Research Award Program

Valparaíso, Chile - Photo by Drew Friedmann ‘05
Valparaíso, Chile - photo by Drew Friedmann '05


Established in 2000 by the Latin American Studies Committee, and funded by the office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, the LAS Research Award Program supports student research in Mexico, Central or South America, the Caribbean, or on Latinos and Latinas in the United States. The awards are intended to increase understanding and awareness of the region among sophomores and juniors majoring in any academic discipline. The on-site research can be conducted after July 1 during the summer months, between semesters, or to extend off-campus study experiences. Funds are available for travel, room and board, and research expenses up to a maximum of $3000.

Applications for a Latin American Studies Research Awards

Applicants are expected to develop proposals in consultation with a faculty mentor who agrees to supervise or support the project. An application must include a cover page (found here) and the following to be considered for funding:

[Part A]
1. A narrative proposal, no more than 1,000 words (approximately 4 double-spaced word processed pages) in length. The narrative should include:
• an explanation of the proposed research topic or issue and the specific research goals (for the period of the award)
• a description of the methods that will be used or the sources of information that will be analyzed
• an explanation of the applicant’s preparation to conduct the research (coursework, language skills, etc.)
• a description of any other contacts or resources (such as foreign faculty, institutions of higher learning, government or non-governmental organizations) that will be consulted in support of the project and will enhance the feasibility of the project
• a projected timeline for the research
• a discussion of the significance of the endeavor to the student’s academic program.

[Part B]
2. A detailed budget and budget justification that clearly outline and explain expenses the award is expected to cover.  (Students can apply for funds to cover travel, room and board, and research expenses. Awards cannot be used to support language training or study away programs.)

[Part C]
3. A preliminary bibliography

[Part D]
4. A current Bowdoin transcript (print-out from Polaris is acceptable) and your current Student Bio form.

[Part E]
5. A letter of recommendation from the faculty member who has agreed to supervise or sponsor the project. The recommendation should address the feasibility of the project, the applicant’s preparation, and the importance of the project to the student’s academic career. Faculty should email their letter directly to the LAS Program Coordinator.

[Part F: Optional]
6. If the student has applied to other funding sources, or has already received an award, other funding, a statement identifying these sources.


Criteria. Awards are made on the basis of the quality and feasibility of the project described in the narrative proposal, the project's relevance to the student's educational program, the applicant’s preparation to carry out the project (including competence in the language spoken in the target country), the applicant’s academic record, and the faculty mentor’s recommendation. A subcommittee from the Latin American Studies Program reviews applications every spring.

Requirements of award recipients. Applicants are expected to develop proposals in consultation with a faculty mentor who agrees to supervise a subsequent independent study. Recipients will spend three to four weeks conducting on-site research, and, upon their return, write a 2-4 page report summarizing their experience and the results of their research. During the following semester, their research must be used as the basis to conduct an independent study or honors project under the direction of a faculty member.

Note that recipients using human or animal subjects must show Institutional Review Board approval of the project’s research methods before funds will be released.

Students who do not complete outlined work should contact the department chair to discuss what portion of the award should be returned. Students who fail to submit a report detailing the work they did, and/or fail enroll in an Independent Study are expected to return their award. Failure to handle money, receipts, and reports appropriately may impact the student’s ability to receive future funding from the college.


All of the above items must be included with your application. The application packet can be downloaded here.  All documents can be e-mailed or delivered to Jean Harrison (106 Edward Pols House).  The application deadline is 5:00 pm March 27, 2014.

Questions can be directed to Gustavo Faverón-Patriau, Director of Latin American Studies.