AIISP 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, extracurricular program 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.

Funding 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 was founded by a local Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' businessman 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 was inspired by Samuel Scott’s (’10) commitment to the Indigenous Cornell community and education. Donor Jason Kats ’10 seeks to support undergraduate student experiences and opportunities that center Indigenous knowledge systems and reciprocal and responsible research practices.

The David Strip ’77 PhD’78 Enrichment 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, 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 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.

The American Indian and Indigenous Studies Fund provides graduate students with financial support for travel and research, prioritizing projects that benefit Indigenous communities.

Funding Process

  • Full-time Cornell student in good academic standing
  • Identifies as: American Indian | Alaska Native | Native Hawaiian | Pacific Islander | First Nations | Métis | Indigenous
    AND/OR
  • Is an Undergraduate/Graduate student who is 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 research is to take place.

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, but first-time student applicants will be prioritized. Awards range typically from $500 to $1,500.

Applying early, at least one month prior to the activity, will improve the likelihood of receiving funds in a timely manner. We typically require four weeks to review an application and process those accepted. Prior to submission, please reach out to wl585 [at] cornell.edu (Wayva Waterman Lyons), 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).

Prior to the submission of your application, you must consult with wl685 [at] cornell.edu (Wayva Waterman Lyons), Student Support Specialist. The application components are as follows:

  • Complete Student Information Section, including submission of a CV/resume.
  • Complete Project Description: A brief statement 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.
  • students applying for research funding must submit a research project description not to exceed 5 single-spaced pages. The description should detail your 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, as well as the amount of matching funds you have secured.
  • Provide One Reference: Name and contact of a Cornell faculty or advisor that could advocate for this educational experience on your behalf.
  • Graduate students applying for research funding must submit a 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 complete the following requirements within one month of the completion of the funded activity:

  • Impact Statement: submit a brief report explaining how the funded project/activity/experience has enhanced your professional and academic goals, as well as how the project engaged Indigenous communities and demonstrated commitment to relationship building.
  • Submit images that illustrate your funded activity.
  • Receipts and proof of participation: supply AIISP with copies of the conference program, formal notifications, tickets/boarding passes, registration information, etc.
  • Arrange to make a public presentation in the AIIS Leadership Development Spotlight. Contact wl685 [at] cornell.edu (Wayva Waterman Lyons), Student Support Specialist, to schedule your presentation.
  • A "thank you" communication to the donor: send AIISP a short note with an attached impact statement and at least one image that we will pass along to the person or family who supplied the funds for the award.
  • Send a one-paragraph biographical statement.
  • Credit AIISP for funding your activity/project/research in the promotion of and/or publication resulting from the received funding.
  • Please note that images, project summaries, bios, quotations and the like can be used by AIISP in reports to donors and on the AIISP website.