The Richard H. Thomas History Scholar Awards for Off-Campus Research provide support for Cornell students who are majoring or minoring in history (with preference to history majors) to study and conduct research off-campus. The award subsidizes part of the cost for student enrollment and participation in one of the following:

  • Cornell off-campus research-based course offered by history department faculty (see current list of eligible courses below)
  • Off-campus research-based courses not offered by history department faculty but approved by the department (for example, Newberry Library short-term seminars not offered by history department faculty or ACM semester-long programs)
  • By providing funding to support student internships at historical societies, libraries, and museums (HIS 380)
  • Students’ independent research for honors projects in history (HIS 390 or HIS 485)

Application deadlines

Completed applications (including faculty letters of recommendation) must be submitted no later than six weeks prior to the final course payment deadline, and preferably four weeks before the first course payment deadline. Completed applications (including faculty letters of recommendation) for all other categories (including research-based courses off-campus offered by non-history department faculty, internships, and independent research) are due no later than six weeks prior to course or program payment deadline, or the block in which the internship or independent research will be conducted.

Application

To apply, students must submit the following by the relevant deadline:

  • A completed application form
  • A description of the project or course
  • The course cost or, in the case of internships and independent research projects, an estimated, itemized budget
  • A personal statement describing how this off-campus experience will enhance the student’s academic development and professional goals
  • A brief letter of recommendation from a Cornell faculty member

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Eligibility, criteria for selection, and review process

Awards will be based on the following:

  • The student’s academic standing
  • A completed application form including a statement of purpose and description of the project or course and how it will enhance the student’s academic development
  • A faculty letter of recommendation
  • Documented level of financial need (provided by Cornell’s financial aid office)
  • The cost of the off-campus course, or proposed cost of the internship or travel for independent research off-campus

Preference will be given to students who are majoring in history (although history minors will be considered) and whose documented financial need is the greatest and who have not previously:

  • Taken an off-campus course
  • Completed an internship for their history major or minor
  • Conducted substantive off-campus research for their history major or minor
  • Received a Richard H. Thomas History Scholar Awards or funding through other Cornell awards programs (such as the Cornell Fellows program, the Class of ’55 Award, or the Cat Levy Off-Campus Study Award).

The history of the award

The Richard H. Thomas History Scholar Awards for Off-Campus Research, established by the Thomas family, honor the educational legacy of Professor Emeritus Reverend Dick Thomas, “The Rev,” who was an integral member of Cornell’s history department and the hilltop community for many years. This endowment in his name recognizes the importance of off-campus research for students majoring and minoring in history and is intended to help off-set the increasing cost of such research for Cornell history majors and minors who meet the College’s criteria for financial need.

Questions about the Richard H. Thomas History Scholar Awards for Off-Campus Research should be addressed to the History Department Chair, Professor Robert Givens rgivens@cornellcollege.edu or the student’s academic advisor for the history major or minor.