The CLAS Tinker Field Research Grant supports master's, doctoral, and professional school students conducting pre-dissertation fieldwork in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, excluding Puerto Rico. The grants provide an opportunity to establish professional and institutional contacts, assess potential research sites, and refine dissertation project proposals. Recipients of the CLAS Tinker Field Research Grant have enjoyed notable success in obtaining subsequent dissertation research support as well as placement in key teaching, research, and other professional positions.

This program is funded with the generous support of the Tinker Foundation.


  • University of Chicago master’s or doctoral students in the preliminary stages of graduate study with little or no previous field experience are invited to apply.

  • Students who have not defended their dissertation proposals are eligible to apply.

  • Students from all divisions and professional schools are encouraged to apply.

  • Students who are citizens of Latin American countries may apply, but are only eligible to receive awards to conduct research in their home countries if they have NO previous field research experience in that country.

Duration of the Grant

  • Students are required to travel for a minimum of 2 weeks and may travel for up to 4 months.

Fellowship Benefits

  • Allowable costs include transportation (international airfare and in-country travel such as bus, taxi, train, flights, and car rentals), lodging, food, and visas. Allowable field-related expenses may include minor research expenses. For 2023, applicants may apply to conduct field research, remote research, or a combination of the two.

Application Process

The following materials must be submitted via the online application.

  • Application form
  • Current transcript
  • A 2–5-page narrative description of the proposed research project (purpose of the trip and/or remote research, likely sources of data and their locations, qualifications to undertake the project, and its relevance to research and academic goals)
  • Itinerary for the trip and its duration and/or timeline for remote research
  • Itemized budget
  • Letter of recommendation from the faculty adviser
  • Supplemental Materials: Where appropriate, applicants should demonstrate that host institution arrangements have been established by providing letters confirming access to facilities or archives or permission to conduct interviews or other human-subject research. Please note that all proposals involving Human Subjects must meet IRB approval by the intended date of receipt of the grant.

As you prepare to submit your application, please review the links below.

Terms and Conditions

CLAS Tinker Field Research Grant awardees shall:

  • conduct a schedule of full-time research as described in the application for the duration of the award period if they are going to the field
  • submit the following items within 30 days of return from the field or use of remote research funds:
    • itemized expense report accompanied by paid receipts
    • 2–3-page narrative report of award activities
    • 3–5 photographs of research trip
  • share their work in a public forum within 9 months of the end of the award period—options include the CLAS Tinker Colloquium, workshops, conferences, symposia,  as well as the CLAS blog and other online communications
  • acknowledge the support of the Center for Latin American Studies and the Tinker Foundation in any publication, film, or other product resulting from supported research

Questions? Please contact CLAS student affairs.