The Tropical Resources Institute currently administers the TRI Endowment Fellowship, the Sri Lanka Conservation Fund Fellowship, the Runa Foundation Fellowship, and the Forest Fragments Fellowship, all of which support Masters and Doctoral level research in the tropics each year.
TRI works closely with F&ES students interested in tropical research, advising students on research design, proposal development, and field methods, as well as facilitating in-country collaborations in some cases. The proposal development and advising that we offer students has helped them craft highly successful proposals and find matching funds from other donors on campus, such as the MacMillan Center, Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale, South Asian Studies Council, Southeast Asian Studies Council, Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, among many others. TRI requires applicants to apply to additional funding sources, both on and off campus; a detailed list of these funders can be found here.
To help identify complex challenges that can be addressed in a summer research project, TRI maintains research partnerships with organizations interested in collaborating with F&ES students. Projects that Fellows could undertake are detailed on this page. Please contact the TRI Program Manager for more information on these partnerships or on the research assistance TRI provides.
A public briefing on the TRI awards is held for the F&ES student body early in the Fall semester. The deadline for proposals also will be announced later in the fall semester. In the interim, students planning to apply to the TRI Endowment Fellowship should bear the following points in mind as they plan their course-work and research:
Applicants must demonstrate language competency for international research. Proposals by students without such competency are usually unsuccessful, not just at TRI but across the university. Any necessary language course work, especially by Master’s students, must typically start in the FALL semester of their first year.
Course selection during this same FALL semester should be designed insofar as curriculum guidelines permit to focus on courses that will give the student the necessary theoretical and conceptual underpinnings to write coherent, focused, topical research proposals by early in the SPRING semester.
By the start of the SPRING semester, prospective applicants should also be working to obtain Human Subjects Committee approval, or waivers, for their research from the Institutional Review Board. See the following two pages for more information: Getting Started and Forms, Templates, and Instructions.
Please note: Funding from the TRI Endowment Fellowship may only be used to cover expenses associated with summer research projects and is not available to cover any preliminary expenses - including mid-year travel to field sites - incurred by students in the development of their individual projects. Nor are TRI funds available for travel during the academic year to meetings, etc.
TRI administers the following four fellowships for independent summer research. All use the same application procedure.
TRI’s Endowed Fellowship Program is designed to support Master’s and Doctoral level research in tropical countries. Each year TRI provides funding and logistical support for 20-30 students at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Over the past twenty-two years TRI has supported over 600 student research projects in more than 60 different countries. Following the mission of F&ES, these projects are interdisciplinary in nature and cover a wide range of issues that surround the study, management, and conservation of tropical resources. TRI encourages both natural and social science research. More details.
The following three fellowships are restricted in geographical location, but not in field of study.
Two $5000.00 conservation and development internships are available to conduct research at the Field Center for the Sri Lanka Program in Forest Conservation. The Sri Lanka Program in Forest Conservation is dedicated to understanding and developing technologies around rain forest conservation and community development in and around the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and Man and the Biosphere Reserve in southwest Sri Lanka. More details.
Runa is a social enterprise that looks for new ways to value tropical forests that can support local livelihoods and conserve forest ecosystems. The Runa Foundation is a US-based 501c3 that works closely with its commercial partner, Runa LLC, to develop new value chains of plant-based products in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon. One fellowship is available. More details.
For a relatively small area, western Ecuador has several unique, geographically small, and isolated forest types, a high percentage of plants known no where else, and is an area that has been severely deforested. Fragments of forest remain on private land or in the few national or private parks, embedded in a matrix of banana and cacao plantations. Opportunities are available for social or natural science studies. One to two fellowships available. More details.