Graduate student funds for travel to Latin America available through RCA

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New funding is available for graduate students traveling to Latin America to conduct preliminary research, thanks to a grant from the Tinker Foundation and matching funds from the university that were received by the Research Center for the Americas.

"This was our third time applying, and we finally won the award," said RCA Director Sylvanna Falcón, an associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies. "This positions the campus among a select group of Tinker Foundation institutions, and it opens the door to future support from them.”

The Tinker Foundation is a private organization that promotes economic and social development in Latin America by funding universities, nonprofits, and research institutes. RCA would not have received the support from Tinker without matching funds provided by the UC Santa Cruz Foundation's Board Opportunity Fund, the Graduate Division, and the Office of Research, said Falcón.

"This broad show of campus support was indispensable," she said. "It sent a strong message to the foundation that the entire campus community was behind this effort to support our graduate students."

Students in all graduate degree programs are eligible to apply for the new research-support funds. The Tinker Foundation's Field Research Grant provides a total of $20,000 over two years to support travel and field-related expenses for short, pre-dissertation summer research trips to Latin America. Travel funds of up to $2,500 will be to awarded to students doing research in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries—excluding Puerto Rico and Belize, as stipulated by Tinker, noted Falcón. Matching funds bring the total support available to $40,000 over two years.

The award is being administered in partnership with the Latin American and Latino Studies Department.

"The number of scholars on our campus working on and in Latin America has increased substantially since the establishment of our doctoral program in 2013," said Falcón. "We launched the world's first doctoral program in Latin American and Latino studies, and UCSC is an auspicious place to do this important work."

A cross-disciplinary faculty committee chaired and organized by the RCA will evaluate applications. More information, including the call for applications, is available online. An information session is scheduled for Wednesday, February 12, noon—1 p.m. in Social Sciences 2, Room 150; advance registration is required.