Application Guidelines

The Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award recognizes and honors Cornell Students for their outstanding humanitarian efforts. In addition, the award provides support for students’ projects addressing a community’s social needs.

Awards of $1500 each will be made to three students at Cornell for use in community-service activities as directed by the recipients. A total of $4500 will be distributed. The focus of an applicant’s efforts may be the Cornell campus, the Ithaca community, or a location outside Tompkins County but within the United States and its territories.

The award will be granted on the basis of:

  • The student’s proposal to use the award money for an innovative approach to a social, governmental, or legal problem within a community. This effort should demonstrate the student’s initiative and ability to translate ideas into the practical result of meeting community needs. Projects should not be part of academic coursework, dissertation research, or for academic credit, but may be an outgrowth of previous work or course experience. Proposals should include a timeline for completion, plans for evaluation, and a budget outline. All applications must be accompanied by supporting documentation and/or a letter of recommendation from agency personnel or a member of Cornell’s faculty or staff.

  • The student’s capability of carrying out the project. The committee needs an understanding of previous ability of outstanding humanitarian service during the preceding twelve-month period. The service experience may be in any field: for example, with an on-campus organization such as EARS, or Into the streets; with local organizations serving a particular clientele such as the disabled or elderly, people who are homeless, prisoners, or at-risk youth or with national efforts such as those that improve the environment, promote justice, or work for conflict resolution.

* Note: funding for travel is not eligible


  • Completed applications, including a letter of recommendation are due in OrgSync. Due dates are forthcoming.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered for the award.
  • A select group of proposals will be invited to present to the selection committee.
  • The individual or individuals who complete/submit the application MUST be available to present a 20-minute presentation of projects and follow-up questions between 10:00am-2:00pm on Friday, April 27, 2018.
  • Attendance by these semi-finalists is also due at the awards dinner from 5:00pm-8:00pm that evening.
  • Business attire is recommended for your presentation and awards dinner.
  • Arrangements must be made at least one week prior to the presentation for audio-visual needs or support.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Cornell Public Service Center at (607) 255-0144 or email or stop by the PSC at 300 Kennedy Hall in advance of the due date.

Click here for the Application Form and Recommendation form. You will be directed to OrgSync where you will be asked to create an account if you have not done so in the past.  

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