Pertti J. Pelto International Travel Award

The Pertti J. Pelto Award - A Silhouette of a Reindeer and a banner reading "Reindeer Herder Society"

In the fall of 2012, a small group of Pertti "Bert" Pelto's former students and colleagues initiated a conversation about the most appropriate way to honor their former teacher and mentor. The group quickly agreed that an appropriate tribute would be to establish a travel scholarship for an international scholar/practitioner to visit the US and interact with like-minded social scientists, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology. This idea grew out of the recognition of Bert's lifelong interest in developing and nurturing scholarly networks on a cross-national basis. 

The Pelto International Travel Award will be awarded every other year to a mid-career applied social scientist who is a citizen or permanent resident of a low or middle-income country. The recipient will receive a cash award for travel expenses. In addition, SfAA membership and registration at the SfAA meeting will be provided for three years. A special session will be organized at the meetings for presentation of the recipient's paper.



To be eligible for the award the nominee must have the following:

  • Citizenship or permanent residence in low-and mid-income contries.

  • A Master's degree or higher in an applied social science.

  • Affiliated with an educational institution, governmental agency, or community based organization in their home country. 

  • Demonstration of innovative applications of social science theory and methods to address social problems.

  • Evidence of engagement with grassroots programs, organizations, or other entities that  build community capacity necessary to understand and address social inequities. ​​​

  • Demonstration of involvement in capacity building for applied social science in their home country.



Each nomination should include:

1. A letter of nomination from an SfAA member.

2. A supporting letter from an SfAA member or from an applied social scientist in the nominee's home country

3. An application from the nominee including the following items:

  • Name, address , telephone number(s), email address; Resume and/or Curriculum Vitae; name and address of nominee’s institution. ​​​​​
  • Name and address of nominee's institution.

  • A proposal on the applied social science activities to be undertaken with the funding.

  • A statement from the nominee on how this award will advance the application of social science in the nominee's home country.

  • An agreement to deliver a presentation on the state of applied anthropology in the nominee’s country during a panel session at the SfAA annual meetings.​​​​​​

  • An agreement to serve in the Pelto Committee for the award year, and two additional consecutive years.​​​​​​​

  • Please email nominations and supporting material to: Society for Applied Anthropology

The deadline for reciept of all materials is October 2, 2021. 

Previous Recipients


Diego Díaz Córdova - Argentina

Picture1.pngDiego Díaz Córdova holds a PhD in Anthropology Sciences, Universidad de Buenos Aires and is Professor at Universidad de Lanús, Universidad de Buenos Aires y Universidad Museo Social Argentino. He is a researcher and software developer with interests in nutritional anthropology, anthropology of arts and methodology (social network analysis, simulation models, data science, ethnography and statistics).


Cynthia Pizarro - Argentina

2018 Pelto Travel Award Winner - Cynthia Pizarro from ArgentinaCynthia Pizarro has a Bachelor Degree in Social Anthropology – University of Buenos Aires; a Master Degree in Social Sciences – National University of Catamarca; and a Doctorate Degree in Anthropology  - University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She works as a professor at the School of Agriculture of the University of Buenos Aires and as a senior researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET). She is the director of the Master’s Program in Rural Development of the University of Buenos Aires. 

Her major interests are:

General: Social Anthropology, Sociology

Area: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Latin American Nationals Abroad

Topical: Rural Studies, International Immigration, Identity Processes, Anthropology of Work, Political Ecology, Ethnographic Methods, Applied Anthropology 

She has published several chapters of books, many refereed papers in international scientific journals, and the following books: 

  • Bolivian Labor Immigrants` Experiences in Argentina, 2016, Maryland, Lexington Books. 

  • Bolivianos y bolivianas en la vida cotidiana cordobesa: Trabajo, derechos e identidad en contextos migratorios (Bolivian Men and Women in Every Day Life in Córdoba: Work, Rights and Identity in Migratory Contexts), 2015, Córdoba, Argentina, Universidad Católica de Córdoba. 

  • “Ser Boliviano” en la Región Metropolitana de la Ciudad de Cordoba. Localización Socio-espacial, Mercado de Trabajo y Relaciones Interculturales. (“Being a Bolivian” in the Metropolitan Region of Cordoba City. Socio-Spatial Location, Labor Market and Intercultural Relations), 2011, Cordoba, Argentina, Universidad Católica de Córdoba,

  • Migraciones Internacionales Contemporáneas: Estudios para el Debate (Current International Migrations: Studies for Debate), 2011, Buenos Aires, Argentina, CiCCUS.  

  • Ahora ya somos Civilizados. La Invisibilidad de la Identidad Indígena en un Área Rural del Valle de Catamarca.  (“We are Now Civilized”. Invisibility of Indigenous Identity in a Rural Area of Catamarca Valley), 2006, Córdoba, Argentina, Universidad Católica de Córdoba. 

  • La Política Cultural de las Movilizaciones Campesinas. Las Narrativas sobre un Conflicto por la Tierra en una Localidad Rural de Catamarca. (Cultural Politics of Peasant Struggles. Narratives about a Land Conflict in a Rural Area of Catamarca), 2001, Catamarca, Argentina, Universidad Nacional de Catamarca.

She founded the Network of Argentine Researchers on Contemporary International Migrations in 2009, which she has coordinated until 2015 and has participated as a member since then. She has organized several Meetings, Workshops, Round Tables and Sessions which gathered colleagues from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico, USA, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, China and the Russian Federation.

She has done long lasting ethnographic fieldwork in rural areas of Argentina, where she got involved with local people and joined their struggles. She has done collective activities together with her informants such as participatory mapping, oral history workshops, photo exhibitions and documentary films.

She has trained under-graduate and graduate students in ethnographic technics and has led her research teams to apply scholarly expertise in order to encourage stake holders and local populations to understand, reflect on and problematize concrete social problems, as well as to imagine novel ways of addressing them in order to make a more inclusive and equal society. 


Patricia Jean Hammer - Peru

2016 Pelto Travel Award Winner - Patricia Jean Hammer from PeruAn applied medical anthropologist, Patricia J. Hammer, is dedicated to Community Participatory Action Research (CPAR) methodology as a composite of formative research instruments that strengthen community organization for engagements in movements to push policy and sustain viable articulations between Andean rural populations and government institutions. An international health consultant specialized in women, adolescent and community well being she develops, tests and implements strategies for government ministries of health, international NGOs such as CARE, Save the Children, Pathfinder, Doctors without Borders, as well as with locally based municipalities and organizations primarily in Peru and Bolivia.

Since the inauguration of the Masters Degree Program in Social Policy in 2004 at the state university of Huaraz, Peru, UNASAM (Universidad Nacional Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo) Dr. Hammer teaches and develops required curriculum and also serves as thesis advisor for her students, all of whom are Peruvian professionals responsible for the implementation of national social programs to build community capacity and alleviate poverty.

Patricia Hammer is founder of the civic association, Center for Social Well Being (CSW) in Carhuaz, Ancash, Peru that provides an interdisciplinary field training program for international graduate and undergraduate university students and professionals. The center is a fully sustainable organic ranch, run with solar and wind energy and a working model for local indigenous communities in pursuit of viable alternatives for autonomous development that include agrobiodiversity, particularly the protection of native seeds, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation. Her recent publication in ReVista Harvard Review of Latin America addresses her work. She is a social science writer for the regional Peruvian newspaper the Huaraz Telegraph in Ancash, Peru.  

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