Founded in 1983, the Tropical Resources Institute (TRI) is an interdisciplinary, non-degree-granting program located within the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (F&ES). TRI serves to facilitate and support student interdisciplinary research and outreach activities throughout the tropics, primarily through granting of research fellowships. TRI works closely with F&ES students, advising students on research design, proposal development, and field methods, as well as  facilitating in-country collaborations and partnerships with organizations and institutions working in the tropics. Within the broader Yale community, TRI serves as a clearinghouse for research and educational activities pertaining to tropical countries, societies, and environments. Throughout the academic year, TRI hosts lectures, professional meetings, workshops and conferences that focus on timely conservation and development issues in the global tropics.

TRI administers the TRI Endowment Fellowship, which supports Masters and Doctoral level research in the tropics each year. Established in 1989, TRI Endowment Fellowships support approximately 25-35 students conducting interdisciplinary research on a wide range of issues that surround the management and conservation of tropical resources. Since the inception of the endowed fund, TRI has supported over 500 student research projects in more than 60 countries. From 1995 to 2011, TRI also administered the Compton International Fellowship through a generous grant from the Compton Foundation. Compton Fellowships supported research projects in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa by international students from these regions. TRI also administered the inaugural Andrew Sabin International Environmental Fellowship, which provides tuition and post-graduate support to exceptional F&ES students from developing countries.

The Tropical Resources Institute is led by Dr. Simon Queenborough. The TRI staff includes a Program Manager and several student Program Assistants, who assist with an array of program activities, including the publication of Tropical Resources, the annual journal of student research carried out with the support of grants from TRI. TRI also has a Faculty Advisory Board, which provides guidance on policy matters and also serves to evaluate student fellowship proposal submissions each year.