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Supporting excellence in undergraduate research.

The Polson Institute Undergraduate Fellow

The fellow position is a part-time role, on a semester basis, in writing and communicating about global development research at Cornell. Part of the responsibility of the position will be to develop a proposal or plan of action that they will implement in increasing conversations about development and social science, particularly among students. This could involve thematic blogging, interviewing faculty, event coverage, etc. They will also support the Director and Program and Communications Associate in serving as a liaison to help involve and engage undergraduate students in the Polson Institute programs and research. Applications for SPRING 2020 are closed. We will update the announcement for the next fellow position in FALL 2020.   For more information, please email Maina Dhital.

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Support

Undergraduates in the Department of Development Sociology who are writing an honors thesis are eligible to apply to the Polson Institute for research support.

Support may be used to fund travel to field sites; acquire datasets; present work at a conference or workshop; prepare posters; or support publication fees. While there is no standard application form, requests for support should be submitted by the thesis advisor to All requests should provide a short description of the project and a budget justification and will be reviewed by the Steering Committee on a rolling basis. 

Support for the Sociology of Development Conference Attendance

Undergraduates in good academic standing and with a strong interest in research or an academic career are provided support to attend the annual Sociology of Development Conference along with faculty and graduate students from the department, including transportation and room and board. We fund the attendance of up to two undergraduate students. The annual deadline to apply is September 1st. If interested, send an email to

Read reflections from Polson supported undergraduates on the Development Sociology blog: