Application process

Yes! Applicants can only submit a single application but will be asked to select their top three projects.  These projects can be selected from across any combination of our five program areas (Entomology, Horticulture, Plant Pathology/Plant-Microbe Biology, Food Science, or Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship and Business Development). 

Each referee will only have to send one letter of reference.  It is very important that you inform your referees which projects you are applying for so they can be specific in their endorsement as to your skills and attributes for your selection.

You do need to submit a transcript as part of your application; however, an unofficial transcript is acceptable as long as it was obtained directly from your college or university.

To be eligible for the program, applicants should have completed two, preferably three years of college level study in one of the life sciences or other relevant disciplines such as computer science or engineering by June 2024.

You do not necessarily need previous research or course experience in the specific program to which you apply.  The Summer Scholars Program is a chance for you to do research in a field you may not be familiar with.

You are welcome to apply, however please note that your acceptance to the program is ultimately at the discretion of your faculty mentor, who must decide whether or not it would be acceptable for you to arrive late and if you will have adequate time to complete the project. We are unable to change the dates to better fit your schedule due to our housing agreement with Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Unfortunately, no. The funding we have is specifically for undergraduates. We require that by June 1, 2024, students must have been enrolled for at least one semester (our STRONG preference is four to six semesters) and still have at least one semester remaining at their home institution after the completion of the Summer Scholars program in August 2024. 

Yes, we encourage Cornell undergraduates to apply, and we have funding dedicated to Cornell CALS students. 

Our funding from USDA-NIFA restricts us to only accepting US citizens or permanent residents.  Non-US citizens, especially those who are enrolled in the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, may be eligible for funding from other sources. These applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Yes, you may apply, and we will review your application, but our strong preference is to give other students an opportunity to participate.

It is always best to ask your referees directly if they have submitted their letters of recommendation, but you may also contact the administrative assistant for the program to which you applied or our general email at. Please note: you will receive a confirmation email once your referees have submitted their letters of recommendation.

  • For Entomology: Holly Hancharik - hak3 [at] (hak3[at]cornell[dot]edu)
  • For Horticulture: Amy Andersen- ada10 [at] (ada10[at]cornell[dot]edu)
  • For Plant Pathology/Plant Microbe-Biology: Kate Keagle - kev35 [at] (kev35[at]cornell[dot]edu)
  • For Food Science: Sarah Lincoln - sjl38 [at] (sjl38[at]cornell[dot]edu)
  • For Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship and Business Development: Danielle DiDuro - dnd38 [at] (dnd38[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Program information

Students will arrive on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.  This will give students a chance to settle into housing, go through the Summer Research Scholar orientation, meet with staff in their department and lab before starting the program on Monday, June 3, 2024.

Yes. Each student accepted to the program will be paid a $6,200 stipend as a lump sum in the form of direct deposit shortly after arrival.  Typically, stipends are received by the end of the first full week of the program. This is reported to the IRS as income, but no tax is withheld, so please consider this when preparing income taxes. These funds will help pay for meals not provided by the program, travel to and from Geneva, NY, and any personal expenses you incur during the program.  Housing, local transportation and a number of meals will be provided.

In addition to covering local expenses such as food, the stipend you receive is partly intended to assist you in reimbursing travel expenses you incur traveling to and from Geneva, NY.  However, ground transportation to and from the Rochester, NY airport will be provided.

Summer Scholars will be living together in two or three houses on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS), about a 5-minute drive from campus.  Students are not required to pay rent for the housing.  There is a mix of single and double bedrooms and roommates are assigned by program staff.  Bathrooms, dining/living areas, and kitchens are shared.  Houses are equipped with a washer, dryer, stove/oven, and refrigerator, and are approximately 2 miles from the AgriTech campus.

On average each house will have 5 – 10 students.  Each house will be assigned a live-in Resident Assistant (RA) who is a Cornell graduate student available to help scholars adjust to the program and assist with other residential needs.

You must make your own travel arrangements to and from Geneva, NY.  If you are driving, you will be able to park on the HWS and AgriTech campuses for free.  If you are flying, program staff will coordinate to have you picked up from the Rochester, NY airport (ROC), as well as transport you to the ROC airport at the conclusion of the program.

The program provides University fleet vehicles for summer scholars to use during the program.  Summer Scholars are asked to complete a driver questionnaire and background check to obtain approval to drive University fleet and program vehicles.  These fleet vehicles can be used for getting to and from campus and getting around town during the week.  Personal vehicles are required for any personal/recreational travel you choose to take part in during your time in the program.

A basic work week would be Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm with an hour for lunch each day.  However, each mentor and lab may be a little different depending on your project and the lab’s schedule.  You may have field or lab work that occasionally requires flexibility with your schedule.  This should be determined in conversation with your mentors.

Historically there has been an organized day trip to the Ithaca campus in July for Summer Scholars to learn about the graduate programs at Cornell University, to ask questions of the graduate field directors, and to briefly tour the Ithaca campus.  Summer Scholars also participate in field trips to local venues organized around agricultural themes: vegetables, turf, fruit, etc.  Typically, there are 4 – 5 half day field trips that give Summer Scholars a chance to learn about NYS agriculture firsthand.  Each Friday the Summer Scholars will come together as a group for Free Lunch Friday Discussions.  Friday discussions will be led by AgriTech faculty, graduate students and/or postdocs.  Lunch will be provided.

Geneva is a city of about 13,000 that prides itself on being “uniquely urban” and blends many characteristics of a typical upstate NY town with those of a much larger city.  Geneva is centrally located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.  It is within an hour driving distance from Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, Watkins Glen, and Corning.  The city center is home to a variety of restaurants, shops, and businesses, just a short walk from Seneca Lake.

The poster session, on the last day of the Summer Scholars program is a chance for you to showcase your work to your fellow Summer Scholars and members of the Cornell AgriTech community in a low-pressure environment.  Typically, half of the Summer Scholars present their poster in the first hour of the session, and the other half present in the second hour of the session.  A catered lunch follows the poster session.

This will depend on your school, and you would need discuss this with your academic advisor, department chair or registrar’s office at your home institution about counting your internship for academic credit.  If your school asks you to fulfill additional requirements to receive academic credit, be sure to discuss these with your faculty mentor before the start of the program, because you will probably need to write an internship plan with expected academic outcomes.

For most scholars, the program gives them a preview of graduate school and many scholars do go on to pursue Master's or PhD degrees.  A number of Summer Scholar alumni are now graduate students at Cornell, at both the Ithaca and Geneva campuses.  You will have the opportunity to engage with many past Summer Scholars during your time here at AgriTech.