PhD candidate José Pérez awarded 2022-2023 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship
PhD candidate José Pérez has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship by the U.S. Department of Education, International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office.
The DDRA fellowship provides opportunities for doctoral candidates to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Approximately 90 grantees are selected annually for funding nationwide.
Pérez is currently working on his dissertation, Refugee Resettlements and Social Integration: Security, Migration, and the State in Contemporary Brazil. Pérez’s research examines the Brazilian government’s response to recent refugee influxes, specifically, its policies since 2018 to address the arrival of Venezuelan refugees. Pérez hypothesizes that the Brazilian government’s response to the arrival of Venezuelan refugees positively improves its overall public service provision capabilities. He also argues that Portuguese-speaking, male, and/or white Venezuelan refugees more easily participate in public policy efforts in Brazil than individuals with other identities. Pérez also explores how Venezuelan refugees employ their identity as “Latin American” to partially ease their integration within Brazilian society (Office of International Affairs).
The DDRA fellowship will support Peréz as he examines these hypotheses through semi-structured interviews and participant observations with Venezuelan refugees and locals in three field sites: Manaus, Porto Alegre, and São Paulo.
In asking how he feels about returning to Brazil with the support of this fellowship, Peréz noted, "It feels great to be able to return and continue the line of research I have been building since I did my M.A. degree in Brazil and this past summer with preliminary fieldwork in Brasília. I previously lived in Brazil for 4 years consecutively, so it feels like returning home at this point, whenever I go there for research."