TINKER FIELD RESEARCH

GRANT PROGRAM

Since 1979, the Tinker Field Research Grant (FRG) program has provided support to graduate students in U.S. universities to conduct pre-dissertation or master’s thesis research in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America. Through its funding, matched by universities, the Foundation has supported more than 9,000 individuals to conduct field research in Latin America.

Based on insights from an external evaluation conducted in 2019, Tinker has launched a new approach for field research grantmaking, the Tinker Field Research Collaborative.

SELECTION

CRITERIA

In selecting universities to receive FRG funding, the Foundation considered:

Quality of the overall program in Latin American Studies, with emphasis on its graduate component

Immediate benefit to the Latin American Studies program that will result from the availability of Field Research Grants at the university

Level of general university support for Latin American Studies as demonstrated by past commitments and future projects

HIGHLIGHTS FROM

FRG PROGRAM EVALUATION

2019 marked the fortieth anniversary of the FRG program. Tinker used this milestone as an opportunity to assess the continued relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of its field research grantmaking. The evaluation conducted independently by the Institute of International Education, concluded that the program is “a highly useful, cost-effective, and impactful opportunity for graduate students.” The evaluation also provided recommendations, drawn from student and Center feedback, on potential strategic and administrative improvements. Tinker considered these recommendations as well as its own grantmaking experience in the decision to create the Tinker Field Research Collaborative.

FRG PROGRAM

ADMINISTRATION GUIDELINES

The program is funded jointly by the Tinker Foundation and each university, subject to these guidelines:

Open to graduate students from all academic disciplines, including professional schools

Funds are for pre-dissertation or thesis field research at the master’s or early-stage doctoral levels, or for those pursuing professional degrees. Funds are not to be used for dissertation research

Funds may be used for travel and field-related expenses for pre-dissertation or thesis field research in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela)

Individual grant recipients are to be selected by a representative committee incorporating faculty members from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools with significant experience in Latin America

Citizens of Latin American countries enrolled at United States institutions are eligible to receive awards to conduct research in their home countries provided they have not had previous field research experience in that country

All funds – those provided by the Foundation as well as the matching funds – must be disbursed to students in modest grants (generally between $1,000 and $2,500)

Awards may be used at any time during the calendar year

The minimum duration of field research is for two weeks and maximum is four months

No administrative costs may be deducted by the university

Centers that receive a $10,000 grant must distribute a minimum of six awards. Centers with a $15,000 grant must distribute a minimum of nine awards

STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

As a low-income, first-generation college student, I did not have the opportunities that many of my wealthier cohort members had to go and visit the places we wanted to do research in. Tinker was instrumental in giving me that “first look” experience where I could get the lay of the land, meet people, and develop a research project for my dissertation that was community-defined.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

The cultural exchange and my understanding of the complex cultural aspects of environmental issues that I gained through the Tinker FRG has been transformational in how I view my work and environmentally related work broadly… I have taken these lessons to heart and draw on them daily, even if the majority of my work is now focused on the United States.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

The FRG experience put me in touch with academics (in Latin America) who helped me rethink my project entirely. I would not have the dissertation topic I have without that rigorous mentorship.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

The fieldwork that I was able to conduct in El Salvador thanks to the Tinker FRG was a real turning point. It allowed me to throw myself into a sink-or-swim situation where it was up to me to figure out whether I could really construct and carry out a coherent research project independently.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

The experience gave me tools that I use in my research today. And although I cherish the time I spent in the Amazon, the experience forced me to reflect on my personal goals, and I realized I did not want the career of a tropical biologist, as I always had thought.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

I was able to discover that my original idea for dissertation research was not viable and adjust accordingly.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

It was the seed grant that opened up my academic career.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

The Tinker FRG provided the catalyst for my future studies and research in Latin America. From that initial project, I was able to develop a research program that produced valuable collaborations, three journal articles, and two chapters of my dissertation. I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and several additional field research grants which have helped me pursue my career goals.

testimonial-team (Demo)
Place FRG
Year

The research contacts I have established, the inspiration I gained through them, and my fieldwork in Peru have all been crucial for shaping me as a researcher.

Additional

INFORMATION

For additional information, please reach out to:

Avi Richman

arichman[at]tinker[dot]org

Moving forward with grantmaking during COVID-19: updates for applicants.
LEARN MORE

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap