Faculty Funding

Academic Venture Fund Supplemental Grants

Get more undergraduate students involved in sustainability research


Academic Venture Fund Supplemental Grants support undergraduate participation in cutting-edge learning projects funded by the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. Atkinson’s Academic Venture Fund (AVF) “seeds original, multidisciplinary research that is not likely to find funding elsewhere.” Learn more on the Atkinson’s website.

AVF Supplemental Grants are intended to support:

Undergraduates in opportunities that connect a research-based experience with the larger public purpose of AVF projects

Strong collaborative environments for students and opportunities for them to work in teams

Opportunities that promote access for all Cornell undergraduates

AVF Supplemental Grants are not intended to support:

Course development or research that has not received an AVF grant from the Atkinson Center

Proposals that only allow for the inclusion of a single undergraduate


Only faculty teams that have received AVF grants are eligible for this supplemental funding

Teams must apply for a supplemental grant the year that the Atkinson Center awards the AVF grant


Supplemental grants up to $10,000 per program for one year; extending awards will align with the Atkinson Center’s policies

At the end of the approved grant period, grantholders will return remaining funds to the Einhorn Center

Expectations and Deliverables

Successful applicants will be required to submit a brief end-of-project report using a template that will be provided upon receipt of the grant

Grantees will provide documentation and evaluation of the partnership, including community partner voice and feedback. Grantees may use a Partnership Assessment Tool of their own devising or one of those provided by the Office of Engagement Initiatives.


Allowable expenses

Undergraduate student support*:

  • travel, meals, lodging associated with research conducted off campus**
  • direct costs incurred by students while conducting research
  • participation in conferences and/or workshops
  • costs of publication
  • systems that support the student research experience (software, enrollment in online training, etc.)
  • wages for students (work study, other). Information about Cornell student employment and federal work-study is available at studentemployment.cornell.edu/policies

* While this mechanism is for increasing the involvement of undergraduates, it may be appropriate to have graduate students mentor or supervise undergraduates. Funding to support graduate students will be considered with proper justification.

** Travel funding and support will depend on University policy regarding COVID-19.

Unallowable expenses

Unallowed expenses include:

Projects proposing student travel to a country determined to be an “elevated risk destination” by the International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART), must obtain ITART pre-travel approval per Policy 8.5. Contact intlsafety@cornell.edu.

Application Process and Timeline

Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult the Einhorn Center at any time during the application process.

Supplement Proposal Deadline
July 9, 2021
Notification of Supplement Awards Late July 2021
Earliest Start Date for Supplements
Early August 2021

Selection Criteria

Reviewers look for innovative experiences that will broaden undergraduates’ knowledge of community-engaged learning. Preference will be give to proposals that allow multiple students to participate and that come from departments/programs without a strong preexisting culture of community-engaged learning.


Proposals must be submitted using the online application form, and include the following information, within the space limits described on the form.

  1. Project title
  2. Name of principal investigator
  3. Target student population (class year(s), major(s)) and number of students anticipated for inclusion in the proposed project
  4. Succinct summary, to be shared publicly, describing the project context, public purpose, and what the project team will be doing.
  5. Short narrative that describes the role(s) undergraduate students will play in the research and how that is connected to the community-engaged learning aspect of the project
    • what will the students do
    • how long and in what capacity will they be involved
    • how will they interact with community partners
    • how will they reflect on their experience
  6. Intended student learning outcomes (what participants will leave the course knowing or being able to do) and description of how you will assess student learning
  7. Signature endorsements from chair or supervisor
  8. Budget, following budget guidelines
  9. Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories

Previous Recipients

Questions about your project?

Contact the Einhorn Center. We’re here to help.

Email: einhorncenter@cornell.edu

Phone: (607) 255-6006