TRI Endowment Fellowship

TRI Endowment Fellowships are intended to support F&ES master's and doctoral students to conduct research on the social and ecological dimensions, and the conservation and management, of the tropical environment. Each year TRI provides funding and logistical support for approximately 20-30 students. TRI awards are restricted to F&ES students and students in joint programs with F&ES (e.g., the joint IR Master’s degree, the joint Anthropology Doctoral degree). TRI supports both natural and social science research projects.


1. Eligibility: All Master’s and all Doctoral students currently enrolled at F&ES who will also be enrolled at F&ES in the fall of 2014 are eligible to apply to the TRI fellowship program.  Students may only apply once during their Master’s or Ph.D. program.  Note: If you are a doctoral student, please make it clear whether you are applying for funds to support dissertation or pre-dissertation work.

TRI supports research in tropical, less-developed countries.  Applications to work in sub-tropical regions, or in developed countries in tropical regions, will be considered on a case-by-case basis as resources permit.

2. Proposal evaluation: Proposals are evaluated by the TRI steering committee on the basis of their importance to our understanding of the social and ecological dimensions, and the conservation and management, of the tropical environment; and the soundness and feasibility of the proposed methodologies. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision in early to mid April.

3. The award: TRI generally awards fellowships ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. Applicants are expected to apply for matching funds from other sources at Yale and will be marked down if they do not. A list of other sources at Yale is available here. Successful applicants are responsible for completing their research as described in their proposal, and for notifying TRI of any substantial changes in their project design.

4. Application process: Students must submit applications for the TRI Fellowship through the Yale Student Grants Database. The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 5 pm. Applicants must discuss their proposals with an F&ES faculty member/advisor, whose approval of the submitted proposal must be certified by the applicant on the application.  Applicants are also strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with an in-country sponsor or collaborator.  If applicants have any questions about the TRI proposal process, Master’s students should contact the TRI Program Managers or make an appointment to stop by the TRI office, which is located at 301 Prospect Street, room 202; and Doctoral students should contact the TRI Director or come by during office hours.


The proposal should be single-spaced and written in Times New Roman 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Excess pages will be discarded! Final proposals must include the following:

1. TRI Proposal Cover Page

2. Proposal Narrative (2 pp. maximum, excess pages will be discarded):

The proposal narrative should include the following sections:

A. Problem statement, research questions, and research objectives: Define the problem you propose to examine and explain why it is important. Your research question should develop logically from the problem statement, and your research objectives should develop logically from the research question. Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time-frame that you have to conduct your research.

B. Literature review: The literature review should show how your proposed research fits into the larger theoretical frameworks or debates within the field of study and/or what practical solution will result from it.

C. Field site selection and justification: Describe your field site and explain why it is an appropriate location in which to pursue your research questions.  If specific sites cannot be selected until you are in the field, describe how those sites will eventually be selected.

D. Methodology: Make a clear and realistic connection between your research questions and the methods and analyses that you will use to answer them. Be specific and concrete about what methods you will employ once you get to your field site.

E. Personal qualifications and research collaborations: Describe whatrelevant language and technical skills you possess. (Lack of appropriate language training, in any research involving human subjects, will disqualify proposals.)  Describe any planned collaboration or affiliation with other researchers or organizations, local or otherwise.

Note: Please do not attach a separate bibliography; in text citations are sufficient (ie. Author Year). Do not include additional pages of footnotes, tables, figures, or other materials; you must adhere to the 2 page limit.

3. Budget and Timeline:

A. Itemized Project Budget: Using the form provided, list all significant project expenses, including airfare, in-country transportation, room and board, equipment, supplies, stipends for field or research assistants, sample analysis, and other research expenses. Inadmissable expenses include applicant salaries or stipends, and the cost of expensive equipment such as laptops and cameras. TRI will not fund equipment over $200. If you are applying to multiple Yale sources (as you should be), include the whole project budget and potential sources, as well as the amount you are requesting from TRI. Please note that your budget totals submitted to TRI and other Yale funding sources must match.

B. Research Schedule (1 p.): Describe your time-line for accomplishing the activities described in your proposal. A table, with a list of tasks in the left hand column and a list of months across the top can be an effective means of displaying this information.

Publication: Significant results may be summarized as articles for submission to Tropical Resources: The Bulletin of the Yale Tropical Resources Institute.

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