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Policies and Instructions

Outlined below are the policies and expectations for each student involved in the RCPRS program.

All Four Years

  • Maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA);
  • Engage in research each semester for at least 6 hours per week starting in the spring of freshman year, unless on program-approved hiatus, involved in off-campus program (e.g., study abroad, engineering co-op), or on leave of absence from the university;
  • Complete an annual review in the spring;
  • Receive a favorable evaluation from your faculty mentor;
  • Submit all forms, plans, and funding requests in a timely and complete manner;
  • Not incur any expenses without prior approval, when required;
  • Seek opportunities to present your research at Cornell and elsewhere;
  • Read and respond to program-related email and other communication;
  • Uphold the standards and ideals of the RCPRS program of integrity and ethics in research and academics; and,
  • Meet with program staff and/or college representatives as soon as possible if you have difficulty with any of these expectations or program requirements.

First Semester Freshman Year

  • Attend all the colloquium sessions outlined by the program and by your college. (In special circumstances, arrangements can be made to accommodate those students whose schedule precludes regular attendance. This may include special assignments or individual sessions with the program coordinator);
  • Complete at least three informational interviews with faculty, one of which can be an interview and site visit with an upper class student

Second Semester Freshman Year

  • Complete a research plan outlining your project and goals for the semester;
  • Begin research (it need not be in your college or within your major); and
  • Complete and submit appropriate form (“research for credit” or “research for wages”).  (Volunteering in a lab is not permitted.)

Sophomore and Junior Years

  • Complete a second or updated research plan due early in sophomore year;
  • Submit form indicating research for credit or for wages each semester;
  • Conduct at least one summer of full-time research, either on or off-campus;
  • Present research at other events such as the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board’s (CURB) Spring Forum (strongly encouraged).

Senior Year

  • Present research at the RCPRS Senior Expo;
  • Complete a senior honors thesis (strongly encouraged) and submit an electronic copy to the RCPRS office; and
  • Present research at other events such as the Cornell Undergraduate Research Board’s (CURB) Spring Forum (strongly encouraged).
  • See additional resources for creating professional posters:

Meeting these expectations will allow you to...

  • Remain a member of RCPRS as long as you are a full-time undergraduate at Cornell University;
  • Receive research support for approved expenses from the Research Support Account (up to $8,000 total for all years); and
  • Receive up to $4,000 annually in loan reduction if you are eligible for financial aid (may change from year to year);
  • Graduate in good standing as a Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholar.