Independent Research

While most PLAS students complete the program with a senior thesis related to Latin America and the Caribbean, some choose to fulfill this requirement through an independent research project. To assist these students, PLAS offers dedicated travel funding. As with our Senior Thesis Funding, these grants facilitate a richness of experience in student work.

Promoting Up-Close Experience

Many complete their independent research projects during the summer after junior year. However, seniors may plan research during fall or winter break. By encouraging direct work in the country or countries being studied, the goal is to foster otherwise unavailable insights.

Application Details


  • Juniors, seniors
  • Preference given to PLAS students


  • Funding: Up to $3,000
  • Application cycles: Summer, fall break, winter / intersession
  • Funding covers: Air and ground travel (coach only), room and board, living expenses
  • Not covered: Equipment, materials, and other expenditures
  • Restrictions: PLAS will not fund travel to countries on the U.S. State Department travel-warning list, unless an exception is granted by the University

Opportunities: Upon their return, students submit photos taken while carrying out their research in Latin America and a one- to two-page synthesis of their research results. Awardees may be invited to present their results at a PLAS event.


Find complete application details via SAFE.

Seeking inspiration?
See recent senior thesis topics, from politics and physics to history.