Support Account

Research Support Account (RSA)

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

To be considered for funding, the below related application(s) must be completed and submitted for pre-approval. Requests submitted without pre-approval may not be considered.


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 or AT LEAST 4 WEEKS before the start of your experience, whichever comes sooner:

  • Winter Research: November 1
  • Spring Break: March 1
  • Summer Research: May 1

Before starting the application process, you should:

  • Read through the application tutorial and guide.
  • Consider speaking with your program director about the experience and whether it falls within the program guidelines.
  • Secure a position (do not apply based on a potential position).
  • Have details about their experience including
    • Location (travel to a location on this Travel Warning list will require extra review)
    • Dates of Experiences
    • Direct Supervisor contact information
      • If working on-campus-you are required to obtain an endorsement from your faculty mentor.
      • If working 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.
    • Verify that their health insurance will provide coverage, especially if at a non-US location.
    • Sign up for direct deposit via the Bursar

After completing the application:

  • Once all relevant sections are completed the application system will notify your program director of your application.
  • You can check your application status.  Applications will not be reviewed until all components have been completed.
  • It is your responsibility to follow-up on endorsements or recommendations.
  • Your program director will inform you if your application has been accepted.  (For any travel to a travel warning country, approval is contingent upon ITART approval.)
  • Approval is at program director’s discretion. 

View the Application Tutorial.

Start your Research Support Account Living Expense Grant Funding Application.

See how other Commitment students have used their funding!

The Menschel Cornell Commitment Public Service Internship program is designed to encourage students to work in a non-profit organization, offering their skills to help the organization, while broadening their own career horizons.  Interns can work in a multitude of positions in a vast array of domestic, non-profit and public service organizations.