Latino studies fellowships backed by foundation grant
A University of Illinois at Chicago-based national Latino research consortium has received a three-year, $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support doctoral students working in Latino humanities.
The grant will allow the Inter-University Program for Latino Research to develop a national fellowship program designed to mentor Latino studies scholars as they complete their doctoral research and improve their job-market readiness.
“Financial constraints, family obligations and lack of mentors in the discipline are among the reasons why many students do not finish their dissertations,” said the project’s principal investigator Maria de los Angeles Torres, executive director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research. “With a growing Latino population in the U.S., it is important to support these scholars who can make valuable contributions to understanding and transforming this evolving field.”
Six fellows per year will be funded through the national program. Each fellow will receive a yearly stipend of $25,000, a faculty mentor in Latino studies, monthly teleconferences with other fellows, and opportunities to present at conferences.
Candidates must have completed their fifth year of doctoral studies and be at one of five participating member institutions from the Inter-University Program for Latino Research:
- Latin American and Latino studies program at UIC
- Chicano Studies Research Center at the University of California-Los Angeles
- Center for Puerto Rican Studies at City University of New York’s Hunter College
- Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
- Dominican Studies Institutes at the City College of New York.
“Aligning the fellows with centers dedicated to Latino studies will increase their intellectual support network and providing a fellowship will give them a year to concentrate solely on their dissertations,” said Torres, who is professor of Latin American and Latino studies at UIC.
Each summer the fellows will gather at UIC to share research and attend workshops on writing strategies, preparing documents for publication, and professional development.
Torres hopes the program can serve as a sustainable plan to build and maintain a pipeline of Latino studies scholars after the grant ends.
The Inter-University Program for Latino Research is a national consortium of 25 university-based Latino research centers that aim to promote policy-focused research and advance the Latino intellectual presence in the U.S. Founded in 1983, the group supports research and programs that foster greater understanding of U.S. Latinos in politics, economics, culture, art, history and immigration.