Criteria for Selection

Awards are based on development and scholarly criteria. Personal qualifications, including a demonstrated commitment relevant to grassroots development, as well as previous grassroots related experience and collaborations, are also part of the criteria. Proposals should offer a practical orientation to field-based research. In exceptional cases the IAF will support research reflecting a primary interest in macro questions of politics and economics, but only as related to the environment of the poor.

The Fellowship Program complements IAF’s support for grassroots development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and preference is for those applicants whose careers or research projects are related to topics of greatest interest to the IAF. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Organizations undertaking grassroots development with disadvantaged people;
  • The financial sustainability and independence of development organizations, and the mobilization of community assets;
  • The inclusion in development processes of historically excluded groups, such as African descendants, indigenous peoples, women, people with disabilities, young people and LGBTI groups;
  • Transnational development;
  • The role of corporate social responsibility in grassroots development;
  • The impact of globalization on grassroots development;
  • The impact on the quality of life of the poor of grassroots development activities in such areas as sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, housing, health care, education, urban development, technology transfer, jobs creation, and marketing and small-enterprise development.


An IAF Fellowship will not be awarded to individual who, at the time of submitting the application and during the period when such application is under consideration, is a party to a contract with the Inter-American Foundation to perform in-country services or is a director, officer, employee, or contractor of an in-country service organization under contract to the Inter-American Foundation.

During their field research period, IAF Fellows are prohibited from being a party to a contract with the Inter-American Foundation to perform in-country services or from holding the position of a director, officer, employee or contractor of an in-country service organization under contract to the IAF.

IAF Fellowship requirements prohibit the award of an IAF Fellowship to individuals employed by and on payroll of a U.S. government agency during the field research period, and to past IAF employees during the 12-month period following their separation from the IAF.

Successful applicants are required to disclose details of other grants/awards they have been offered for disbursement the research period. IAF Fellows cannot receive other funding (grants, fellowships, compensation, reimbursement, stipends or otherwise) in support of research conducted during the research period. Full-time employment is not permitted.

Funding is for between four and 12 months, and is not renewable. Research during the 2017-2018 cycle must be initiated between June 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.

Fellows are expected to remain in the research country for the duration of the fellowship period. Absences require IAF’s prior written approval, and may result in a deduction to the stipend.