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Scholarship Program in Geophysics

Produced by Carlos Mendoza, PAIGH International Geophyics Commission



The study of Geoscience in Latin American countries has long lagged behind U.S. and European countries in terms of both the number of students and in the quality of education received. This is due primarily to the general scarcity of well-defined programs of study in many Latin American countries and the relative lack of economic support that would allow more students to pursue dedicated studies in this scientific field. The Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH), through its Commission on Geophysics, has sponsored a graduate scholarship program in Geoscience that has led to the conferring of M. Sc. degrees for a number of highly-qualified individuals from PAIGH member countries. This highly-successful program was reinitiated in 2006 to further the technical capacity and scientific education of individuals from PAIGH member countries in Latin America. The program is conducted in cooperation with the Graduate Program for Earth Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) and offers financial support for graduate students to study Geoscience at that institution. UNAM is the highest-ranking university in Latin America and its educational program in Geoscience has an excellent track record in educating and preparing students for future scientific careers. 


The principal objective of the project is to increase the technical capacity of PAIGH member countries through a continuation of the Commission on Geophysics scholarship program in Geoscience. Scholars selected for the program correspond to individuals from PAIGH member countries excluding the United States and Mexico. This allows the prioritization of individuals from member countries where a high level of study in Geoscience is not generally available, additionally promoting the development of scientific and educational programs in these countries. For 2010, we propose the continuation of financial support for two scholars completing Master’s level degrees at UNAM. 


In collaboration with the Earth Sciences Graduate Program at UNAM, financial support will be provided by the PAIGH Commission on Geophysics to qualified scholars currently enrolled in the UNAM academic graduate program, with funding provided on an annual basis for a maximum of two years. Support in excess of two years may be made available in special cases, but only upon individual consideration through the submittal of additional funding requests to the Commission on Geophysics in future years. These degrees have a significant and long-term impact on PAIGH member countries in that they increase the overall level in education and technical expertise in the Geosciences. Funding is requested to provide for two Geoscience scholarships in 2010 as a continuation of financial support to cover the full 2-year funding cycle for current Master’s degree scholars and to initiate funding cycles for new scholars. Each scholarship will provide a monthly living allowance of $600 for the academic year and one-time, one-way travel costs between Mexico and the scholar’s country of origin. A total of $16,000 is requested to support living expenses and educational activities for both scholars. Through prior agreement, tuition costs at UNAM will not be charged. 

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