CLALS Announces Call for Interdisciplinary Research Cluster (IRC) Grant Proposals






The Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies (CLALS) is seeking to promote interdisciplinary research to tackle important problems in the Americas during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome interdisciplinary research proposals from teams of two or more Penn faculty with primary affiliations in at least two different departments, and with at least one CLALS faculty affiliate. The research groups must also include graduate and undergraduate students. CLALS will provide interdisciplinary research clusters grants of up to $5,000 to be used during the 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 CLALS, 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 CLALS community at a convenient and mutually agreed time, and a brief report of activities by April 30, 2023.

In the event of equally deserving proposals, priority will be given to teams that include junior faculty.


Application instructions and materials:  

Please combine the following application documents in one MSWord or PDF document, in the order they are listed below and email your application to: You will receive an acknowledgment of receipt within 48 hours.    


1.     The APPLICATION COVER SHEET signed by the corresponding faculty, who should be CLALS-affiliated.  

2.     an abstract of no more than 200 words;  

3.     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 IRC grant,
  • the number of graduate and undergraduate students involved in the project and role they will perform. If these students are already identified, please list their names and departments or majors in the cover sheet. If a postdoctoral fellow will be involved in the project, please list them in the cover sheet as well. If other partners will be included (such as external collaborators or community partners), please also list them in the cover section, with an explanation of their role in the project here, 
  • list of citations or relevant references list (not to exceed one page),

4.     a budget (in excel spreadsheet preferably)

5.     a brief budget narrative, explaining each expense of budget. This budget narrative should also describe the financial need of the team, matching funds, i.e. what other sources of support are available to the team and/or being sought in or outside Penn, or why other sources of funding are not available (e.g. no discretionary funds, not an allowable expense on an existing grant, etc.)   

6.     curriculum vitae of all the faculty applicants.


If you have any questions about this call for proposals, please contact the CLALS at