Funding Your Research
For Pay or For Credit?
As an undergraduate student, you can volunteer in a research group or you can receive credit or pay. Learn about the differences between volunteering, receiving credit, and paid positions to help decide which is right for you. Funding is highly variable across research groups and projects, and being paid for research might not be possible unless you seek out your own funding. You can apply for grant funding to support your salary and research expenses within the College of Engineering, elsewhere at Cornell, and through external organizations. In addition, Cornell offers several scholars programs which provide not only research funding, but also professional development opportunities and research communities.
Research Grants for Students in the College of Engineering
- ELI Student Grant Program
- Engineering Student Travel Funding supports domestic travel and/or the Woods fund to support international travel for academic experiences (e.g., conferences, research opportunities, winter or summer programs). Funding covers ONLY travel and lodging.
- Cornell Engineering Undergraduate International Research Grant offers summer support for Cornell Engineering undergraduates who have secured an international research experience that complements their academic experience and/or enhances their career goals.
Research Grants beyond the College of Engineering
- Bowers Undergraduate Research Experience (BURE) is summer research support for undergraduates in CIS.
- The Janet McKinley ’74 Family Grant is open to all Cornell sophomores for the purpose of assisting students in pursuing interesting, provocative, and entrepreneurial summer projects, with the intent of having a direct and lasting impact on many generations of Cornell students.
- The Student Assembly Summer Experience Grant (SASEG) is designed to aid students to complete summer unpaid or minimally paid career-related experiences. It is meant to help students who would not be able to take on a summer career-related experience or would have a difficult time doing so. The funds are drawn from the Students Helping Students fund and are open to first-years, sophomores, and juniors in all seven undergraduate colleges. Each college’s career office will be reading their own students’ applications, but the main administration of the grant will be coordinated by A&S Career Development.
- Many opportunities at Cornell, including grants and fellowships, are available on Experience Cornell.
Externally Funded Research Grants
Industries, professional organizations, and non-profits offer grants or funding opportunities that can be used for your research endeavors. Grants can be targeted for specific fields or individuals so look for grants that align with your research goals. We've compiled a non-comprehensive list of externally funded grants relevant to engineering research here for your convenience.
Research Scholar Programs
There are several Cornell scholars programs to which students can apply that offer funding and professional development to support your scholarly work and research.
- Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholars (RCPRS) Sophomores can apply, but must also be nominated by a faculty member. The request for nominations goes out in February – talk to your faculty mentors if you are already in a lab about being nominated!. Applications will be available by March 10th and are due at the end of April.
- Laidlaw Research and Leadership Program The Laidlaw Undergraduate Leadership and Research Program promotes ethical leadership and international research around the world—starting with the passionate leaders and learners found on campuses like Cornell. With generous support for your research, leadership development, and a summer abroad putting your skills into action, this 20-month program for emerging leaders lays out a path for you to invest your skills, knowledge, and experience to help others. Applications due in January.
- LSAMP Scholars program is a pathway to graduate school for undergraduate STEM majors. LSAMP Scholars receive assistance with preparing for graduate school admissions and obtain strategies to maximize their competitiveness for graduate study. Applications are due early October.
- Engineering Summer Math Institute (ESMI) couples a summer session math course with undergraduate research for Cornell Engineers who identify as coming from specific backgrounds underrepresented in Engineering.
- McNair Scholars program helps increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from backgrounds underrepresented in academia and the professoriate. Students apply in fall of sophomore year. Contact OADI for more information.