Student Field Study Award


Deadline March 15, 2021

The Conference of Latin American Geography (CLAG) invites applications for the 2021 CLAG Student Field Study Awards. Each year CLAG confers named awards at the Ph.D. level (Bernard Nietschmann, Robert C. West, and James J. Parsons awards) and at the master’s level (Clarissa Kimber, William M. Denevan, and Oscar Horst awards).

These awards are intended to support graduate student members of CLAG in their thesis or dissertation research in Latin America or concerning the Latin American diaspora. The awards are not intended to cover all fieldwork costs, but rather to assist students working towards the Master’s degree or Ph.D. in their field and/or archival research in Latin America. The award for the MA/MS recipients will be approximately $1,000 and for Ph.D. recipients about $1,500.


  • Member of CLAG before the application deadline;
  • Registered as a graduate (M.A., M.S., or Ph.D.) student in a geography department or related discipline;
  • • Regional area of research in Latin America, including the Caribbean, is given priority. If the regional area of research is outside of Latin America/Caribbean, a clear justification of how the study relates to dynamics in Latin America must be provided. CLAG Field Study Awards are for field and archival research, not for attendance at academic meetings or language acquisition. Due to COVID19, there is greater flexibility in research topics, design, and expenses than would normally be considered in past years;
  • Recipients of previous CLAG Field Study Awards are ineligible to apply with the exception that previous winners at the Master’s level may apply for the Ph.D. level award if they are enrolled in a Ph.D. program;
  • Fieldwork must be conducted during the dates specified in the proposal. Any anticipated significant changes must be reported to the CLAG Chair;
  • All awardees must provide a home address;
  • US awardees must supply a US social security number to the CLAG Treasurer before receiving the award (this is necessary for CLAG to comply with IRS reporting obligations).


Proposals will be evaluated on criteria including but not limited to the following:

  • Quality of the proposal:
    • Coherent research question(s);
    • Clearly described and viable research design with research question(s) situated in relevant theoretical or conceptual literature;
    • Feasibility of proposed work and viable research timeline;
    • Adequate preparation demonstrated;
    • Academic rigor and potential contribution to Latin American geography.

A selection committee will review all applications and make a recommendation to the CLAG chair. Awardees will be notified by April 9, 2021.

All applications should be submitted via email to Rebecca Clouser no later than March 15, 2021 as a single document that includes the following items:

1)   Applicant cover sheet (click to download);

2)   Fieldwork Proposal Narrative;

3)   Curriculum Vitae (two pages);

4)   Faculty Letter of Support, sent by the recommender, not applicant.

Please save the file as “YourLastName_ CLAG_2021_Field”. Email subject line should indicate “CLAG 2021 Field Study Award Application”.

Fieldwork Proposal Narrative

Please write a narrative describing your proposed field and/or archival research, including research questions, a brief description of methods and theoretical approach, research timeline, and how CLAG money will be spent. Maximum length: 5 pages, typed, double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman, 1” margins. A list of cited references must be included but will not count toward the page limit. If the proposed research is part of a larger project (led by advisor or other) the applicant must make clear his or her own contribution to the project.

Curriculum Vitae

Two-page maximum. Include the most relevant information for the committee to consider.

Faculty Letter of Support

Each application must be accompanied by one letter of support from the student’s primary faculty advisor. It should be no longer than two pages. The Faculty Letter of Support should address the following aspects:

  • The student’s abilities and promise in the field of geography with a focus on Latin America, as well as the potential significance and impact of the proposed research;
  • Assessment of the student’s ability to conduct the proposed fieldwork and viability of the project;
  • Assessment of the student’s language proficiency to conduct the fieldwork effectively, including formal preparation (coursework, experience), or other experiences indicating language proficiency.

The Faculty Letter of Support must be sent to the CLAG Honors Committee chair: Rebecca Clouser as an email attachment whose title is “Student’sLastName_Letter_Support”.

Required Report for Recipients

All Field Study Award recipients must complete a 2-3-page final research report (along with an abstract and keywords) describing the awardee’s fieldwork experiences, detailing how the funds were spent, and achievement of objectives. In addition, the report should be accompanied by a few photographs with descriptive captions, one of which should be of the award recipient in the field. This report is due to the Chair of CLAG by October 15, 2021. The reports will be published on the CLAG website and in summary form in the CLAG Newsletter. Although not required, CLAG hopes all applicants will present findings from their fieldwork at the upcoming CLAG meeting in Tucson, Arizona (January 2022).

See examples of previous reports here.

More Information

Please direct your questions to Rebecca Clouser, CLAG Honors Committee chair.

We look forward to reviewing your innovative proposals.

View the field reports of past award recipients here, and check back to see the field reports from this year’s awardees.