Funding and Awards

The Tina Han Su Cooper Class of '66 Award

Deadline: April 9th

What is it?

The Tina Han Su Cooper '66 Award honors an outstanding  undergraduate engaged in the study of Chinese cultural areas.  It recognizes student achievement and supports the awardee's longer-term intellectual development including possible preparation for graduate school.  The award may be used for the following purposes:

  • summer intensive Chinese language study at the advanced-intermediate or advanced level (in the U.S. or overseas);
  • summer or winter research leading to a senior thesis;
  • summer coursework related to Chinese cultural areas at another university.

At the end of the award period recipients must submit a 3-5 page report summarizing the activities supported by the award and how these have contributed to their academic and professional goals. 

This award is founded in memory of Tina Han Su Cooper, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in June 1966 with distinction in all subjects, having majored in Far Eastern Studies.  Tina was born in China during the Second World War; she pursued Far Eastern Studies at Cornell to understand her Chinese heritage more comprehensively.  She spent her junior semester abroad at the London School of Economics.  After her baccalaureate degree, she pursued her interest in Chinese culture at Harvard University, where she received a master's degree with honors in Far Eastern Studies.  Tina Han Su Cooper's intellectual journey offers inspiration to a new generation of students at Cornell.

Who can apply?

Eligible student applicants :

  • Second- or third-year students at Cornell;
  • who have already demonstrated a significant interest in the study of Chinese cultural areas through at least one course taken in Cornell's Department of Asian Studies.

Applicants for the award need not be Asian Studies majors or minors.

When is the deadline?

April 9th

How do I apply?

Submit to as a single PDF, including:

  • Application Form;
  • permission for Asian Studies to access your transcript;
  • a 2-4 page proposal addressing the eligibility criteria and containing a detailed project timeline and budget;
  • minimum of one, maximum of two, recommendation letters from Asian Studies faculty working in areas related to China studies.

For inquiries, contact the Asian Studies' Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Study, Research, and Service Travel Grants

This travel grant award program is subject to Cornell's current travel policies.

Deadline: April 9th .

What is it?

The Asian Studies Study, Research, and Service Travel Grant provides funding for travel and living expenses for the study, service, or research, in an Asian country.

  • Students receiving grants are responsible for managing all aspects of their trip including:
    • making their own travel itinerary
    • arranging travel and accommodations
    • managing their own budgets
  • At the end of the travel recipients must provide documentation of travel and submit a 3-5-page report summarizing the language and cultural experiences. 

Who can apply?

  • Applicants may be from any college or major; their proposed project must relate to their area of study.
  • Applicants should have a strong cumulative GPA, a well-articulated project, and submit an appropriate budget. 
  • Priority will be given to students who
    • have completed 2 years of language work in the relevant language prior to the intended travel;
    • have no prior travel experience in the area of travel;
    • and are Asian Studies majors or minors.

Awardees must be enrolled at Cornell in the semester following travel.

When is the deadline?

Deadline: April 9th.

How do I apply?

Applicants must complete an application form, and provide the following:

  • a 1500-word proposal about the plan of study or service or research (consisting of the title of the project, project summary, project detail, a detailed project timeline, and a detailed budget);
  • a list of the current Academic Year Fall and Spring courses;
  • two letters of academic recommendation, one from a language teacher (preferably of a language relevant to proposal) emailed to*,
  • letter of recommendation from host institution if you are doing a service project emailed to*.

Application and other documents should be submitted to

Frequently Asked Questions about the Travel Grants.


Diversity Research Grants

Deadline: April 9th.

What is it?

The Department of Asian Studies awards multiple Diversity Research Grants of $7500 for undergraduate students from under-represented and marginalized communities (see definition below), to conduct research on any topic relevant to Asian Studies (note: this is not a travel grant). 

This grant is part of our Department's commitment to redressing the ways implicit bias and structural violence unevenly affect students' access, academic performance, disciplinary training, professionalization, and security.  It is also an expression of our aim to create an environment that welcomes and fosters a diverse student body.

What will I do?

Successful applicants will spend the Summer working on their Asia-focused research project, supported one-on-one by a faculty advisor of choice (applicants need to secure the faculty member's principle availability to supervise your work before applying).  A condition for the grant is to dedicate at least 350 hours to the research project.

The project might be on a topic of your choice (approved by the advisor) or related to a pre-existing project initiated by the advisor.  Students will make use of resources available digitally and/or through the Cornell Library and its affiliates, to work on their research.  When your project is completed, you will share your through a paper, presentation, or other format determined with your advisor.  After completion of the grant, if you wish, your research grant faculty advisor could provide a letter of recommendation suitable for a job, internship, and graduate school applications.

Who can apply?

The Diversity Research Grant is aimed at fostering a diverse student body and creating research opportunities for students from under-represented and marginalized communities.  For the purpose of this grant, students are asked to indicate how they self-identify as belonging to an under-represented or marginalized community.  See below for a list of possible identities and/or experiences that would apply (the list is not exhaustive, and only indicative of the range of what might constitute "diversity").

  • First-generation college student (neither parent/guardian having completed a baccalaureate degree);
  • Member of an ethnic or racial group historically excluded from and underrepresented in academia - Black, Indigenous (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Native Pacific Islander), Latinx, members of ethnic or religious minority groups in Asia (e.g. Chinese Muslims, Hindu Singaporeans...);
  • Other identities and/or experiences historically underrepresented and/or marginalized in academia including but not limited to the following:
    • Those who manage a disability
    • Being of a gender and/or sexual orientation identity historically underrepresented in your field of study
    • Those who identify as a military veteran
    • Holding DACA, TPS, refugee, or asylee status
    • Those who have experienced housing and/or food insecurity
    • Single parents

Students from all majors are invited to apply, but preference will be given to students majoring or minoring in Asian Studies.

Students currently enrolled in their First, Sophomore, or Junior year are eligible to apply.

When is the deadline?

April 9th

How do I apply?

  • Identify a faculty advisor available to supervise your research project and secure their support;
  • Write a research proposal (between 500-700 words)
  • Write a Diversity Statement illustrating how you self-identify as belonging to an under-represented or marginalized community;
  • Submit to as a single PDF file, including:
    • Application Form
    • Research Proposal
    • Diversity Statement
    • Unofficial Transcript
    • Short statement of support from the faculty member (an email stating willingness to supervise the project is sufficient)

For inquiries, contact the Asian Studies' Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Undergraduate Prizes

The following prizes are offered by the department for undergraduate students.

Robert J. Smith Award/Russell Mann Gift

As a result of a gift from Russell Mann (BA-Asian Studies '90) in honor of Professor Robert J. Smith, an award is given to outstanding Japanese language students, from our beginning and intermediate streams of Japanese language instruction, as the most promising in their cohorts. 

Korean Language Program Award

As a result of funding from the Joh Foundation, three awards are given to Korean language students who have three years of hard work, dedication, and love of learning the Korean language.  

Irene M. Anderson Summer Travel Scholarships

As a result of a gift in honor of Irene M. Anderson, summer funding in awarded for travel to Northern China or Korea for special projects in Asian Studies.

Nakanishi Award for Japanese Language Studies

As a result of a gift in honor of Yasuko Nakanishi Whitman, Senior Lecturer in Japanese, an award is given to a student for summer travel for Japanese language study.

Robert Sukle Japanese Award

As a result of a gift by the ALLEX Foundation in honor of Robert J. Sukle, Senior Lecturer/Director, Japanese Language Program, an award is given to a Japanese language student after three years of hard work, dedication, and love of learning the Japanese language.

For additional questions, contact: