Fund Details
Tropical Resources Institute (TRI) Fellowship
Award Amount
up to $8,000
Competition Type

Brief Description:

TRI's Endowed Fellowship Program is designed to support senior undergraduate, Master's, and Doctoral level research in tropical countries. These projects are interdisciplinary in nature and cover a wide range of issues that surround the study, management, and conservation of tropical resources. TRI awards are restricted to YSE students and students in joint programs with YSE (e.g., the joint IR Master’s degree, the joint Anthropology Doctoral degree), as well as Yale College junior undergraduates applying for senior thesis research. All applicants require an YSE-affiliated mentor. TRI supports both natural and social science research projects. Fellowships generally range from $1,500 to $8,000.


TRI generally awards fellowships ranging from $1,500 to $8,000. 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 on the TRI website at 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.

TRI also offers several other fellowships, including the Sri Lanka Forest Conservation Fellowship, the Forest Fragments Fellowship, and the Runa Foundation Fellowship. You may use this form to apply for those fellowships by indicating your interest when prompted below. Students should apply to only one TRI Fellowship that best matches their summer research interests.

For more information on TRI, visit

Potential projects and partners identified by TRI are listed on the TRI website. These partners have identified high-priority areas for investigation that will provide immediate and clear benefit.

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 mid April.

Application Information:

All TRI Fellowship applicants must discuss their proposals with an YSE advisor and certify that they have done so on their final application. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with an in-country sponsor or collaborator.

Interested students will need to submit the following through the Yale Student Grants System:

·       Project Proposal

·       Research Schedule

·       Unofficial Yale Transcript

·       Other Post-High School Transcripts

·       CV/Resume

·       IRB Prep 

·       Budget

Detailed descriptions of required materials are included below.


Project Proposal

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 what relevant language and technical skills you possess. (Applicants must demonstrate language competency for international research; proposals by students without such competency are usually unsuccessful). Describe any planned collaboration or affiliation with other researchers or organizations, local or otherwise.

Note: You may attach one additional page for references in the style appropriate to your discipline. The text of your proposal must adhere to the 2-page limit.

Proposal Format and Typesetting Requirements
The proposal must be clear, readily legible, and conform to the following requirements:

Use one of the following typefaces: Arial, Courier New, or Palatino Linotype at a font size of 10 points or larger; Times New Roman at a font size of 11 points or larger; Computer Modern family of fonts at a font size of 11 points or larger
A font size of less than 10 points may be used for mathematical formulas or equations, figure, table or diagram captions and when using a Symbol font to insert Greek letters or special characters. Applicants are cautioned, however, that the text must still be readable.

Margins, in all directions, must be at least one inch.

Research Schedule

Describe your timeline for accomplishing the activities described in your proposal. A table, with a list of tasks in the left hand column and a list of weeks across the top can be an effective means of displaying this information, or you may elaborate a list of tasks to be completed each week.  One page maximum.


The application system provides fields for you to 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. You may use the budget template available on the TRI website to prepare the information before entering it directly into the online application. 

Inadmissible 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. 

Proposal Ranking Rubric

Proposals will be scored according to the following three criteria:

A. Research Design

The applicant explains how the proposed methods are likely to result in data or evidence that will improve understanding of the research question or problem.

B. Preparation

The applicant demonstrates adequate personal preparation in the theory, methodological requirements, logistical planning and timeframe of their proposed research.

C. Justification

The applicant conveys the importance of their research through a well-structured, logical, written proposal.

If applicants have any questions about the TRI proposal process, students should contact the Program Coordinator at

Special Eligibility Requirements:

All Master’s and all Doctoral students currently enrolled at F&ES who will also be enrolled at F&ES in the fall of 2020 are eligible to apply to the TRI fellowship program. Undergraduate students at Yale College may apply to this fellowship to support research for a senior thesis with prior approval from the TRI Director. Students may apply for TRI fellowships more than once, but priority will be given to first time applicants. 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.

Restrictions to Use of Award:

TRI Fellowships may only be used to cover expenses associated with summer research projects and is not available to cover any preliminary expenses -- including mid-year travel to field sites -- incurred by students in the development of their individual projects. Nor are TRI Fellowships available for travel during the academic year to meetings, conferences, etc.


Yale University policy requires that certain types of research projects involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the start of the study to ensure that the project meets University Policy and any other applicable regulations. To see if your project needs to be reviewed, for advice on working with human subjects, and for more information about the IRB process and requirements go to

Links to Additional Information:

See more at

Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Simon Queenborough at

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      Grant or Fellowship Purpose
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          Citizenship Status
          • U.S. citizens are eligible
          • Non-U.S. citizens are eligible
            Current FAS Graduate School Discipline
            • GS A&S Science - Forestry and Environmental Studies
              Current Professional School Discipline
              • Yale School of the Environment
              • FES - M. Environmental Management
              • FES - M. Environmental Science
              • FES - M. Forest Science
              • FES - M. Forestry
              • FES - Ph.D
                Begin Accepting Applications Date:
                Deadline Date (EST Time Zone):
                3/06/2024 1:00 PM