Tinker Field Research Grant
Need funding for your summer fieldwork in Latin America? Graduate students in any department can apply for funding through the Tinker Field Research Grant.
The application deadline for the 2023 competition is FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 11:59PM.
About the Program
Tinker Field Research Grants provide degree-seeking graduate students with funds for travel to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as limited field research expenses. These awards allow students to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of language and culture, to familiarize themselves with information sources relevant to their studies, to conduct pilot studies and preliminary investigations, and to develop contacts with scholars and institutions in their fields. Fifteen universities, including the University of Arizona, form part of the Tinker Field Research Collaborative. The UArizona Center for Latin American Studies administers the Tinker for graduate students on this campus.
The Tinker Foundation supports travel and field-related expenses for master’s and pre-dissertation fieldwork in Latin America during the summer (May through August). Applicants who plan to complete an M.A. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation will be given priority over students who plan to utilize an examination option to complete their degree.
To apply for the Tinker Field Research Grant, you must:
- Be a University of Arizona graduate student in good standing from any academic discipline.
- Plan to conduct master's thesis or pre-dissertation field research in a Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking country in 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)
- Have proficiency in the language appropriate to your research location.
- Plan to conduct at least 21 full-time days of research in the field and a maximum of four months.*
- Be registered for spring semester prior to travel and the fall semester after your return.
*Most students spend 6-8 weeks in the field during the UArizona Summer Term (mid-May to mid-August).
How to Apply
Please click on the link below to read detailed instructions about how to prepare for and submit the online application:
Tinker Application Instructions
The online application will ask for the following documents:
- Project narrative and budget
- One letter of recommendation
- Undergrad and grad transcripts (unofficial OK)
- Proof of language proficiency
- Letter from a contact in the field or letter of institutional affiliation (OPTIONAL)
Funding decisions will be made by an interdisciplinary faculty committee chaired and organized by the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. Applicants will be notified of awards in early April.
Tinker Informational Session
To learn more about how to apply for the Tinker, please attend the informational session on Monday, February 13, 2-3pm in Marshall Room 284.
Tinker Informational Session Slides
Prior to Departure, Tinker Awardees must:
- Attend the pre-departure meeting to review procedures and requirements for before, during, and after travel. The meeting will take place on Friday April 21, 2023, 11am-12pm via Zoom.
- If conducting research on human subjects, you must submit an application for IRB and obtain IRB approval. For instructions, click on Getting Started.
- At least 30 days prior to departure, complete the the University International Travel Registry and the Travel Authorization Form (Dept/Org code is 0437). See other travel-related policies at https://global.arizona.edu/travel
- Join the Tinker Field Research Collaborative Platform to network with other recipients of the Tinker from different universities. https://tinker.us.hivebrite.com/
After their return, Tinker Awardees must:
- Submit a report and 2-4 high-quality photos of yourself in the field by September 8, 2023. Tinker Report Guidelines
- Give a presentation at the Tinker Symposium and attend the other sessions, including the keynote lecture, on November 16, 2023. Tinker Presentation Guidelines
Note: You are not required to submit receipts for travel, lodging, food, or other expenses after returning from the field.
For more information or questions regarding your application, contact Dr. Katie O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, these countries are not among the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries that Tinker includes within its program. These are Tinker requirements, not UA restrictions.
The Latin American countries you may get funding to travel to are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
No, Tinker will only support travel and field-related expenses in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
In particular circumstances, car travel may be more appropriate than air travel and yes, the Tinker can fund such arrangements. One common scenario is conducting research on the Mexico side of the Mexico-U.S. border. Another might be if you are already living in the country where you want to conduct research, but need additional funding for travel to your research sites by car.
Please keep in mind that the travel amount awarded will correspond to the amount it would cost to fly, even if you plan to drive. For example, if you plan to drive to Mexico City to conduct your research, you would receive an award equivalent to round-trip airfare to Mexico City.
Finally, if you drive, you must spend at least 21 days conducting fieldwork full time. It is not permissible to count your driving time as part of your research time.
Tinker funds can only cover fieldwork related to your research, and cannot be used to cover education-related expenses, either for language study or any other kind of class. However, if you have other funding to cover your language study, Tinker funds can be used to pay for the time you spend beyond the language program, as long as you meet the minimum requirement of at least 3 weeks of fieldwork (i.e., 21 full days dedicated to conducting research).
Tinker funds can only cover fieldwork related to your research, and cannot be used to do an internship. The internship will have to be conducted on your own time. Tinker funds can be used to pay for the time you spend beyond the internship, as long as you meet the minimum requirement of at least 3 weeks of fieldwork (i.e., 21 full days dedicated to conducting research).
Yes, the Tinker foundation allows for travel anytime during the calendar year. CLAS prefers students to travel during the May-August period, but does allow students to conduct research during other months.
Yes, we can accommodate specific requests owing to political unrest in a given country. However, deferrals must be within the same 12-month timeframe as when the grant was originally awarded.
No, the language proficiency certification must be filled out by a professional in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at the University of Arizona.
Click here to download a copy of the Language Certification Form: Language Certification Form
The expectation is that the research will be conducted in-person. However, exceptions can be made to allow for online or hybrid (both online and in-person) research due to special circumstances of the researcher’s or at their study site. Please email Katie O'Brien (email@example.com) to request an exception.
You cannot be awarded a Tinker on consecutive years. For example, if you received an award in 2022, you cannot receive one in 2023. Furthermore, you can only be awarded a Tinker once during a degree program. For example, once for your master's thesis research during your M.A. program and once for your pre-dissertation fieldwork during your Ph.D. program.
No, non-degree seeking graduate students are not eligible to apply for the Tinker.
Tinker can only fund the research you do on the Mexican side of the border.
There are other CLAS scholarships you can apply for to conduct research on the U.S.-Mexico border. Please go to https://las.arizona.edu/scholarships for more information. In addition, the Confluence Center, Grad College, and library all have special funding for border projects.
The Tinker awards a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $3,000.
No, the 21 or more days of full time research that you propose do not have to be on consecutive days.