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 2021-22 year students will received a minimum stipend of $38,205/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.
  • Funds will be available from the OGE and can be processed as such (depending on student desire):

1.       One time stipend supplement processed on the Bursar System (subject to taxes) or

2.       Funds are deposited into an account housed in OGE to be used for professional travel or academic purchases (i.e. computers, books, etc.). 
The decision to employ the second option and the selection of purchases is made solely by the student.  Purchased property through this mechanism will belong to the student, not the faculty mentor or laboratory.    

  • Student would need to access these funds and spend the funds according to the universities business expense policy, found:
  • Funds need to be spent by the completion of the degree program.  Any money left over in the account after program completion will revert back to the Office of Graduate Education. 
  • The merit award will be processed on the award activation date.   
  • There is no charge-back to the Department or individual PI for this incentive plan.
  • The faculty mentor remains responsible for all tuition / health insurance shortfalls.

Conference Travel Funds through the Graduate School

You are encouraged to submit your application materials as early as possible, preferable before the conference start date, however, applications will be accepted up to 30 days after the start date of the conference.  Additional deadline and application instructions for the Graduate School conference grant are located here.

In addition, the Office of Graduate Education will provide top off awards to Graduate School conference grants. If your expenses exceed the amount of your Graduate School conference grant please contact Alyssa Lopez, Please refer to the document HERE for additional details.

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 College 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 in May. 

Application deadline is July 1.
Awards are announced on August 1.