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Feb. 4, 2008
Contact: Elizabeth Kuznesof, Center of Latin American Studies, (785) 864-4213.

KU receives grants to allow graduate students to study abroad

LAWRENCE — The Center of Latin American Studies at the University of Kansas has received a three-year grant from the Tinker Foundation to help about 20 graduate students conduct research in Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal.

The Tinker Field Research Grants provide $10,000 a year. KU matches that amount, for a total of $60,000 for research abroad from 2008 to 2010.

Eligible graduate students can attend an informational meeting at noon Monday, Feb. 11, in 318 Bailey Hall to talk about grant proposals and to meet with former Tinker grant recipients from KU. Application forms are available in the Center of Latin American Studies, 310 Bailey Hall, and on its Web site.

Proposals are due by 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in the center.

The Tinker Foundation, based in New York City, prefers projects with policy implications, such as those related to conservation or the economy.

This is the third Tinker Field Research Grant that KU’s Center of Latin American Studies has received.

“We received this same grant in 1996-1998 and 2001-2004,” said Elizabeth Kuznesof, director of Latin American studies. “We were required to wait two years before applying again at the termination of the grant.”

KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Office of Research and Graduate Studies are providing the matching funds.

With previous Tinker Foundation grants, KU funded about 60 graduate students for short-term research abroad.

“The impact was quite impressive,” said Kuznesof. “Tinker recipients often work in the field with faculty sponsors or participate in projects related to public health, conservation, microfinance or education. These funds gave students an opportunity to develop superior research proposals for external funding of their projects based on their time in the field.”

Proposals came from students in KU’s professional schools, Natural History Museum, the sciences, social sciences and humanities.

On their return, the students submit a report and give a presentation on their work as part of the Latin American Studies Merienda (Brown Bag) Series.

“Our past experience with Tinker Field Research Grants makes it clear that the opportunity to spend time in the field making contacts and learning of research opportunities is a life-transforming experience and often leads to a life of dedication to Latin American and Iberian issues,” Kuznesof said. “The further possibility of working in tandem with a mentor in a research cluster makes that opportunity even more productive.”

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