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Boyce Family Caribbean Studies Grant

Funding Applications due February 15

The Boyce Family Caribbean Studies Grant is funded by Drs. Paul and Simone Boyce to support student research and internship in the Caribbean. This grant supports U-M undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and professional school students who wish to conduct research or undertake internships in the Caribbean. It offers the opportunity to establish professional and academic contacts, undertake research, and gain experience in the region.

Awards, up to $2,500, are made based on academic progress and trajectory of the applicant, quality of the proposal—feasibility of the proposed project, relevance to the applicant’s degree program and career goals, and reasonableness of budget.

Funds cover international airfare, in-country transportation, and some field-related expenses.


Undergraduate, master’s, and professional level students must use the funds for projects related to degree requirements or professional goals, such as a research thesis or relevant internship. Doctoral students must use the funds for preliminary dissertation research.

Research projects can be conducted anywhere in the Caribbean, with a priority for those traveling to the English-, French-, or Dutch- speaking countries of the region. Trips must last a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four months.

Grant Requirements

  • All awardees will be required to register their travel with the U-M Travel Registry on Wolverine Access and purchase U-M International Travel Health Insurance for the duration of the trip.
  • Final report (3-5 pages long) must be submitted within two weeks after travel. This report should include, at minimum, a brief reiteration of the purpose of the trip and a description of previous research, international, or field experience, activities undertaken and objectives achieved while abroad, lessons learned, and/or recommendations for others conducting similar field research, and the uses to which the findings or results will be applied.
  • Awardees are required to participate in a workshop to share the results of their research in the fall of the same year.  
  • Any thesis, publication, video, or audio clip resulting from this research experience must include acknowledgment of funding provided by LACS, the Tinker Foundation, and co-sponsors, and a copy must be sent to LACS at the time of publication.

Application Instructions

Please submit the following application materials by 11:59 p.m., February 15, via the online application (found on the II Student Fellowships page

*Note: Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the II Student Fellowships Resource Page prior to beginning the application process. This page provides detailed information on the application components.

The application includes:  

  • Online Application form
  • One recommendation letter
  • Statement of Purpose: (single-spaced, 12-pt. font, 3 pages maximum, including any bibliography, citations, project timetable, graphics, etc.)
  • Project expense sheet 
  • Letter of Invitation or Description of In-country Resources
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • U-M Transcript.


All travel must follow current guidelines, which are detailed in the International Institute Travel Policy.

Dr. Paul Boyce, a native of San Fernando, Trinidad, arrived at the University of Michigan (U-M) at the age of 18 as part of the LSA Honors Program. 

“Leaving my beautiful island home of Trinidad for Michigan was exciting,” he later recalled, “but it also stirred a deep longing for home and familiarity.”

Paul knew that one of Trinidad’s most renowned calypsonians, Hollis Urban Lester Liverpool, better known by his stage name Chalkdust, was then pursuing his Ph.D. in history at U-M.  But when he learned that he was also teaching a course on Caribbean culture, Paul was thrilled and immediately signed up.

Graduating from U-M in just three years, Paul soon went on to earn a medical degree at Emory University, later completing a Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at Harvard University and attaining a master’s in public health. Since then, he has served as the chief of pulmonary medicine at Northside Hospital, a distinguished five-hospital system in Georgia. His commitment to the health and well-being of others, particularly during the challenges of the pandemic, is a testament to his unwavering dedication.

It’s fitting that Paul met his wife, Dr. Simone Boyce, during Carnival in Trinidad in 1998, where their shared love for calypso music brought them together. Simone hails from Mandeville, Jamaica, and holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley. Her career has been marked by a focus on public health, economic, and education research. Today, she serves as the director of research & learning at Habitat for Humanity International, utilizing her expertise to improve the lives of communities worldwide.

The couple are parents to two children and aspire to set a meaningful example for them of the importance of giving back. They made the decision to endow the Boyce Family Caribbean Studies Grant not only to convey this message but also to ensure that 

“Caribbean Studies at the University of Michigan continues to thrive, becoming a permanent part of our family’s mission.”

Their endowment also pays tribute to the enduring legacy of Chalkdust, whose work has enriched the realms of both music and scholarship.