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For Faculty

As undergraduates, students in the Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars program (RCPRS are expected to actively participate in research each semester while enrolled at Cornell. This is accomplished by working alongside a faculty mentor, either through on-going faculty research or an independent, faculty-approved project. Hence, faculty mentors are crucial to the success of RCPRS students.

All students in the program have access to a research Support Account if they are enrolled as full-time undergraduates at Cornell and are in good standing with the RCPRS program. Students selected as freshmen have up to $8,000; students selected as sophomores/rising juniors have access to up to $5,000. This support account can be used to fund a full-time summer of research at Cornell or elsewhere, research-related travel, limited research supplies, and wages. Students are encouraged to discuss the use of their support account with the RCPRS Director and their faculty mentor. Approval for support account funds must be obtained from the RCPRS Director before purchases are made. All purchases made without RCPRS program involvement and approval cannot use support account funds. All support account purchases must be accompanied with a receipt of other proof of purchase. If you or your student have any questions regarding RCPRS program funds, please contact the RCPRS program at: .

General Information for Faculty

If Sophomores Want to Apply

If you have an exceptionally qualified sophomore who you have engaged in research with for at least one semester, RCPRS encourages you to direct these students to our upper-class application, which opens in March.

Information on the RCPRS Application can be found here.


  • Each year approximately 35-40 incoming freshmen are selected as Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars.
  • Students who are chosen demonstrate superior academic potential and intellectual curiosity.  Upper-class selected students will have research experience, while freshmen may not. All demonstrate a strong commitment to research.
  • RCPRS students are enrolled in most colleges and schools at Cornell and work in the physical, social and life sciences, humanities, engineering, and many other fields.
  • Working closely with one or more Cornell faculty members, RCPRS students design and plan an individualized program of faculty-directed research.
  • RCPRS students who continue to meet the requirements of the program will remain in RCPRS if they are enrolled as full-time undergraduates at Cornell.
  • Students who were not chosen as entering freshmen to be in the RCPRS program may apply in the spring of their sophomore year to be admitted into the program at the beginning of their junior year.  Sophomores who wish to apply must: 1) have at least a 3.5 GPA; 2) have done at least one semester of research at Cornell; 3) complete the RCPRS application and submit a letter of recommendation written by a faculty member.

RCPRS Students...

  • Typically work 6-9 hours per week and may receive either academic credit or wages for their research.
  • Must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Make progress on their research project(s) based on student reports, annual faculty evaluations, and attainment of goals as outlined in their research plan.
  • Spend at least one summer engaged in full-time research, at Cornell or off-campus (with on-campus mentor endorsement).
  • Remain in good standing with RCPRS program staff and complete all program requirements by their deadlines each semester.

The Faculty Mentors...

  • Meet with the RCPRS students frequently.
  • Help the RCPRS student develop research goals for each semester.
  • Actively mentor the RCPRS student as they continue to grow as a researcher. This may include assigning readings, teaching various research skills and techniques, etc.
  • Monitor the progress of each RCPRS Student and let the RCPRS Director know about any potential problems. If you have any concerns, please reach out to the RCPRS program at

Program Components

  • Incoming RCPRS students are required to participate in RCPRS colloquium. By the end of this year long experience students will have, with the help of the RCPRS Director, determined a faculty member with whom they are interested in working.
  • Starting the second semester of their freshman year, each RCPRS student will, along with his/her faculty mentor, develop goals for that semester.
  • By their junior year, we expect that students will have developed a solid relationship with a faculty mentor and be well-established on a project.  
  • Seniors will present a poster at the RCPRS Senior Expo in the spring semester, showcasing their work over the past few years.
  • Many RCPRS seniors complete an honors thesis, which is strongly encouraged by RCPRS.  Students are required to follow the guidelines for honors theses set by their college or department.

Monetary Support

  • Most RCPRS students have access to up to $8,000 in a support account that can be used to pay for expenses associated with their research.  
  • Research Scholars admitted as juniors receive up to $5,000 toward research expenses.
  • This support account can only be used with permission from the RCPRS Director and must be used for wages during the academic year, summer research experiences, conferences (if presenting), research-related travel, and supplies (limited to $500 per semester).
  • For RCPRS students receiving work-study, support account funds will be used to pay the portion of wages not covered by federal funds.
  • Students eligible for financial aid may receive up to $4,000 per year in loan reduction. 

Please contact the Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars program for more information:

Phone: (607) 255-8595