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The Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars program selects highly motivated students and provides them with the opportunity to conduct financially supported, faculty mentored research throughout their undergraduate years. Students are encouraged to pursue their intellectual interests through research in any area of study including the Humanities, Physical and Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Engineering. Selected RCPRS students have demonstrated academic excellence in addition to personal characteristics necessary to becoming a great researcher. Participating in a world-class research community early in a student’s career promotes academic growth and opens doors to the future.

An anonymous gift to the university created the Cornell Presidential Research Scholars program in 1996. In 2006, Cornell’s Board of Trustees named the program in honor of former president Hunter R. Rawlings III in recognition of Hunter's commitment to students and scholars. The program provides students who demonstrate superior academic potential and intellectual curiosity significant research support throughout their undergraduate careers.

Facts about Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholars

Post Graduate Plans: 55% of RCPRS graduates go directly on to graduate school (vs. Cornell average of 34%)

Of those, more than 70% go beyond a Masters program (PhD, MD, DVM, JD, etc.)

Graduation Honors: Nearly half of RCPRS seniors are distinguished graduates (cum laude, distinction in research, summa cum laude, honors)

Honors’ Thesis: More than half of RCPRS students submit a Senior Honors’ Thesis

Fields of Research: RCPRS students are engaged in research across the university, in all colleges and countless majors.  A general breakdown shows that:

  • 39% are involved in social science or humanities research
  • 36% are involved in life science research (predominantly biology-related)
  • 25% are involved in physical science/engineering