Future Leaders in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

We are no longer accepting applications for FLAME 2024!

Program dates: June 9-August 9, 2024.

The Cornell FLAME Summer Program provides students a unique opportunity to launch into a Ph.D. program through enhanced summer research experience and through a subsequent fast-tracked/prioritized admission into the Cornell MAE Ph.D. program with tailored programmatic and financial support. It is designed for students interested in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Biomechanics, Bioengineering, Energy and Sustainability, Robotics and Autonomy, and Space Science and Engineering.

The FLAME program is designed to advance the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and especially access to research experiences and graduate study in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Admission to FLAME is available on a competitive basis to domestic students who will be eligible to apply to graduate school by Fall 2024 and are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, Indigenous peoples of Canada eligible to register as U.S. domestic students under the Jay Treaty, or students holding DACA, TPS, refugee, or asylee status. Applications from students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in engineering are especially encouraged.

The application is here. First round of applications are due on March 8, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis after.

Form for Recommenders to use is here.

Summer Program Highlights

  • Academic preparation for graduate school
  • Opportunity to cultivate a relationship with your potential future Ph.D. advisor 
  • Assistance with preparation of applications to Ph.D. programs (Cornell or other)
  • $6300 stipend, $500 of travel support, on-campus housing, meal plan, and local transport included
  • Social events and trips

Cornell MAE Ph.D. Program

  • Waived GREs 
  • Waived application fee to Cornell MAE Ph.D. program
  • Direct match into Ph.D. lab if desired
  • $1250 towards professional development (eg. laptop, professional clothes) available after matriculating


  • Ambitious and hard-working
  • Have two semesters remaining in their undergraduate education at the start of the summer program
  • Majoring in a STEM discipline
  • Be in good academic standing

Additionally, applicants must meet one or more of the following:

  • Experienced situations or conditions that impacted your advancement or ability to advance in a STEM field, including but not limited to:
    • Being from a racial, ethnic, and/or cultural background(s) historically excluded in STEM
    • Being a first-generation college student
    • Managing a disability or chronic health condition
    • Identifying as neurodivergent
  • Experiencing housing, food, economic, and/or other forms of significant insecurity.Demonstrated commitment to address the barriers that prevent participation of students from historically underrepresented groups in graduate STEM programs.
  • Demonstrated leadership potential to address the issues of underrepresentation of domestic minorities in STEM fields.
  • Attended a minority-serving institution (HBCU, HSI, or Tribal College)

Some Application Guidelines

Within the Academic and Research Statement of Interest, applicants should describe in no more than 500 words the following:

  • their motivation for applying to FLAME
  • the areas of research in mechanical and/or aerospace engineering of greatest interest to them
  • prior research and/or related academic or professional experiences and achievements
  • how participation in FLAME would help to advance their educational and career goals

Personal statement (3 pages max.) must address both items below:

  1. Describe your research interests, advanced degree plan and explanation of how this research opportunity relates to your career goals and academic plan; AND
  2. Discuss one of your lived experiences and how it will contribute to FLAME’s diverse scholarly community. Some topics to consider:
    • Having experienced situations or conditions that impacted your advancement or ability to advance in a STEM field;
    • Having demonstrated a commitment to addressing the barriers that prevent participation of historically underrepresented groups in graduate STEM programs;
    • Having demonstrated leadership potential to address issues of domestic minorities in STEM fields.


If you have questions or need more information, contact us.