CLAS Field Research Grants

CLAS Field Research Grants


The purpose of this program is to make it possible for CLAS graduate students to carry out pre-dissertation field research in the Latin American/Caribbean region to: acquire a comprehensive knowledge of language, terrain, and culture; familiarize themselves with information sources relevant to their studies; conduct pilot studies and preliminary investigations; and develop contacts with scholars and institutions in their fields. These grants are NOT to be used for dissertation research. Grant recipients must spend at least one month (28 days) in the field.


CLAS graduate student certificate candidates (both masters and doctoral level) making satisfactory progress towards completion of the certificate in Latin American Studies may apply.

  • For first-time applicants, satisfactory progress is defined as having completed two area courses towards the certificate in Latin American Studies—at least one of which must be outside the student’s department/school—during the first academic year in which the applicant is enrolled in CLAS.
  • CLAS graduate student certificate candidates are eligible to receive a maximum of two field research grants from CLAS during their tenure as students at the University of Pittsburgh. Continued satisfactory progress towards completion of the certificate applies for students proposing to receive a second grant.
  • Continued progress is defined as the completion of two additional courses per academic year applicable toward the certificate.

Amount of Grant

Maximum of $2,800.

Use of Funds

CLAS expects grant funds to be primarily used for transportation (international and in-country overseas) and limited field-related expenses. Up to 25% of the total proposed budget may be designated for field-related expenses—including food, accommodations, research materials, health insurance, visas, etc.

NOTE: Purchase of equipment such as computers, cameras, and tape recorders is absolutely prohibited.

Field research should take place between April and August 2018.

Proposal Requirements

All applications must be submitted in English and include:

  1. A completed Graduate Certificate Progress Report form. Applicants must meet with the CLAS Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, Luis Bravo, to get the Graduate Student Progress Report Form approved, dated and signed by TO BE ANNOUNCED. For any questions regarding completion of the form, please contact Luis Bravo (, to set up an appointment for the graduate student progress report, please click here. This has to be done before applying for the grant, see below for instructions.
  2. A completed grant application form;
  3. A full description of the project not to exceed four (4) double-spaced pages as follows—(a) Topic/Problem, (b) Significance of/Need for the Research, and (c) Methodology/Tools;
  4. A detailed budget (75% must be for transportation);
  5. Specific travel plans;
  6. An up-to-date University of Pittsburgh transcript, along with a copy of your current registration;
  7. A Letter of Project Appraisal from your Academic Advisor (to be submitted by advisor);

Note: The full description of the project may be supplemented by appendices (such as examples of questionnaires, list of field contacts, more detailed information on any of the sections) that should be referred to in the basic text. However, appendices should be kept to a minimum.

The proposal must be written in English in terms understandable to scholars who are not specialists in your specific discipline or field. Because of the small size of the selection committee, not all disciplines/professions are represented by the committee members. Thus, selection committee members may not be familiar with technical terminology or jargon associated with your particular discipline.

Letter of Project Appraisal from Academic Advisor

Proposals must have, as supporting documentation, a letter appraising the project from the applicant’s academic advisor. The selection committee will not review proposals without the faculty advisor’s appraisal. The appraisal should include comments both on methodology and language ability as well as a general evaluation and should be no more than one page in length.

For second Field Research Grant applicants: Students who have previously been awarded a field research grant and are applying for a second grant must clearly justify the need for a second grant in the text of the proposal. These students also should ask the faculty member writing the Letter of Project Appraisal to address this need in her/his letter.


One electronic copy (items 1 through 6 listed above) of the application should be sent by the deadline through the following web address:

The letter of Project Appraisal from the Academic Advisor should be sent separately to the address below by the advisor:

Luz Amanda Hank
Graduate Student Field Research Grant Coordinator
Center for Latin American Studies
4205 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Telephone: (412) 648-7397 | email:


  • CLAS Graduate Certificate Progress Report approved, dated and signed by TO BE ANNOUNCED.
    • To set up an appointment for a graduate student progress report, please click here.
  • The deadline for submission of all application materials is TO BE ANNOUNCED.

Grant Requirements

Recipients of CLAS Graduate Student Field Research Grants must spend at least four weeks (28 days) in the field and provide CLAS with a brief (two to four page) report, written in English, within two weeks following the termination of the award. The report should indicate: (1) how grant funds were expended; (2) travel schedule (where you went and how much time you spent in each locale); (3) what was accomplished; and (4) how research results will be utilized; (5) Fellows will need to present a paper in the Tinker Workshop scheduled for November 2018.

Grant recipients also are responsible for completing all applicable documentation for expenditure of funds required by the University of Pittsburgh as standard policy and procedure. Expense reports must be submitted within two weeks after the field research had been completed. Due to changes in the payment system at Pitt, CLAS will provide training meetings before students take their research trips.

Recipients must acknowledge the assistance of the Center for Latin American Studies, University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh, and the specific funding agency providing support for the grant in any publication, film, or other product resulting from research supported by this grant. CLAS would appreciate receiving copies of photographs illustrating research activities.


All research involving interventions or interactions with individuals or the collection of identifiable private information concerning living individuals requires prospective Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval; Even if the research may qualify as an exempt category, the researcher must obtain an exemption approval from the IRB; Grantees are responsible for obtaining IRB approval when required, and must provide documentation of IRB approval before the funds can be disbursed. For further information, check the IRB web site at

Funding for this program is provided by The Tinker Foundation, Inc. and the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of the Provost, Center for International Studies, and Center for Latin American Studies.

Any questions in regard to the grant please contact:

Ms. Luz Amanda Hank
4205 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
(412) 648-7397