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Support Account

Research Support Account (RSA)

Students admitted as freshmen have access to up to $8,000 to support research and related activities as long as they are full-time enrolled undergraduates at Cornell and are in good standing with RCPRS. Upperclass-admitted students have access to $5,000. Students who plan and budget well can receive a living expense grant for at least one summer of research, attend at least one conference, purchase necessary supplies, and do research for wages.

Application for research supplies, capped at $500 per semester

Application for academic year wages

To apply for part time summer wages, email Alec Brown.

Application for Summer, Winter, or Conference Funding

Students who wish to apply for conference funding or a Living Expense Grant for full-time research over the summer or winter break must complete this application by the deadline (see below) and receive pre-approval for the experience.

If you are interested in applying for support account funding, please complete the Support Account Information course in Canvas.  Students are not required to complete this course before applying for conference funding, research for wages, or requesting funds for research supplies. 


Scholars have access to up to $3,500 to use for a full-time (8+ weeks) summer research experience or a pro-rated amount for shorter experiences. During the summer, the support account will cover reasonable housing, utilities, transportation, food/household, visa, immunizations, as well as provide limited support for miscellaneous expenses.


Applications by the following dates:

  • Winter Research: December 15
  • Summer Research: May 30
  • Conferences: 4 weeks prior to the conference

Before starting the application process, students need to:

  • Complete the Support Account Information course in Canvas.  Students are not required to complete this course before applying for conference funding, research for wages, or requesting funds for research supplies.
  • Contact the program director about the experience and determine if it falls within the program guidelines.
  • Secure a position (do not apply based on a potential position).
  • Have details about their experience including:
    • Location
    • Dates of experience
    • Direct supervisor contact information
      • If doing research on-campus-you are required to obtain an endorsement from your faculty mentor.
      • If doing research off-campus-you must obtain endorsements from BOTH your current faculty mentor and Supervisor.
    • All budget costs (housing, transportation, food, etc.)
    • If any visas or immunizations are necessary, etc.
    • Verification that their health insurance will provide coverage, especially if at a non-US location.
After completing the application:
  • The application system will notify the program director when the application is complete.  If the student is applying for conference funding, they must email the program director at to notify them of the completed application.
  • Students can check their application status. Applications will not be reviewed until all components have been completed.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up on endorsements.
  • After approving, the program director will inform students of the application decision via email. Approval is at program director’s discretion.
Funds: How and When

Funds are disbursed through a system outside of The Cornell Commitment. Students who have been approved for funding should expect to receive an email from with instructions to fill out an ACH Authorization Form. Prompt completion of the form will dictate how quickly funds will become available.  

Please refer to the following directions: 

For domestic individuals -  

For international (non-US) individuals -

If you have not seen anything within a week after receiving approval, please contact the Cornell Commitment, 607-255-8595. 

Please keep in mind that receipt of these funds will typically be reported to the IRS by Cornell. AND these funds MAY impact eligibility for federal student loans or work-study funding in the upcoming academic year. Any questions regarding taxation must be directed to your own tax preparer/advisor.  Any questions about the impact on financial aid should be directed to

Please note:

  • Post-experience materials must be submitted within two weeks of the end date or the student’s bursar account may be charged back the amount received.

Start the Research Support Account Funding Application:

Are freshmen eligible to use funding for research between their freshmen and sophomore year?

No, freshmen are not eligible to use Research Support Account funds the summer between their freshmen and sophomore year.

Can I use my support account funding for conferences?

Students who are presenting their research may apply for up to $1,200 in conference funding (conference fees, travel, food). Please reach out to RCPRS staff to discuss conference plans.

Can I use my support account funding for credit-bearing experiences?

RCPRS does not typically fund credit-bearing research experiences. If you have specific question related to a credit-bearing research experience, please contact RCPRS staff.

**An ITART petition is still required for travel to destinations considered to be elevated risk destinations. Students are responsible for understanding and following complex border restrictions and entry and re-entry requirements. Travel insurance is strongly encouraged.