The Center for Life Beyond Reed

President’s Summer Fellowship

PSF 2015 Fellows

The President’s Summer Fellowship offers you a chance to think big and tackle a summer project that combines intellectual pursuit, imagination, adventure, personal transformation, and service to the greater good. The only limits to this fellowship are your imagination.  You must be a currently enrolled at Reed first, second, third-year or Spring-Fall Senior student who will be returning to campus in the fall after your fellowship. 

The program was established in 2012 with a gift from trustee Dan Greenberg ’62 and Susan Steinhauser and inaugurated by President John R. Kroger. The program awards $5000 to as many as 10 students. We encourage applicants to consider the high value the college places on critical inquiry, freedom of expression, and exploration of identity, and to look for opportunities to complement and enhance your rigorous academic experience.

The way I see it, the most valuable lesson this experience taught me is never to doubt my capacity to succeed in unfamiliar territory.
—Sarah Tiffany-Appleton '14, 2013 President's Summer Fellow

Please follow the application guidelines carefully. For your reference, applications from previous awardees are available in hard copy in the Center for Life Beyond Reed. We strongly encourage you to meet with the Center for Life Beyond Reed during the planning stages of your proposal. Travel restrictions do apply (see below).

For more details of each of the fellows' summer experiences, read their blog posts on Beyond Reed's blog, Works & Days.

Read about the 2016 cohort of winning students and their projects.

Read the FAQ

To Apply

Applications are available online. Click Reed President's Summer Fellowship.

The deadline is February 16, 2016.

Application Steps

  1. Your resume, in PDF format. Name your resume using the following convention: FirstInitialLastName_ExternshipTitle_Month_Year. Example:SStudent_ShrtStryWriting_1_2016.pdf
  2. One confidential letter of recommendation, preferably from a member of the Reed faculty. Faculty may provide their recommendation either through this form in which they provide short answers to specific questions or this link for uploading a traditional letter.  They can choose which of these formats to use and must complete only one.  Refer your recommender to Michelle Johnson (503.788.6634) with any questions.
  3. A detailed project description of no more than 1,200 words total, consisting of:
    1. a summary (no more than 200 words). If selected as a Fellow, the summary will represent your project in various materials.
    2. a full project description, including what learning you expect to gain or what you hope to create. If your project is of a service nature, include the benefits that you and the community you intend to serve will derive.
    3. the preparation you've done for your project. The desired educational outcomes of this experience and how they apply to your career goals
  4. A PDF of the endorsement of your host organization, if applicable
  5. Detailed budget of your expenses (using the online form) and an explanation of how you will cover any expenses that exceed the award amount

Review & Notification

Proposals will be judged by the overall strength of the project (clarity of concept, creativity, quality of design, the synthesis of intellectual pursuit with imagination); the endorsement of cooperating entities to support your learning; and letters of recommendation from faculty and staff. Please follow the guidelines carefully.

The timeline is as follows:

  • By February 24, 2016: finalists chosen by the PSF committee (see below) and President Kroger
  • On or before March 5, 2016: finalist interviews
  • By March 8, 2016: final decisions
  • Mid-March: reception for fellows

The PSF Committee
Bruce Smith, dean of students
Michelle Johnson, fellowships adviser
Virginia Hancock, professor of music
Pete Rock, professor of creative writing


  • Students who are interested in receiving a fellowship are responsible for the development, planning, and implementation of their own projects. Projects must be completed in a ten-week window.
  • Recipients must write three blog posts for publication during their experience.
  • Recipients will be asked to share their learning with the Reed community in the spring after their experience.

Travel Restrictions

Travel restrictions for awards that originate or pass through Reed's business office usually follow State Department travel warning criteria. If you suspect that your proposed location of study may present safety or security risks, please consult the U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings Section. If a project proposal includes travel to locations that may present safety or security risks, especially as identified by the State Department travel warning criteria, special note must be made in the proposal, and additional information may be requested before permission is determined.

The Reed College President’s Summer Fellowship awards are tentative until travel permission has been received from the Reed College coordinators of such awards via completion of an award agreement that outlines conditions of acceptance. Students who do not receive permission to travel will not be allowed to use such funds for their proposed project; however, accommodations for an alternate location may be made at the discretion of the coordinators of the awards.