Announcing the Tinker Field Research Collaborative

Posted: AUGUST 20, 2020

The Collaborative represents a new chapter in Tinker’s support for field research in Latin America.

The Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of the Tinker Field Research Collaborative in partnership with 15 U.S. universities.

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.

Following a comprehensive external evaluation in 2019, we are launching an enhanced program that seeks to deepen the impact of the field research experience for students and create a learning community of Centers. The design of the Collaborative reflects insights from the external evaluation about the significance of field research for early-career scholars and opportunities for better supporting their experiences in the field.

Under the new program, Tinker will provide five years of support to selected universities for student field research in Latin America. Participating Centers will engage in joint experimentation, tool building, and knowledge exchange across campuses. These activities may include pre-departure support to students, resources to encourage responsible practices in field research, opportunities for networking among current and former FRG recipients, and approaches for monitoring, evaluation, and program improvement. In the near term, Centers will discuss how to approach field research during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, considering the needs and wellbeing of student researchers and the communities they visit.

The announcement of the participating Centers follows a call for applications conducted by Tinker in late 2019. Eleven of the 15 Centers were selected through this competitive process. These Centers will receive five years of funding from Tinker, to be matched by their respective universities. The selected Centers offer strong institutional commitment to Latin American studies, a proven track record of support for field research, and a demonstrated demand for field research funding. The four remaining Centers will participate in the Collaboration as affiliate members, drawing on funds from existing Tinker endowments and internal resources rather than receiving additional funding from Tinker.

The combined group of 15 participating Centers is distributed across the United States and brings a diversity of discipline strengths and sub-regional expertise on Latin America. They are committed to addressing equity and inclusion when distributing funds and will seek out graduate students for whom field research would not otherwise be possible. Of the 11 Centers selected through the call for applications, nine are public universities, three are designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and another three are “emerging” HSIs.

Although travel restrictions may inhibit field research in the near term, learning and promoting understanding within our hemisphere has never been more important. We look forward to working with the inaugural members of the Tinker Field Research Collaborative over the next five years to make field research opportunities available to hundreds of promising scholars.

University  Center 
Columbia University*Institute for Latin American Studies
Florida International UniversityKimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center
New York UniversityCenter for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
San Diego State UniversityCenter for Latin American Studies
Stanford University*Center for Latin American Studies
Tulane UniversityStone Center for Latin American Studies
University of ArizonaCenter for Latin American Studies
University of California, BerkeleyCenter for Latin American Studies
University of Chicago*Center for Latin American Studies
University of FloridaUF Center for Latin American Studies
University of IllinoisCenter for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
University of KansasCenter for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
University of MichiganCenter for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
University of Texas at AustinTeresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison*Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program

*Affiliate member funded through existing Tinker endowment and other Center resources.

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