provided by the Tinker Foundation and matching funds provided by the KU Office of Research and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The center will join 10 other Latin American studies centers throughout the country in participating in this prestigious and exciting new program.
“The Tinker grants offer graduate students the unique opportunity to engage in early-stage funded research abroad, and we know from our history with Tinker that these grants are absolutely transformative for our students,” said Marta Caminero-Santangelo, center director and KU professor of English. “While contemplating research travel is of course difficult right now, this funding provides a bright spot for our center as we look forward to soon supporting student travel once again.”
Graduate students in the early stages of their degree (not yet at the dissertation stage) across all fields and disciplines will be able to apply for research funding to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Applications will be made available in fall 2020.