The Center for Life Beyond Reed

President’s Summer Fellowship

The President’s Summer Fellowship (PSF) offers you a chance to think big and tackle an 8-10 week 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.

The program awards up to $5000 to as many as eight students. Recipients who are on financial aid and who have a student contribution will also have that amount paid by this fellowship (up to $2,000). 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.

We strongly encourage you to meet with the Center for Life Beyond Reed during the planning stages of your proposal. Travel restrictions apply.

For more details of some of the prior fellows' summer experiences (up to 2016), read blog posts on CLBR's archived blog, Works & Days.

Read about the 2023 cohort of winning students and their projects.

Read the President's Summer Fellowship FAQ.

The President's Summer Fellowship is made possible with generous support from Dan Greenberg '62 and Susan Steinhauser.

Application Deadline

Wednesday March 29th, 2023, at 12:00 PM noon. Interviews (in-person or Zoom) will occur in the following 1-2 weeks for applicants who are selected for an interview.


You must be

  • a currently enrolled first year, sophomore, junior, or spring-fall senior student;
  • returning to campus in the fall after your fellowship;
  • in good academic standing.


Proposals will be judged by:

  • Clarity of concept
  • Quality of design
  • Creativity and synthesis of intellectual pursuit with imagination
  • Strength of the letter of recommendation

Institutional Review Board Approval

If your project involves conducting research on a human subject, then you will need to apply for approval from Reed's Institutional Review Board (IRB) in tandem with your President's Summer Fellowship application. Please see the IRB website for more information.

If your project does require IRB approval, it's possible that you could be awarded this fellowship before receiving IRB approval. In that case your award would be conditional while waiting for approval.

To Apply

All applications will be submitted online in Handshake. The Handshake portion of the application consists of a resume, cover letter, budget, and a short survey. Additional required materials will need to be sent to, including a letter of recommendation, and a document which demonstrates the endorsement of your host organization (if applicable.) See below for details.


An up-to-date one page copy of your resume summarizing any work and volunteer experiences relevant to the opportunity for which you are applying.

Cover Letter

Upload a pdf document of no more than 1,300 words total with the following components.

  • At the top of the document, list the project title, start date, and end date.
  • Begin with a project summary (no more than 200 words). If selected as a Fellow, the summary will represent your project in various materials.
  • Full project description:
    • Discuss what learning you expect to gain, and/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 from it.
    • Explain how and why you are prepared to successfully undertake your project. For example, if special skills are needed, how did you acquire them or how will you gain them?
    • What, if any, are the desired educational outcomes of this experience, and how do they apply to your short- or long-term career goals?

Other Document - Detailed Budget

Upload a budget of your anticipated expenses (using our budget template) and an explanation of how you will cover any expenses that exceed the maximum award amount of $5,000. Leave the "Financial Aid Student Contribution, if relevant" line blank, as this will be handled directly between CLBR and the Financial Aid office, if applicable. If you have a student contribution as part of a financial aid package, then your budget will be increased by that amount ($2,000 maximum).

Letter of Recommendation

Request one confidential letter of recommendation. This person should be the person who is best prepared to speak to your ability to be successful in your proposed project. Please review our guide on requesting letters of recommendation for guidance. Recommendations need to be submitted by email to


If the project includes working with an organization, cultural group, association, or any organized entity from which permissions are needed, you must indicate that fact in your application and email a PDF copy of that entity’s endorsement of the project to

Apply in Handshake

Next Steps

Select applicants will be invited to interview 1–2 weeks after the deadline. Final notifications of application status should take place by the end of March.

Fellowship recipients:

  • are responsible for the development, planning, and implementation of their own projects, which must be completed in a ten-week window over summer;
  • must create a LinkedIn account if they don't have one, and respond to a prompt/s from CLBR given over the summer;
  • write a minimum two page final reflection upon completion of their project and include at least one photo;
  • will participate in an experience sharing activity in the fall semester as directed by CLBR;
  • may be invited to a dinner and may be asked to present to Reed's Trustees in the fall after their project.

Travel Restrictions

Reed College does not permit college-funded travel to other countries that are categorized as level 4 (do not travel). Travel to countries on a level 3 advisory warning might be allowed on a case-by-case basis, but there would need to be a strong case made in the application for why the travel is necessary to the project, and how it can be done safely.

Intended travel countries must not be restricted at the time of application. If a travel country becomes restricted after you are awarded funds, we will work with you to find alternative plans. If alternative plans don't work out, it could be possible that you would be required to return some or all of the funding. Email if you have any questions.