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Paul E. Sigmund Scholars Award

This award is offered to first- and second-year students who plan to do exploratory summer research in Latin America. Preference will be given to students enrolled in the PLAS certificate.

This is an excellent opportunity for first- and second-year students to travel to Latin America and do some preliminary research that might eventually lead to a junior paper or senior thesis.

Grant monies can also be used for non-profit work, travel or other activities that are likely to increase their commitment to, and knowledge of, the region.

The Paul E. Sigmund Scholars Award honors Princeton University Emeritus Professor of Politics Paul E. Sigmund. Professor Sigmund joined the Politics Department in 1963, where he taught political theory and Latin American politics. He also served as PLAS Director. His research has taken him frequently to Latin America, particularly to Chile. He has edited five volumes, written seven books, translated and edited two classical texts on political thought, and is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Fulbright.


Awardees receive up to $5,000 to pursue an eight- to twelve-week field project anywhere in Latin America or the Caribbean during summer 2016. Allowable expenses include airport transportation, coach airfare, in-country travel, room and board.


Princeton University students who are enrolled on a full-time basis and who fulfill all the following requirements are eligible to apply.

  • Enrolled to pursue a Certificate in Latin American Studies
  • Completed at least one course (preferably more) approved for the Certificate in Latin American Studies
  • Achieved basic fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, or French (minimum 207-level or equivalent)
  • Students can apply for the award twice during their time at Princeton


Applications can be filed through the Student Activities Funding Engine

Selection Process & Post-Summer Report

A faculty committee appointed by the PLAS Director will review all applications.

  • Preference is given to freshmen and sophomores. While juniors are also eligible, they are encouraged instead to apply for senior thesis research support through the centralized process overseen by the Office of the Dean of the College.
  • Selected finalists may be interviewed by the selection committee. The interview, or parts thereof, may be conducted in French, Portuguese or Spanish, whichever language is applicable.
  • Up to five awards will be announced.
  • Upon returning to campus in September, Sigmund Scholars submit a detailed report of 3–4 double-spaced pages (750–1000 words), plus a pertinent bibliography. The report should evaluate the challenges and rewards of pursuing the field project, summarize student findings, and discuss how the experience has informed awardees’ understanding of the region. The report may be edited by PLAS for publication. In addition, awardees are required to submit allowed expense receipts and a financial accounting.
  • Awardees are invited to make a public presentation on their field experience, and to talk with students interested in applying in the future.