LASA Research Grants

LASA Research Grants Program for Doctoral Students in Latin America

The LASA Research Grants Program aims to support research with focus on Latin American Studies in all disciplines. Restricted to LASA student members who are enrolled in doctoral programs in Latin American institutions of higher education, these grants assist grantees with research expenses, including travel and per diem expenses, access to archives, supplies, research assistance, administration and coding of instruments or purchase of datasets. Certain activities such as travel to professional meetings, secretarial costs, and salary support for the principal investigator are excluded from funding. Overhead or indirect costs (e.g. rent) are not allowable expenses.

LASA Research Grants are awarded annually through a peer-review process. Grants may not exceed $5,000 and are not renewable. The available funds each year will be $10,000.


Applicants must be LASA members at the time of the application and when funds are disbursed.

Application Procedure

Please send the following materials to

  1. A 2-page CV, including education, any professional positions, publications, scholarly presentations, and previous grants and fellowships.
  2. An official copy of academic transcript
  3. Title Page (1 page in length). This should include an abstract of the proposal in 150 words or less
  4. Project statement (up to 3 single-spaced pages in length) including:
    1. argument and research questions;
    2. the relationship of the argument to the existing literature (no more than half a page);
    3. the methodology and/or sources to be used (although not required, if the project has a potential public engagement component, please include it);
    4. the present status of the research;
    5. the relevance of the research to Latin American Studies;
    6. references cited.
    7. dissemination: include plans for dissemination of research findings within and beyond the academy
    8. brief statement of qualifications for undertaking the proposed research such as prior experience, training, courses, technical or other skills.
  5. Research budget (not counted as part of the 3 page project statement): include separate line items for direct costs associated with your proposed research and any necessarily explanations.
  6. Two recommendation letters. One from the dissertation advisor and another one from the chair of the program where the student is enrolled.

Applications and recommendation letters should be submitted into a single pdf file, and can be written in English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish.

Successful applicants will be encouraged to share their research findings in an upcoming LASA Congress and will have their abstracts published on the LASA website.

The application deadline is: September 15th, 2018 Applications will be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary committee of LASA senior scholars.

Disbursement of Awards

Award recipients may request that funds be paid to their college or university. If the funds are directly paid to the grantee, tax implications are responsibility of the grantee. 75 percent of the award total (US$3500) will be deposited in a bank account of your choice at the beginning of the grant period and the other 25 percent (US$1500) when the research is done and a 1-3 page single-spaced report has been submitted to LASA.

Grant Period and Reports

Funds must be spent within 12 months of receiving the award. A 1-3 page single-spaced report of the funded activities must be sent to LASA two months after the research period has concluded.

Selection Committee:

A past-president chairs a committee of three scholars from a range of disciplines and countries of residence, appointed by the VP or EC of LASA for a one-year period. If no past-president is willing, then a senior scholar with leadership experience in LASA will be appointed to chair the selection committee.

Mellon-LASA Seminars

The Mellon-LASA seminars is made possible through a generous grant to the Association by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This program is intended to foster innovation in Latin American Studies and enrich LASA Congresses by supporting projects that reflect one or more of the following objectives:

  • Incorporate into Latin American Studies researchers, whose primary geographic focus is on other regions of the world, thus adding comparative or connective dimensions to Latin America-related work and/or introducing to the field methodological or analytical perspectives that have typically been applied elsewhere.
  • Challenge conventional geographic boundaries of Latin American Studies, for example by exploring opportunities for articulating research in terms of the Americas, the Atlantic, the Pacific Rim, or other geographic configurations.
  • Integrate into Latin American Studies theoretical and/or methodological perspectives drawn from state-of-the-art research in core disciplines of the social sciences and humanities.

Proposals that do not assign priority to one or more of these objectives will not be considered for funding. Preference will be given to projects that involve significant participation by researchers from Latin America; inclusion of junior scholars is encouraged. To be eligible for consideration, proposals must be submitted by a LASA member in good standing, but other participants in the project need not be members of the Association. Organizers of successful projects must convene a panel at the 2014 LASA meeting in Chicago, IL to present preliminary results of the initiative.

Proposals should identify the participants in the proposed workshop or conference, the objectives of the project, the process by which those objectives are to be achieved, and the anticipated calendar of activities. The total amount requested in each proposal may not exceed $15,000, devoted primarily to covering travel and per diem expenses for workshop participants. Of the project’s total budget, up to $1,500 may be allocated for travel of key participants to present results of the project at a Mellon-LASA panel convened during the May 2014 LASA Congress in Chicago, IL, and up to $1,500 may be reserved for publication support, including translation. Administrative and indirect costs will not be eligible. Grants may be combined with other sources of funding, and may be used to initiate projects that continue with funding from other sources.

This is an additional round of competitions for Mellon-LASA seminar grants. To be considered for this final round, the core project activities may take place either before or after the May 2014 LASA Congress in Chicago, IL. No project or group will be funded more than once through this program.

Proposals of no more than five (5) single-spaced pages in length, plus a one-page summary of the budget and one-page c.v.s of principal organizers, must be received by the LASA Secretariat by September 15, 2013. The narrative must make clear how the project will contribute to innovation in Latin American Studies by advancing one or more of the three objectives outlined above. Proposals will be evaluated by a peer review panel, and applicants will be informed of the results by October 30, 2013.

Note: given that most proposals are not likely to be funded, applicants who wish to convene a panel at the 2014 LASA Congress in Chicago, IL should also submit a proposal through the normal channels.

Within 18 months of the announcement of the award recipients, the project director(s) will be required to submit a report on the activities undertaken, suitable for publication in the LASA Forum.

FORD-LASA Special Projects

LASA is pleased to announce the thirteenth cycle of the Ford-LASA Special Projects competition, made possible by a contribution by the Ford Foundation to the LASA Endowment Fund. Funds provided will support such activities as transregional research initiatives, conferences, working groups, the development of curriculum and teaching resources, and similar projects organized and carried out by LASA Sections or by ad hoc groups of LASA members.

Proposers are encouraged to think creatively about how this funding might be used to advance the principles of hemispheric collaboration among Latin American Studies scholars and teachers. Proposals that do not assign priority to this objective will not be considered for funding.

Proposals should identify the participants in the proposed activity, the objectives of the project, and the process by which those objectives are to be achieved. The total amount requested in each proposal may not exceed $12,500. Grants may be combined with other sources of funding and may be used to initiate projects that continue with funding from other sources. No project or group will be funded more than once.

Proposals of no more than five (5) single-spaced pages in length must be received by the LASA Secretariat by September 15, 2018. Please send the proposals to Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of LASA members appointed and chaired by the vice president of LASA for each program cycle.

Preference will be given to projects that involve transregional collaboration in the Western Hemisphere, and which are intended to result in publication of project results. It may be possible for LASA to disseminate project results, including conference papers, through its website, which would not preclude eventual publication in other media. Project directors are encouraged to consider submitting a panel proposal based on their preliminary work for presentation at the May 2019 LASA Congress. By June 30, 2019, the project directors will be required to submit a report on the activities undertaken with special project funding, suitable for publication in the LASA Forum.

Other Americas / Otros Saberes Project

Phase 1

A Collaborative Research Initiative of the Latin American Studies Association

The Latin American political landscape has changed profoundly in the past two decades, as indigenous and Afro-Latin peoples have made their voices heard in national arenas.  Throughout the region, thousands of civil society organizations and social movements participate in these struggles, working on a wide range of issues, from land rights to bilingual education, from gender equality to the building of transnational networks.  Intellectuals associated with these organizations are knowledge producers: they have defined high priority immediate and long-term problems that require attention, and they are constantly generating knowledge about these problems, though in forms that often remain internal, used but rarely disseminated in academic venues.  The Otros Saberes Initiative will connect these civil society knowledge producers with university-based researchers who have similar areas of expertise, allowing both groups to reap the benefits of collaboration.

Funding sources:
  1. LASA - Latin American Studies Association
  2. Open Society Institute
  3. Inter-American Foundation
  4. Ford Foundation
  5. Harvard University

Phase 2

Justice Reform and Citizenship Rights
A Collaborative Research Initiative of the Latin American Studies Association

Across Latin America and the Caribbean social movements and NGOs working with civil society organizations are at the forefront of applied, citizen-focused research to strengthen citizenship rights and human rights and to improve access to justice, particularly for the most excluded and marginalized sectors of society. Such organizations work to secure civil rights, for example to due process and fair trials, or to end violence and discrimination against women. Others have pioneered strategic litigation to strengthen social and economic rights, such as the right to health care and basic services, or worked to secure land rights and environmental justice for marginalized groups. And across the continent alliances of NGOs and movements of indigenous peoples and afro-Latin Americans have pioneered applied research to secure collective rights guarantees and fight discrimination.

The Otros Saberes Initiative on Justice Reform and Citizenship Rights aims to enhance such research, strengthening collaboration between academy- and civil society-based intellectuals to produce work that will strengthen the citizenship rights of ordinary citizens and improve their access to justice. LASA, the premier international association of scholars of Latin America, has defined two central goals for this Initiative. First, it seeks to strengthen existing networks of civil society-based knowledge producers by allowing them to: formulate research topics crucial to their work; recruit university-based researchers to work with them on these topics, and; enhance their capacity to use research to advance their organizational goals. Second, the Initiative will energize LASA by highlighting civil society-based knowledge production and bringing it more centrally into universitybased research agendas.

The Initiative will provide research grants to teams that include both university based researchers, and civil society-based knowledge producers. These grants, at a maximum of US $20,000, will support basic research expenses over the period of one year, beginning August 2009. After completing their research, grantees will attend an intensive workshop, held at the 2010 International LASA Congress, to present their research results, and subsequently work toward their publication. Collaborative teams will require the involvement of at least one LASA member and the active participation of at least one civil-society-based organization or social movement that formally agrees to support the proposed project within its priorities.

Proposed collaborative research may address any problem involving justice reform and citizenship rights for excluded sectors. We encourage research proposals that focus on the social processes— local, national, transnational—through which citizenship rights are named, claimed and expanded, and through which people struggle for broadened access to justice. We understand “justice reform” in a broad sense: in addition to research which examines the norms, institutions and actors of national justice systems, we will particularly encourage research on the dynamic interplay between state and non-state justice systems (such as indigenous law, or different forms of community justice), and between international and national legal systems. Proposals are due on April 30, 2009, and must be submitted electronically as an attachment in PDF to

Funding sources:
  1. LASA - Latin American Studies Association
  2. Open Society Institute
  3. Ford Foundation
  4. Inter American Foundation