Norm and Sibby Whitten Research Fund 2020-2021 Guidelines

Whitten Research Fund 2020Norm and Sibby Whitten Research Fund 2020-2021

Application deadline: November 15, 2020

(see guidelines in PDF format)

The Norm and Sibby Whitten Research Fund 2020-2021 supports pre-project travel grants for full- time graduate students in the early stages of formulating their dissertation research proposal. This Grant-in-Aid is to initiate contact and collaborative working relationships with host country institutions and scholars, as well as with local communities.

Preference is given to research projects in lowland South America that reflect the work and themes of Norm and Sibby Whitten, including, but not restricted to, topics such as indigenous cosmologies, Indigenous knowledge-production, ethno-aesthetics, gender, ethnic identities, interculturality, cultural transformations, and histories of the present.

This pre-project travel Grant-in-Aid is also intended to facilitate contacts with local communities and scholars in the host country for the purpose of acquiring any necessary permissions for the future research.


  • Funding is restricted to full-time master and doctoral graduate students. Indigenous and early-stage doctoral students will be given preference in funding.
  • While membership of SALSA is not a requirement for application, preference will be given to applicants who are members of SALSA and/or whose primary  advisor is a member of SALSA.
  • Eligibility is open to citizens of all countries. Latin American students  are specifically encouraged to apply.

Fundable expenses

  • National and international travel to potential research sites.
  • Local transportation, lodging, and per diem expenses.
  • Visa and/or permit fees.
  • Neither the Norm and Sibby Whitten Fund nor SALSA is responsible to secure travel insurance, permits, and other legal requirements needed in the country  of origin or in the host country.

Funding Amount

Grant amounts range from US$ 600 to US$ 2,000, and will vary depending on travel costs to the research site, the availability of funds, and funding from other sources. It is the intention of SALSA to allocate approximately US$ 3,500 annually.

Submission Deadlines

  • Applications are accepted through November 15, 2020, for projects initiating after January 1, 2021.
  • Applications are accepted electronically through 12:00am (midnight) Eastern Standard Time (
  • All materials, including the letter of recommendation, must be submitted by the deadline.
  • Proposals are reviewed and ranked by an international committee of SALSA members with expertise in lowland South American ethnology.
  • Funding decisions will be announced by e-mail in December.

Application requirements

Completed application form.

Completed budget form.

Please send following documents as a single PDF to:

  • Abstract (200 words or less) describing the proposed project and its significance in a style that is clearly understandable to a non-specialist
  • Proposal (1000 words or less) including: Overall aim, research area, scientific background, and key objectives; Relevance and significance of the proposed project; Envisioned collaboration and capacity building; Feasibility.
  • Timetable
  • References to the relevant literature (maximum 15 references)
  • Evidence of support or e-mail communication demonstrating initial contact with a host country scholar is appreciated though not required.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • University transcript (an unofficial copy is sufficient).

Letter of Recommendation from the applicant’s principal advisor should be sent directly to

Reporting requirement

Within sixty (60) days of completion of the research, the grantee must submit the following items:

  • Final report summarizing the travel and work carried out during the grant   period (maximum of three pages).
  • Abstract of the final report for the SALSA website (maximum of 200 words, written in a style that is clearly understandable to a non-specialist).
  • We invite any photograph, film or other material created that could be posted on the SALSA website to publicize this project.


The Whitten Research Fund 2020 requests acknowledgement of support in all publications resulting in whole or in part from this grant.

Contact information

Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen
Indigenous Studies, University of Helsinki
00014 Finland