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.

Application Deadlines

Applications for the 2023 competition will open on Monday, February 6, 2023.

Applications are due Friday, March 17, 2023 by 11:59pm.

About the Program

Tinker Foundation Research Grants provide graduate students with travel funds (international and in-country) to Spanish and Portuguese-speaking Latin American or 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.

They are awarded by the university institutes/centers for brief periods of research in Iberia or Latin America and should reflect primarily the Foundation's broad areas of interest. Awards are limited to graduate students conducting pre-dissertation research.


The Tinker Foundation supports travel 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. or Ph.D. thesis will be given priority over students who plan to utilize an examination option to complete their degree. Tinker applicants must comply with UA Human Subjects requirements.

To apply for the Tinker Field Research Grant, you must:

  • Be a University of Arizona graduate student in good standing from any UArizona department
  • Re registered for spring semester prior to travel and the fall semester after your return
  • Provide proof of language proficiency appropriate to research required
  • Spend 2 weeks to 4 months* in field and explain how grant contributes to your professional development

*CLAS prefers candidates spend at least 4 weeks in the field.  Most students spend between 8-12 weeks during the UArizona Summer Term (mid-May to mid-August)

How to Apply

Please follow link to complete new online application: LAS Tinker Field Grant Application

The online application will ask for the following documents:

  • Project narrative (see our tips for proposal development)
  • (1) Letter of recommendation
  • Copy of transcripts (unofficial)
  • Foreign language certification

Covid-19 Regulations

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, CLAS, Tinker, and the University have implemented new guidelines and protocols for research.  As always, all students are required to follow all IRB/Human Subjects, and UA travel, health, and safety policies in effect. 

CLAS has encouraged all applicants to work closely with their faculty advisors to make sure their research plan is safe, sensitive, and feasible given the pandemic-related circumstances.  Make sure to consult local contacts and leaders in your field locations to ensure it is safe and that you will be welcomed by the community. 

The Tinker Foundation has provided guidelines for remote or hybrid research expenditures. Download the updated and approved Tinker Covid Expenditures.

The University of Arizona has an extra level of approval for “essential travel” required during the pandemic.  Learn more at: 



Please consult the resources above and the FAQ section below before applying.  If you have any other questions, concerns, or would like more information, CLAS Tinker Committee Chair, Dr. Margaret Wilder is happy to meet with you.  Please email her to set up an appointment at mwilder@email.arizona.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

In this circumstance, you are eligible for airfare only assuming that you make your travel arrangements through the travel agency CLAS uses, so we can directly pay for the round-trip ticket.  Also, you are required to return in the Fall to participate in the Tinker symposium (or, if you do not return until Spring, to give a presentation at a CLAS brown bag colloquium session). Just like all Tinker recipients, your written report is still due to the Center for Latin American Studies on the required date.

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.

No, Tinker will only support international travel expenses in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

In particular circumstances, coverage of car travel may be more appropriate than air travel and yes, we can cover such arrangements up to a certain level of funding assuming you spend at least 21 research days (3 weeks) in the country of study.  One common example is 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.

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.

The answer is similar to the one above. The internship will have to be conducted on your own time, but you can apply for Tinker funds to pay for travel to the country as long as you plan to stay for at least 3 additional weeks to conduct research on an approved project.

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 is a specific assessment used by professionals. Thus, unless you are a native speaker of the language OR can document via transcript that you have had 300-level or higher training in the relevant language that you need, you must go to the Spanish and Portuguese Dept. for an assessment of proficiency.  Take your form so they can sign off on it.

The Tinker Program can support you to travel to your research site, but the travel amount will correspond to the amount it would cost to fly, even if you decide you want to drive.  For example, if you plan to drive to central Mexico to conduct your research, you would receive an award equivalent to round-trip airfare ($500 or so).  Finally, if you drive, you must spend at least 2 weeks (14 days) conducting fieldwork.  It is not possible to count your driving time as part of your research time.

Yes, you can use an electronic signature, several applications are available to do this – you may have to search online. If you are unable to provide a scan or electronic signature, then you can type in your name, date and an acknowledgement that your typed-in and dated name constitutes your signature agreeing to all the same conditions as would your signature for that particular document.

Tinker Language Proficiency Certification

Tinker Guidelines for Remote or Hybrid Research- Allowable Expenditures