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OADI Student Funding

The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) is focused on inclusion and achievement across the Cornell campus so students of all backgrounds excel at their academic goals. OADI programs especially support low-income students, those who are the first in their families to achieve a college degree, under-represented students of color, and non-traditional students.

The OADI Individual Student Funding Program 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.

There are two funding opportunities that OADI participates in: the Off-Campus Opportunity Fund (OCOF and OADI general funding.

Eligibility

OADI invites students to apply for a limited number of travel grants aimed at supporting opportunities that support academic and professional/career goals. To be considered for funding, you must be an active participant of OADI programs in good standing with the program and with your college. Funds must be used while still registered as a full-time student.

Active participants in the following programs will be considered:

When funding permits, applications may also be considered from general participants who are not yet officially participating in these programs but who are generally active with OADI and need assistance with activities involved in fields not covered by these programs in which they are underrepresented. General participants attend OADI events, workshops, and other events that occur weekly. Students who are “generally active” have utilized OADI’s resources/services (beyond the computer lab) or attended our general events at least five times in the past six months.

These grants are intended to subsidize a student's budget and should not be seen as an exclusive source of financing.

What can be funded

Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis to support activities that enhance a student's academic and career/professional goals, such as:

  • Domestic conference travel – priority will be given to students presenting at a conference (OADI General Funding))
  • Research opportunities that are unpaid, both off-campus and on-campus (OADI General Funding)
  • Internships (OADI General Funding)
  • Expenses related to professional and graduate school preparation or application (OADI General Funding)
  • Domestic and International travel for community-based and service learning opportunities (Off Campus Opportunity Fund - OCOF)

The OADI Funding Program, whether through OCOF or OADI General Funding, is not able to cover tuition of programs or courses, nor can it be used to pay a salary for an unpaid internship or research opportunity

Students may only receive OADI funding once every academic year. The academic year starts when classes start in the fall. If you received OADI funding in the past academic year, you will not be eligible until the next academic year (starting in the fall semester). You may also reach oadi-funding@cornell.edu for referrals to different funding sources.

About the Off-Campus Opportunity Fund (OCOF)

OCOF funding can be used for domestic and international travel experiences and opportunities.

This fund consolidates the applications and awarding processes of 4 previously distinct grants offered through the following central units:

By the consolidated deadlines (see chart above) students are asked to submit an online application in which they identify the grant(s) they are eligible to apply for. For more information and to complete the Off-Campus Opportunity Fund application, please visit the Opportunity Marketplace website.

About OADI General Funding

Current matriculated students in good standing can apply for funds to partially cover costs related to domestic conference travel, with priority given to students presenting at a conference, research opportunities that are unpaid, both off-campus and on-campus, internships, and expenses related to professional and graduate school preparation or applications.

Funding Program Schedule and Deadlines

Funding Program Name

Purpose of Funding

Deadline

Opportunities Occurring

OADI Funding

Conference Travel, Research Opportunities, Internships, Grad School Prep

September 12, 2018

October 1- December 15

Off-Campus Opportunity Fund (OCOF)

Domestic and International Travel

October 10, 2018

Winter Break (December 15-January 15)

OADI Funding

Conference Travel, Research Opportunities, Internships, Grad School Prep

November 1, 2018

December 16 – February 28

Off-Campus Opportunity Fund (OCOF)

Domestic and International Travel

February 1, 2019

Spring/spring break

OADI General Funding

Conference Travel, Research Opportunities, Internships, Grad School Prep

February 1, 2019

Spring/spring break

Off-Campus Opportunity Fund (OCOF)

Domestic and International Travel

March 1, 2019

Summer

OADI General Funding

Conference Travel, Research Opportunities, Internships, Grad School Prep

March 1, 2019

Summer

Application Process

All funding requests must connect with academic and/or professional and career goals.

Applicants for OADI funding will be required to submit a proposal that provides a detailed description of the experience or opportunity, including:

    1. Description of the purpose of the experience or opportunity (what it is, when it is, where it is, etc).
    2. Clear learning goals stating what the applicant intends to be able to know (knowledge), do (skills) or value as a result of the experience.
    3. Description of how the goals connect with the applicant’s academic path/interests and/or professional path/interests.
    4. Description of how the experience or opportunity connects with work in/with OADI and the programs you are a member of.

Applicants will also be required to submit a letter of support from a Cornell faculty or staff member in order to be considered. The letter should address the specific merits of your proposal, expected outcomes, and connection with academic and/or professional and career interests. Allow time for faculty to review your proposal well in advance of the deadline.

A budget that details the expenses is also required.

Proposals will be reviewed by the OADI Funding Committee approximately 5 business days after the application deadlines. Awards will be made based on eligibility and on the depth, richness of the proposed activity and relevance to academic/career goals. Applicants will receive notification of the funding decision within two weeks of the deadline and will have three days to accept or decline the funding.

Incomplete applications, or those submitted after the deadline will not be considered. These grants are intended to subsidize a student's budget and should not be seen as an exclusive source of financing.

If you receive OADI funding:

  • Reflection/evaluation report/s on the impact of the grant are required within two weeks of the conclusion of the conference/experience.
  • A presentation at the Community Engagement Showcase, which will be held in the spring, is strongly encouraged. Recipients who are awarded funds from OADI are required to present about their experiences from the learning/professional development opportunity at a OADI sponsored program or event (Tuesday Lunch Engagement or Diversity in Scholarship & Engagement Symposium) or other approved Cornell event. Failure to submit a reflection/evaluation summary and complete a presentation will possibly forfeit any promised funds from OADI.
  • It is your responsibility to keep all original receipts or invoices for expenses you personally incur for travel (including boarding pass stub), lodging, food, and any other costs associated with the proposed activity. We will request that you submit these receipts to us after the experience is complete. Failure to submit receipts when requested will result in funding being rescinded.
  • If you receive funds that cover a non-refundable deposit for an opportunity and you do not participate in the opportunity, you will be required to return the funds used to pay the deposit.

Funding Caps and Limits

Individual applications will be reviewed in accordance with the above criteria. OADI strives to help support students in their quest for these educational/professional experiences. As you are preparing your individual budget, please be aware of the funding caps as outlined below. Funds are available based on length of experience:

Length of Experience

Maximum Award

2-3 day / Conference Experience

$1000.00

7-14 days

$1500.00

14-20 days

$2000.00

21-28 days

$2500.00

29 – 35 days

$3000.00

35 or more days

$3500.00

***Note these amounts are not guarantees as proposals will be reviewed on the completeness in outlining the criteria above. These amounts are the maximum a student may receive based on funding availability.

Developing a Budget

As part of the application, you are required to submit a complete budget for review. In creating your budget, please be clear in explaining what the expense entails. For example, do not just list “Program Fee”, please provide description as well - “Program Fee that includes conference registration, local transportation for duration of event, and gala dinner on second night.” All planned expenses should be clear and easy to understand. Applicants will also need to include additional funding sources to provide a complete budget – this will help the funding committee determine how all the expenses will be covered. Please click here for a sample budget form.

To Apply for OADI General Funding

Before applying for OADI Funding, please review the pdf of the application

OADI General Funding is available for conference tracle, research opportunities, internships, and expenses related to professional and graduate school preparation or applications. For international travel, please apply for OCOF funding. 

All applications must be submitted through the online process. All applicants are required to submit a budget, letter of support from a faculty or staff member, and a current resume. 

Spring 2019 OADI General Funding Application

  • To apply for OADI Funding for conference travel, research opportunities, and internships Spring/Spring break, please use the following link: OADI Individual Student Funding Application
  • Applications are due by 11:59pm EST on February 1, 2019.