Funding and Sources

Standard Award Amounts

Fall or spring semester award

  • Maximum student wages amount: $2,250
  • Maximum expenses amount: $1,000
  • If requesting funds for both wages and expenses, maximum amount: $2,750

Summer award

  • Maximum student wages amount: $6,600
  • Maximum expenses amount: $2,000
  • If requesting funds for both wages and expenses, maximum amount: $8,600

Faculty applicants will be asked to specify their budget requests on the faculty application. 


  • Students may not receive both academic credit and wages for the same research project in a given term.
  • Undergraduate research funds are available only for undergraduate students currently enrolled in the College of Engineering and Biological or Environmental Engineering (BEE) majors.
  • Student wages are considered taxable income. More information about student employment
  • Because Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholars are funded through the Cornell Commitment Office, RCPRS students are ineligible for undergraduate research funding through this program.
  • Student Project Teams are ineligible for funding through this program.
  • Students eligible for Federal Work Study (FWS) may apply their FWS award to their undergraduate research position. Please state your FWS eligibility on the student application and work with your faculty mentor to adjust your wages request to reflect the 50% contribution from FWS. For example, if you are requesting to earn $1200 in wages for your undergraduate research effort this term, you would request $600 on the ELI application, since the remaining $600 would be covered by your FWS supplement. [Note for summer applicants: if you are eligible for FWS during the academic year, and you were registered full time in the Spring semester and intend to register full time for the following Fall semester, and you will not be enrolled for six or more summer session credits, then you are eligible to receive a summer FWS award, which will cover 50% of your wages during the summer as well.]


Engineering Learning Initiatives Undergraduate Research Program is supported by the College of Engineering and by various corporate and alumni sponsors. Although much of our funding is available for undergraduate students pursuing research projects in engineering without additional specifications, some of our sponsors have targeted their gifts to support students from specific demographic groups within the college or projects within specific areas of inquiry. Below we provide brief descriptions of each of our current funding sources. On the application, you will be asked to select any specialized funding sources for which your project meets the eligibility requirements. Applicants must be enrolled as an undergraduate student in the College of Engineering or a Biological or Environmental Engineering (BEE) major.

  • *New: Aizen Climate Research Scholars Fund: Supports students researching climate change solutions.

  • *New: Dean Archer Undergraduate Research Fund: supports open topics in engineering with a preference for students who support Cornell’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

  • *New: Intel Mindshare Program: supports engineering undergraduates in research experiences in the targeted majors of Engineering Physics, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, with a preference for research topics relevant to semiconductor manufacturing and design.

  • *New: Michael E. Leventon ’95 CS: Supports open topics in engineering.

  • *New: Dr. Moisidis-Tesch ’90 ME: Supports research in biomedical applications (particularly for any research related to multiple sclerosis)

  • *New: Fund for Undergraduate Research on Solutions to Climate Change: eligible research topics include solutions for Carbon Conversion, Carbon Sequestration, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy Production, Energy Efficient Buildings, Mobility, Smart Grid Management, the hard-to-abate Industrial Sector, and Energy Informatics. Funding is targeted to support students with demonstrated financial need. Additional project information for the Fund for Undergraduate Research on Solutions to Climate Change (PDF).

  • Air Products: Develops, engineers, builds, owns and operates some of the world's largest industrial gas projects, including gasification projects that sustainably convert abundant natural resources into syngas for the production of high-value power, fuels and chemicals.

  • Boeing: World's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support. Boeing products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training.

  • Robert A. Cowie '55 ME: Supports open topics in engineering.

  • Major Ralph Garrick Hay '80 AEP: Supports one or more AEP undergraduates per year.

  • Karen Charal Gross and Meyer A. Gross '58 Scholar in Undergraduate Research Fund: Supports one or more ORIE undergraduates per year.

  • Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC): Education Alliance with support from the Intel Foundation. Supports projects in areas related to the semiconductor or information and communications technology industries.

  • James Moore ’62 EE: Supports open topics in engineering.

  • Phillips 66: Diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company with unique businesses in Refining, Midstream, Chemicals and Marketing and Specialties.

  • John A. Swanson '61, BME '62, MS ME '63

  • Bill Nye '77 ME Award in Undergraduate Research: supports projects in MAE in renewable energy or space technology, with priority to those including a significant policy or public information component.

  • Tsuhan and Shufen Chen Family Fund in Undergraduate Research