Jane's Travel Grants
The Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) program each year awards Jane's Travel Grants to Brandeis students to conduct research in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Latin American Diaspora in the United States. Grants vary in size, depending on air fare, length of trip and project budget. The maximum grant is $3,500.
The grants cover research expenses such as travel, room and board and photocopying. It does not fund study at a foreign institution or cover tuition, internship fees or the purchase of durable equipment such as tape recorders, cameras or laptop computers.
Brandeis graduate students and undergraduates in all departments are eligible to apply, although students in the LALS major/minor receive highest priority. Proposals connected with a senior project, departmental honors thesis, independent research, internship, master's thesis or doctoral dissertation are eligible. Small grants are also available for groups of students traveling to Latin America during inter-semester or spring breaks in connection with a class or structured study project. Recipients will be required to make a presentation on the research to the Brandeis community upon return as well as to provide a 250-300 word write up and at least one picture of their research findings for the LALS Blog.
The travel grant may be combined with other university grants, such as the Sachar, Peace Prize, undergraduate and Richter Research awards, or individual departmental funds. Projects involving research with human subjects (interviews, participant observation, etc.) will require clearance from the Brandeis Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.
Undergraduates may use the awards to conduct research during inter-semester break, spring break, or the summer. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in all majors are eligible to apply for the inter-semester break, spring break, or summer research grants; seniors may apply only for the inter-semester grant. Graduate students may schedule research within six months of receiving the grant.
Graduate students may apply for the grant only if they will be enrolled as a student at Brandeis during the semester or year after their research trip. The individual inter-semester research trips may begin any time after December 12, 2012 or once finals or course papers are completed and turned in, whichever comes first, and must be of at least two-and-a-half weeks' duration; the length of the group or class spring break trips will be considered when that application is submitted. The summer research trips may begin any time after May 11, 2013, and must be at least four weeks long.
Application Deadlines and Notification of Awards
Applications for the winter and spring grants are due Friday, November 9, 2012 by 9 a.m. The recipients will be announced by November 16. Applications for the summer grants are due Wednesday, March 13, 2013, by 9 a.m. The recipients will be announced by March 21.
Winners must notify the LALS program of their acceptance within 10 days of receiving the award. Submissions should be sent to Adam Gamwell, LALS, MS 036/Olin-Sang 218. Applicants for individual grants must submit all items listed below; applicants for group grants need submit only those listed under Number 1.
Applicants must submit:
- A proposal which includes:
- a cover sheet with a short project title and the applicant's name, undergraduate class or expected date of graduate degree, mailbox, phone number and e-mail address. A hard copy of the proposal is required; no e-mailed or faxed proposals will be accepted.
- a concise description of the proposed travel project with a well-thought-out summary of the project's objectives and how it fits into undergraduate or graduate program
- the dates and destination of the trip
- a budget, including airfare
- the applicant's qualifications to conduct this research, including foreign-language skills
- proposal dates for postresearch presentation to Brandeis University
- Two letters of recommendation from Brandeis professors who have taught you in a course. Both letters should comment on the feasibility of the proposed project as well as the applicant's ability to conduct the research.
- A Brandeis University transcript, official or unofficial. A hard copy is required; no e-mailed or fax proposals will be accepted.
Jane's Travel Grant recipients will be selected by a committee of faculty members from the LALS program. Applicants may be called for an interview at the committee's discretion. A list of previous prize-winning projects can be found here; instructions on how to prepare a proposal follows. For further information, contact the administrator of the LALS Program (781) 736-2293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Prepare a Proposal
Your proposal should choose one major question, concern or issue as the main focus of your research, but may also include additional subsidiary questions. The proposal should give a general description of your research problem. It should address the following questions: Why is this subject interesting or important? What is the relationship of your primary question or approach to other work in this field?
Be certain to explain what you will do should you win the grant. Where will you conduct research and for how long? How do you go from an intellectual problem to doing actual fieldwork? Be specific in how you will spend your time: in interviews, library research, observation, etc.
A budget must be included with your proposal. You should show that you have done some logistical planning: airfare, cost of food, lodging, transportation within the country, etc. Jane's Travel Grants do not cover equipment and book purchases or research assistants.
Your proposal should state your qualifications to conduct this research by describing any relevant courses taken, papers written, previous travel or research experience, special preparation or training, language skills, etc. Be sure to include any contacts you have made and how they will help with your research project. Such details will emphasize to the committee the serious thought you have given to your proposal.
Proposals involving research with human subjects (interviews, participant observation, etc.) require proof of clearance from the Brandeis Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (BCPHS). The committee provides oversight and assurance that human subjects are protected from possible harm during the research. BCPHS approval may require several months, and students are therefore urged to work with faculty advisers to begin the process well before the submission of the travel grant proposal. Proposals undergoing the review process may be approved for funding dependent upon the final approval of the BCPHS; however, the release of funds to grantees will be dependent upon the committee's final approval. Information on human subjects research and the BCPHS, along with the required forms, may be found at: http://www.brandeis.edu/osp/hsintro.html.
If you have questions concerning your project, and whether it requires the approval of the BCPHS, please contact your adviser or the Office of Sponsored Programs.