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The Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies and The University of Kansas provides graduate and Ph.D. students with the opportunity to fund their schooling and research through a variety of different sources. The Stansifer Fund, the Oppenheimer Memorial Fund, and Tinker Field Research Grants are just a few of the awards offered, please read below for information and descriptions of the various LAS scholarship.

Please check out our external sources of funding page as well as the University's sites for graduate student funding:

Graduate Student Funding
Graduate Studies Awards/Departmental Scholarships
The Office of Student Financial Aid


Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)

The Center has filled a GTA position for 2015-2016. The duties of the Graduate Teaching Assistant will be to assist the professor in the teaching of LAA 100/HIST 124, Latin American Culture and Society.  This introductory course serves as the gateway to the major in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and the course fulfills general education requirements in the social sciences and in the new KU Core.  In the fall semester, the GTA will be expected to teach several weekly discussion sections, to attend all lectures, to hold regular office hours and meet with students, to grade and keep records, to monitor potential cases of academic misconduct, and to help with audio visual equipment as necessary, as well as other duties designated by the instructor.  In the spring semester, the GTA will be fully responsible for all aspects of this course, including lecturing and grading.  This position is a 50% GTA-ship with a minimum salary of $13,000.  Application instructions and an updated application form for the 2016-2017 will be made available Spring 2016.

Aside from scholarships, students may be selected as GTAs in Spanish & Portuguese. Graduate Teaching Assistantships typically involve leading discussion sections, advising, and designing and grading student papers and exams in exchange for free tuition and a stipend. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese regularly offers assistantships and teaching positions to Latin American & Caribbean Studies students to teach undergraduate Spanish language classes. Other university departments also occasionally offer assistantships for which Latin American & Caribbean Studies students may be competitive.


Stansifer Fellowship

CLACS will hold a competition for the Stansifer Fellowship Fund for 2017-2018. This fund was endowed by Professor Emeritus Charles Stansifer. The award is for the support of graduate students planning to complete a doctorate in the study of Middle America (defined as Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean).

Priority is to be given first to students of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, or Panama ) second to Mexico, third to the Caribbean, and fourth to students of relations between the United States and any Middle American country.

Graduate students from any department in the College of Arts and Sciences are eligible. An interdisciplinary committee from Latin American and Caribbean Studies will decide the competition. The award will not exceed $5,000 per year. A student may hold the fellowship in succeeding years, at the discretion of the committee.

Applications and nominations for the fellowship will be due: March 15th, 2017. They can be sent to Cécile Accilien at cecileaccilien@ku.edu or delivered to The Center, 320 Bailey Hall, and should include:

•  Application Cover Page (.docx)

•  Letter of interest, not to exceed two pages, which describes the research project and its importance

•  Two letters of recommendation

•  Unofficial transcripts from graduate work (KU Advising Report)

If you have questions, please contact Cécile Accilien at cecileaccilien@ku.edu or stop by the Center. 


Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Scholarship

This award was established for graduate students in History and Latin American & Caribbean Studies in memory of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, former KU professor of Latin American history. CLACS and the Department of History take turns selecting the awardee(s) in alternate years. In 2017, CLACS will award one or more research travel grants to KU graduate students, including M.A. candidates in Latin American and Caribbean Studies as well as graduate students in the humanities or social sciences performing research projects in Latin America.

In 2017 the Center will award one or more research travel grants to KU graduate students, including MA candidates in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and graduate students in the humanities or social sciences performing research projects in Latin America (lower priority will be given to students in History). The amount of the individual awards will depend on project design and budget. Funds of up to $3,000 per award are to be used toward expenses for lodging, food and/or travel. 

Selection will be based on a statement of academic plans, overall academic and career goals, grade point average, and letters of recommendation. Recipients of other awards (such as Tinker Field Research grants, FLAS, etc.) are eligible. Applications for the scholarship will be due: March 15th, 2017. They can be sent to Cécile Accilien at cecileaccilien@ku.edu or delivered to The Center, 320 Bailey Hall, and should include:

•  Application Cover Page (.docx)

•  Letter of proposal describing planned research project, relevance to career objectives

•  Estimated budget

•  Two letters of recommendation

•  One official set of transcripts (KU Advising Report)

If you have questions, please contact Cécile Accilien at cecileaccilien@ku.edu or stop by the Center. 


Tinker Field Research Grants

The Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies will hold a Tinker Foundation Field Research Grant competition for KU graduate students regardless of discipline with a submission deadline of February 15, 2016. The Tinker Foundation promotes the development of an equitable, sustainable and productive society in Latin America and seeks to enhance understanding of the region in the U.S.A. The goal of the Tinker Field Research Grants is to enable graduate students the opportunity to do first-hand experience in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin America. Individual recipients may be graduate students at the Master's or early stages of the doctoral level studies, including those pursuing professional degrees, but not those engaged in advanced dissertation research. Grants are intended to provide graduate students with early experience conducting hands-on field research in Latin America and the opportunity to develop independent research projects. Citizens of Latin American countries enrolled at U.S. institutions are eligible to conduct research in their home countries provided they have no previous field research experience there. The Tinker Foundation stipulates that grants be “modest” in size, roughly in the $2,000-5,000 range. Recipients can use the awards for airfare, in-country transportation expenses, and a limited amount of subsistence expenses. Application instructions detail the process and specific requirements. The awards may be used at any time before November 15, 2016, but must be utilized only for brief research trips, two weeks to four months in duration.

Please submit the completed application to CLACS via email along with all requested materials. Interested graduate students may contact the Center with any questions about applying for the Tinker award.


The Martin Diskin Dissertation Award

The Martin Diskin Dissertation Award is made possible through the generosity of Oxfam America, LASA, and LASA members. This award is offered at each LASA International Congress to an outstanding junior scholar who embodies Professor Diskin’s commitment to the creative combination of activism and scholarship. The award will be presented to an advanced doctoral student or recent Ph.D. All advanced Ph.D. candidates must demonstrate that they will complete their dissertation prior to the LASA International Congress. LASA limits recent Ph.D. recipients to those individuals who received their degrees after the LASA Congress prior to the one at which the award is to be received. LASA welcomes dissertations written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

The Award Committee will evaluate three criteria: (1) overall scholarly credentials, based upon the candidate’s curriculum vitae; (2) the quality of the dissertation writing, research, and analysis as determined by the dissertation outline and sample chapter submitted; (3) the primary advisor’s letter of recommendation. The definition of the activist scholarship shall remain broad and pluralist, to be discussed and interpreted by each selection committee. Applicants should submit a current curriculum vitae; a dissertation abstract of 250 words; the dissertation outline or table of contents; one sample chapter, which exemplifies the author’s approach to activist scholarship; and a letter of recommendation from the candidate’s primary advisor which focuses explicitly on the candidate’s qualifications for the Martin Diskin Dissertation Award.

All application materials must be submitted electronically to milagros@pitt.edu and received by a deadline to be determined, likely in October 2015. The Martin Diskin Dissertation Award recipient will receive a $1,000 stipend. LASA encourages wide distribution of this call for nominations to colleagues and students. Keep checking this space for more information about the competition as it becomes available.

The 2015 selection committee consists of Alberto Aldo Marchesi, Universidad de la República; Sara Z. Poggio, University of Maryland/Baltimore County; Stuart A. Day, University of Kansas; and Susan Eckstein, OXFAM America.


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