BBS PhD Program


All students who are admitted to the Biomedical & Biological Sciences (BBS) Graduate Program are admitted with funding.  Funding includes full tuition, health insurance and a stipend.  During your rotation period, your funding is provided by the BBS Program and administered through the Office of Graduate Education.  One of the purposes of your rotations is to identify a faculty mentor who is willing to accept you as a graduate student and has resources to support you.  Your funding beyond the first year is secured by your faculty mentor.  Funding covers tuition, health insurance and stipend. For the 2024-25 year students will receive a minimum stipend of $45,240/year.

You are encouraged to apply for outside funding of your own.  Grant writing is not only an exercise that will make you more competitive in the job market upon graduation, but will also enhance your program by developing scientific thinking and writing skills. The Cornell University Graduate School has an interactive fellowship database for graduate students. Your faculty mentor and the Office of Research and Graduate Education are also resources in determining the most appropriate funding institute. Please review the Upcoming Funding Opportunities compiled by the Office of Research and Graduate Education.

BBS Fellowship Incentive Program

In an effort to encourage our BBS graduate students to secure external funds, the Biomedical & Biological Sciences Oversight Committee and the CVM Office of Graduate Education (OGE) offers a Fellowship Incentive Program.  BBS graduate students that meet the eligibility requirements (outlined below) are able to receive a one-time $2,000 merit award.  These funds are made possible through the CVM Office of Graduate Education.   


  • Student matriculated in BBS Graduate Field
  • Students in the BS/MS seeking PhD, Combined DVM-PhD Degree and DVM seeking PhD degree programs are eligible. 
  • The faculty mentor will be responsible to ensure that the student receives the minimum BBS Graduate student stipend rate (or appropriate rate for DVM seeking PhD).
  • External fellowship needs to provide a minimum of $20,000 stipend support over a one-year period and the fellowship must have at least a two-year duration.
  • The merit award will be processed on the award activation date.   

Conference Travel - Expenses & Planning

The Graduate School offers Conference Grant awards of up to $700 to research degree students to attend a professional conference at which they are presenting. See the online application form for more information about eligibility requirements and instructions. Conference grants are reviewed by the 9th of the month preceding the month in which the conference occurs, and grants are awarded to eligible students by the 15th of the preceding month. Applications are accepted up to 30 days following the end of the conference date.  Students are eligible for one conference grant per year and must be within time-to-degree limits.  Ph.D. students are eligible for conference travel grants starting in their first semester until the end of the fourteenth semester of enrollment. Additional deadlines and application instructions for the Graduate School conference grant are located here.

In addition, the Office of Graduate Education (OGE) provides top-off awards to Graduate School conference grants as well as financial support to attend a course/workshop outside of the Cornell Ithaca campus.  Eligible individuals are graduate students (Ph.D. degree and MS degree) whose Special Committee Chair is appointed to the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). For additional information regarding the CVM OGE top-off and advice on planning your conference travel review this document.

Additional Travel Awards

Andrew Kligerman Fund Travel Award This Fund is in honor of Bernard D. Pollikoff, my great uncle, who was born in 1901 in New York City and whose parents were from the Pale of Settlement in Eastern Europe.  When I was a young child I would stay with him and his sister when my parents wanted me out of their hair!  He ignited my love of science by introducing me to a new world seen through a microscope. This led to my career as a graduate student at Cornell with Dr. Stephen Bloom and as a cytogeneticist and genetic toxicologist at the US. Environmental Protection Agency. Thus, I would like to aid other graduate students in pursuing their love of science and enabling them to attend and present their work at scientific conferences.”

This award is available to Cornell graduate students in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Preference will be given to students who enhance the diversity, equity, and inclusion of the university and are presenting original research in either genetics, cytogenetics, cancer biology, or biological sciences. The award provides funds of up to $1,000 to assist in travel to scientific conferences in the next calendar year.  Five awards will be available annually. The call for applications is sent out by the Office of Graduate Education each Summer semester. 

Caroline Coffey Fund Travel Award  The Caroline Coffey Fund Travel Award was established in memory and honor of Dr. Caroline Marianne Coffey.  Caroline valued the ability to attend scientific conferences to exchange knowledge and create a network of peers who shared her love of research.  The purpose of the Caroline Coffey Fund Travel Award is to provide an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral associates to experience those things that Caroline valued and to further the scientific research that she loved. 

This award is available to Cornell graduate students or Cornell postdoctoral associates or fellows in the College of Veterinary Medicine or the Collee of Engineering.  (Those who are involved in biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, virology, or veterinary medicine will be given priority.)  It provides funds of up to $1,000 to assist in travel to scientific conferences in the academic year following application.  Two awards will be available each year.  The call for applications is sent out by the Office of Graduate Education each Fall semester.