Graduate Student Research

Eyes Wide Open, Downtown Los Angeles (Photo by Catherine S. Ramírez)

The RCA supports graduate students at UC Santa Cruz via our research grants, the Lionel Cantú Memorial Award, and our Professional Development Award.

If a graduate student falls out of good academic standing and/or takes a leave of absence, they are required to notify the RCA about their change of status and return any unused funds to the RCA.


About the Budget

RCA awards for graduate students follow these budget guidelines:

Allowable expenses include miscellaneous research services (e.g., manuscript preparation, translation, videographer, website designer); software packages, books, and other research supplies; and travel for research and to present work at professional meetings (economy-class airfare only, following UC travel guidelines).

Non-allowable expenses include general overhead and computer hardware

Please notify the RCA in advance by email if there are significant changes to your proposed budget. An example of a significant change is if you've proposed to use your funds for a research trip, but are no longer able to do so. Any significant changes must be pre-approved.


Graduate Student Research Grants

The Research Center for the Americas will award research grants (up to $1000 each) for UCSC graduate students conducting research in the areas of interest to the RCA including Chicanx, Latinx, and Latin American, migration, cross-border/hemispheric, and human rights studies. As noted above, funds are available for domestic and international travel for the purpose of archival research and data collection, and for research supplies and services.

Eligibility: Graduate students in good academic standing at UC Santa Cruz. 

Recipients are expected to acknowledge the RCA's support in any publications related to the sponsored research and to share their findings in a public forum convened by the RCA. They must also submit a report by June 15th to conclude the fiscal year. 
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Lionel Cantú Memorial Award

The RCA is proud to collaborate with the Departments of Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies in supporting graduate students working in Latino sociology, immigration studies, transnational/cross-border studies, and gender and sexuality studies, particularly with a focus on gay men and masculinity, via the Lionel Cantú Memorial Award. The call for applications is generally issued during the spring quarter and the award amount ranges between $600 – $700.

Professional Development Award

While we encourage UC Santa Cruz graduate students to apply for our research grants during the fall and for the Lionel Cantú Memorial Award in the spring, we recognize that professional development opportunities (such as attending a conference or symposium) sometimes arise at other times of the year. The RCA director maintains a modest fund that supports graduate students' professional development. Recipients may use the award to present work or to interview for an academic job at a professional meeting.

To apply, students must demonstrate that Chicano, Latino, Latin American, and/or migration studies is a primary field of their research and they must be in good academic standing. In addition to submitting a one-page application letter and itemized budget to the RCA director, applicants must be recommended by a member of the UC Santa Cruz faculty. A faculty recommendation may be in the form of a brief email (to rca@ucsc.edu) in which the faculty member confirms the graduate student is in good academic standing and that the proposed project aligns with the RCA’s research areas of interest. Awardees must submit a one-page report no more than 30 days after spending the funds and are expected to acknowledge the RCA's support in any publications related to the sponsored research.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and pending funding. 

Tip Sheet for Endorsement Letter Writers

Feel free to share the "Tip Sheet for Endorsement Letter Writers" by Dr. Ben V. Olguín (Robert and Liisa Erickson Presidential Chair in English, University of California, Santa Barbara) with your faculty letter writers.