The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program offers funding to support undergraduate and graduate student success. We seek to encourage your professional and academic development both inside and outside the classroom, while enhancing your engagement with local and global Indigenous Nations, encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations, and facilitating co-curricular experiences.

Giving back is at the core of our approach to relationship building with Indigenous Nations, as part of our Full Circle Approach that seeks to empower future Indigenous leaders. AIISP prioritizes funding those experiences that demonstrate a true commitment to learning from, and providing benefits to, Indigenous communities through research, and developing collaborations, and the application of skills.

Examples of how this funding can be used include academic research, professional development, skill enhancement, travel for conference presentations, research/coursework travel, service projects that address Indigenous needs, fieldwork, workshop participation, and data needs. Other research/academic expenses include things such as application fees, and support for high-impact unpaid or low-pay internships.

AIISP expects that any research projects involving Indigenous communities will employ ethical and responsible research practices, and are intended to benefit and respond to community needs.

AIISP Funding Guidelines

Funding for Travel and Enrichment Activities is capped at a maximum of $1,500 per semester per student. Travel and Enrichment Activities are two distinct awards and cannot be combined in one semester. For example, students cannot apply for both travel and enrichment in one semester. The maximum that a student is eligible to be awarded in one academic year is $3,000. Students must demonstrate financial need and provide an itemization of costs and additional resources obtained which covers expenses. 

Conference & Travel Support
Conference registration fees, airfare, ground transportation, hotel/lodging, meals. Does not include per diem.

Enrichment & Internship Support
Internships, summer and winter research.

Only under extenuating circumstances will AIISP fund ONE summer or winter course, this is a ONE- TIME only exception and strictly awarded only if the course is required for the student to graduate on time or to graduate early in extenuating circumstances—not as an elective early graduation. Tuition will not be paid in full by AIISP, the maximum award is 50 percent of the cost of the course.  

Application Deadlines

NOTE: We strongly recommend students submit funding applications a minimum of THREE weeks in advance of need for funding (i.e., for conference travel).

Winter 2025 for Winter Session Research, Internships, etc.:  Early November 2025 - TBD. Applications must be received by 5pm.

Summer 2025 for Summer Funding Requests: Mid-April 2025 - TBD. Applications must be received by 5 pm.

Funding Process

  • Full-time enrolled Cornell student in good academic standing, with no existing incompletes, and cannot be on academic leave
  • Native/Indigenous students, descendants, and allies who have engaged, participated in AIISP programs, are conducting research that benefits Native communities and peoples, and/or students who are pursuing a minor in AIIS AND/OR
  • Undergraduate/Graduate students pursuing an American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS) minor
  • Graduate students applying for research funding must have completed one year of study by the time the requested funding for research (travel support) is conducted
  • AIISP prioritizes awards for students who have engaged with the program through taking AIIS classes, participating in events, being active in Native/Indigenous student organizations, active in Akwe:kon, volunteering as a tutor, etc.  


  • Requests are considered on a rolling basis, as they are received. Awards are contingent upon the availability of funding. You may apply more than once per academic year, however, the maximum a student can be awarded per semester is $1,500 for each award (Travel and Enrichment). The maximum a student can be awarded per academic year is $3,000
  • Please refer to the application deadlines. Applying early, at least one month prior to the activity, will improve the likelihood of receiving funds in a timely manner. Prior to submission, please reach out to Starrla Curley, Student Support Specialist, to discuss the proposed activity and the application process
  • Please note that these funds are separate from a student’s financial aid package and cannot be used to supplement tuition costs during the regular academic year (fall and spring semesters). *Please refer to extenuating circumstance
  • Should you incur additional travel expenses beyond the $1,500 maximum per semester, those additional costs will be at the expense of the student. No additional expenses will be approved ex post facto regardless of the circumstance 

Prior to the submission of your application, you must consult with the AIISP staff Student Support Specialist. The application must include:

  • Complete Student Information Section

    • One paragraph bio sketch 
    • CV/resume
  • Complete Project Description: One single-spaced page explaining how the funded project/activity/experience will enhance your professional and academic goals as well as how the project engages with Indigenous communities and demonstrates commitment to relationship building.

    • The description should detail your research/thesis/dissertation plan, specific project goals, and a plan of study 
    • Include information about the sources you plan to use/access and the relevance of your research to the field of American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS)
  • Complete Budget Worksheet: A detailed and well-researched budget that includes expenses and/or projected amount requested (this includes hotel and airfare estimates), as well as the amount of matching funds you have secured. If requesting funds to assist with housing costs, provide a formal statement or document verifying those costs.
  • Estimates and proof of participation: Provide AIISP with copies of the conference/workshop program, formal notifications (if applicable), tickets and hotel estimates, registration information, etc.
  • Provide one academic reference: Name and contact of a Cornell faculty or advisor that supports the proposed activity to be funded
  • Provide verification of the project or research and contact information for the agency or organization
  • Graduate students applying for research funding must provide a reference or letter of recommendation from the faculty member who represents AIIS on your committee
  • Sign the application prior to submission

Once you've gathered your materials, please complete the online application form


Students awarded funding must submit the following within one month of completion of the funded activity:

  • Schedule a public presentation in the AIIS Leadership Development Spotlight. Contact the AIISP Student Support Specialist to schedule your presentation
  • Impact Statement: submit a brief report explaining how the funded project/activity/experience has enhanced your professional and academic goals and benefited Indigenous communities
  • Credit AIISP and any external donors for funding your activity/project/research. Please contact our Administrative Assistant for the AIISP logo and branding details for any physical or visual materials. 
  • Please note that images, project summaries, video presentation, bios, quotations and the like can be used by AIISP in reports to donors and on the AIISP website
  • AIISP may contact you to schedule a brief video recording overview of your experience 

Donor Funded Opportunities

AIISP offers student funding through the generosity of several donors who have provided aid to Indigenous students and their communities. Their commitment to enriching student experiences provides important means for growing new Indigenous leaders and strengthening the sovereignty of Indigenous nations.

The Frank Bonamie Enrichment Scholarship 

This scholarship was founded by a local Gayogo̱hó:nǫˀ (Cayuga) businessman, Frank C. Bonamie, who was a leading figure in our program’s early history. It is designed to enhance undergraduate students’ education by funding activities and opportunities outside the classroom that invest in Indigenous leadership and nation building.

The Samuel and Barrett Scott Excellence Fund 

This fund was inspired by Samuel Scott’s (Class of 2010) commitment to the Indigenous Cornell community and education. Donor Jason Kats (Class of 2010) seeks to support undergraduate student experiences and opportunities that center Indigenous knowledge systems and reciprocal and responsible research practices.

The David Strip ’77 PhD. 1978 Enrichment Fund 

This fund is dedicated to supporting Indigenous undergraduate students from the American Southwest to maximize their Cornell experiences through social capital building and cultural literacy development.

The Mario St. George Boiardi Scholarship

This scholarship was founded in memory of George Boiardi, a Cornell lacrosse player who tragically died on the field in 2004. The scholarship honors his passion for learning and athletics by seeking to alleviate educational disparities by supporting Indigenous students’ enrichment activities.

The Baldwin Family Fund 

This fund expresses its commitment to serving Indigenous youth by investing in Indigenous student education from high school through college. The donors seek to develop leadership and mentorship skills, as well as increase educational opportunities.