The Alan D. Mathios Research and Service Grant funds undergraduate Human Ecology students’ research and service activities that further the mission of the college to improve lives. The Human Ecology Alumni Association (HEAA) awards these grants bi-annually to qualified students in the College of Human Ecology, and funds proposals that extend Alan Mathios’ legacy of visionary leadership and service in one or more of the following ways:

  • Benefiting communities (Cornell, Ithaca, New York City and others)
  • Exploring innovative and/or creative solutions to problems
  • Rigorously testing relationships between activities and their effects/impact
  • Disseminating knowledge that can improve living conditions, quality of life and/or health and well-being
  • Promoting diversity and educating against intolerance

The HEAA expects these grants to help further the awardees’ academic interests, research, outreach, career preparation, professional development and commitment to public service. To that end, the HEAA will also consider proposals for presentations and service projects that involve travel, if funds allow.  Applicants who propose service projects must identify intended outcomes and the methods by which they will be measured.  Priority is given to undergraduate applicants, but depending on fund availability, graduate applications may be considered. Grants are awarded two times a year, in the fall and spring semesters

The grant program is competitive in nature.  Students will be advised of the decision to approve or deny their applications by a representative of the HEAA approximately one month after the grant deadline (early November and early March of every year). Grants will be awarded based on the strength of the application as well as an effort to provide awards equally across the various departments within the College of Human Ecology.

Complete the application in its entirety, including:

  • An opening statement that clearly identifies the project and shows relevance to academic studies
  • Well-stated, realistic goals and timeline, with a suitable plan and appropriate methods for accomplishing goals and projected outcomes
  • Description of project/event, including a detailed description of the relevance and impact of the proposed work on
    • the Cornell community
    • your own educational or professional development
    • the field of study
    • society at large
  • Total cost of the project/event, including an itemized list of all expenses and any additional financial support you expect to receive
  • Amount requested from Human Ecology Alumni Association Student Grants Fund
  • Statement of support in a letter of recommendation for your project from a faculty member, advisor or research mentor who is familiar with the project/event for which you are requesting funds, and can speak to your character, work/study competencies. Please share this link with the person providing your letter to submit the recommendation:

Only fully completed applications submitted by the deadline (early November and early March of every year) including a letter of recommendation will be considered.  Students are responsible for ensuring letter(s) of recommendation are received by the date due.

Submit your application

  1. Submit your application
  2. Completed applications should be submitted electronically via the website above.
  3. The HEAA Grants Committee will review applications and make grant decisions.
  4. The Committee may seek further information from the student prior to making a final decision.
  5. Any student who receives HEAA grant funding is required to submit a short formal report to the Human Ecology Alumni Affairs and Development Office no later than six weeks after the conclusion of the project/event. Information for submission of the required report will be provided to students who receive grant funding.
  • Grant monies will not be awarded for lodging, meals or personal expenses.
  • Previous recipients of a grant are eligible to reapply for funding a different project, however award preference is given to students who have not received prior funding.
  • Awarded funds will not be released until the College has received the student-signed agreement provided with the notification message.
  • If a grant is awarded but the project/event is postponed, changed in any way or does not take place for any reason, students must notify the Human Ecology Alumni Affairs Office immediately and in writing to  Funding may be retracted for changes to or postponement of projects. 
  • Funds disbursed for projects that are cancelled must be returned to the HEAA via the Human Ecology Alumni Affairs and Development Office.
  • Funds must be spent in the manner outlined in the grant application and receipts supporting expenditures must be submitted no later than six weeks after the conclusion of the project/event.
  • Independent research project on burnout in the undergraduate student population
  • Study to investigate effective and reliable daylight change formats that drive emotional changes
  • Presentation of research findings on "Perspectives of Future Health in Self and Others: The Moderating Role of Culture"  at the Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium in University of Pennsylvania
  • An anthropometric study of the hands of medical professionals to use as a baseline to examine the fit of surgical gloves
  • A not-for-profit book project about a present-day student's approach to tackling the overwhelming complex healthcare industry
  • To fund participants for a research project to examine how contextual framing influences age differences in risky decision making, as displayed in the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART)
  • Developing undergarments to suit the needs and desires of transgender, gender non-binary and gender nonconforming individuals

What is the typical award granted?
We award grant $12,000 to $14,000 per year and individual grant awards range of from $200 to $2,000 per recipient depending on need and strength of application

What kinds of projects can be funded by this grant? 
Individual research projects and service trips/projects can be funded by this grant. 

What advice do you have for a good application?

  • Make sure to clearly describe the expected outcomes of your project. 
  • Proofread your application thoroughly and make sure that it is well-written, clear, and concise. 
  • Include a detailed summary of your intended project. 
  • Include letters of recommendation that are closely aligned with your proposal and research interests.  
  • If your project is associated with a service trip, make sure to identify the expected outcomes of the trip: What will you learn? What will you give back? How will your project benefit others? 
  • Focus on the core mission of your project, and emphasize how your contribution will make an impact on the field of interest. 

What if I’m doing research with a professor?
Research projects done with a professor can only be funded if there is no existing funding stream for the project. All projects require a letter of recommendation from a faculty supervisor familiar with your work. 

Can this be used for my honors thesis?

Are there resources available to help me fill out the grant application? 
For any questions about the grant application, please contact Deborah Surine ( who coordinates the grant program. 

What do students typically request funding for?

  • supplies for research/service projects
  • participant prizes/incentives
  • software or equipment to carry out research
  • air fare/transportation costs
  • conference fees to present research

What if I am a HumEc Student doing research in another college? Can I still apply?
Yes! The grant is open for all Human Ecology students regardless of the discipline of their research. As long as your work is related to the college’s mission you are eligible to apply.

To apply for an HEAA Grant, please submit your application by the specified deadline. Applications must include a letter of recommendation to be considered. Students are responsible for ensuring letter(s) of recommendation are received by the deadline. Please share this link with the person providing your letter to submit the recommendation:

For questions contact or 607-255-7802

Other Funding opportunities for Students

Learning Strategies Center Scholarship

covers cost of tuition for Cornell classes during summer or winter session 

The Off-Campus Opportunity Fund (OCOF)

a common application for students seeking financial support for off-campus experiences (domestic and international)

Office of Academic and Diversity Initiatives (OADI) Individual Funding

provides funding for students in OADI programs and former prefreshmen the opportunity to engage in experiences that connect to and prepare them for academic and professional and career goals