LALS Announces Call for Interdisciplinary Research Cluster Grant Proposals

LALS is pleased to announce the call for Interdisciplinary Research Cluster Grant Proposals, of up to $3,000 each. 

Please see the October 9, 2020 message below about this new initiative.

Review of the proposals will begin on November 9, 2020. 

LALS will hold an information session on Friday, October 23 at 4:00 P.M.

Dear LALS community,
It is my pleasure to announce LALS is launching a new call for proposals for Interdisciplinary Research Clusters Grants, of up to $3,000 each, as described below. 






Latin American and Latinx Studies Program is seeking to promote interdisciplinary research approaches to important problems in the Americas during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, we are launching a call for interdisciplinary research proposals by teams of two or more Penn faculty with primary affiliations in at least two different departments. At least one faculty team member must be affiliated with LALSThe research groups must also include graduate and undergraduate students.  

 LALS will provide interdisciplinary research clusters grants of up to $3,000 to be used during the 2020-2021 academic year. These funds can be applied to hiring graduate or undergraduate students as research assistants and to covering research-associated expenses (such as non-library materials, databases, transcription services, archiving services, field research assistance that conforms to local public health authorities’ guidelines and Penn IRB protocols when applicable, personal protection equipment for field research assistants, etc.) Due to the relatively small size of the grants, we cannot fund computers or electronic equipment purchases. We cannot fund travel expenses either.


 The following list of research topics is of high interest to LALS, although we will be glad to fund deserving proposals on other topics:


1)    Indigenous Peoples, Latinx, Afrolatinidad, and systemic racism in the Americas

2)    Dispossessions of territories, bodies, and cultural heritage in the Americas

3)    Migration, social mobility, income inequality and redistribution

4)    Public health, health as a human right, intercultural health, and access to health care
5)    Obstacles to high quality public education
6)    Challenges to democracy in the Americas
7)    Climate change and environmental sustainability


Funded interdisciplinary research teams will be required to present their research in-progress to the LALS community at a convenient and mutually agreed time, and a brief report of activities by May 15, 2021.


Deadline to present proposals: Monday November 9, 2020 at 5pm. After that date, proposals will be considered on a rolling bases. In the event of equally deserving proposals, priority will be given to teams that include junior faculty who have minimal or no personal discretionary funds.


Application materials:


  • LALS IRC COVER SHEET, signed by the corresponding faculty, their department chair, and business administrator; (this cover sheet is also attached to this email and must be “dropped” in the Qualtrics application submission form that is linked below)
  • an abstract of no more than 200 words;
  • a proposal of no more than five pages describing the interdisciplinary research project, which should include the following:
    • topic, main questions, and relevance of the topic,
    • main argument and methodology,
    • the research tasks that will be developed with the LALS IRC grant,
    • the number of graduate and undergraduate students involved in the project and the role they will perform. If these students are already identified, please list their names and departments or majors. If a postdoctoral fellow will be involved in the project, please list them as well. If other partners will be included (such as community partners), please also list them in this section.
    • List of citations or relevant references list (not to exceed one page) 
  • a budget and a brief budget narrative, both of which must be reviewed by the business administrator of the corresponding faculty’s departments, as attested to by their signature on the LALS IRC cover sheet. The budget narrative should describe the financial need of the team, i.e. what other sources of support are available to the team and/or being sought at and beyond Penn, or why other sources of funding are not available (e.g. no discretionary funds, not an allowable expense on an existing grant, etc.)
  • Curriculum vitae of all the faculty applicants.

Submit your application at 


If you have any questions about this call for proposals, please contact Associate Director Cathy Bartch at or me.


We look forward to receiving your applications and getting our LALS interdisciplinary research cluster teams off the ground!
Thank you and warmest regards, 
Tulia Falleti
Class of 1965 Endowed Term Professor of Political Science
Director of Latin American and Latinx Studies Program
Senior Fellow Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
University of Pennsylvania