The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Rhodes Scholarship Internal Application Instructions

This scholarship requires applicants to be nominated by Reed College. Complete the internal application in order to be considered for a nomination from the college. Nomination decisions will be made by the Reed faculty Fellowships & Awards Committee.

For Rhodes, you will focus specifically on Oxford university, where you apply for two years of study. We encourage you to review Professor Emeritus Ken Brashier's website on applying for UK fellowships. He is an alumnus of both Oxford and Cambridge and was our UK programs expert when serving on the Fellowships and Awards committee.


Internal Application Deadline

August 30th, 2023 at 12:00 PM noon, Pacific Time

Application Steps

Please note: a 3.70 Reed GPA is required.

For this award, you'll submit an internal application through CLBR fellowships for consideration by the Fellowships & Awards committee, which is composed of Reed faculty members. Your application documents consist of a CV, an academic statement, a personal statement, and your Reed transcriptPlease attach your application documents to an email as individual pdfs and submit them to by the internal application deadline. We enourage you to register in the online application portal on the Rhodes website as well so that you may see the full application, but this is not a required element of the internal application.

Important: Make certain to read the Information for Candidates - USA document for important information on your personal statement, academic statement, and choice of courses. There is guidance for the personal statement there than is practical to include on this page.

Application documents include:

  • A full curriculum vitae (CV) which should include specific details about academic qualifications, prizes, scholarships, positions of leadership, employment positions, involvement in student, voluntary, community or political activities and any cultural, musical or sporting accomplishments. This should not exceed two letter size pages in length with a minimum 10 pt font.

  • An Academic Statement of no more than 350 words. This statement should:

    • State your reasons for wishing to study at the University of Oxford, what your chosen course(s) of study is (are), and how this fits in your academic trajectory. Further, you may wish to explain how you hope to be stretched academically at the University of Oxford, and any academic support you imagine might be helpful.
    • Demonstrate that you are able to, at a minimum meet or exceed the specific entry and other academic requirements of the course(s) you have chosen. Tell us how you are prepared for the course(s) academically and otherwise. It is very important that you have a firm idea of which courses are viable for you to study at the University of Oxford (if you are listing a one-year course, please give an indication of your intentions for the second year).
    • If you wish to undertake a DPhil, provide a brief outline of your proposed research area, how it contributes to your future career plans, and list both the Department in which you propose to undertake your research and one or more researchers with whom you would like to work in Oxford.

  • A Personal Statement of no more than 750 words, which is your chance to tell your story in your own voice: Who are you? Your academic transcript and academic statement of study, your CV, and your reference letters will provide the substantive detail of your commitments and accomplishments, whereas the personal statement gives you the opportunity to make an authentic statement of who you are. The statement should address each of the following prompts by weaving them into your statement (the word allocation across the three is up to you):

    • Which Rhodes Scholar quality (excluding the academic excellence criteria) do you display most strongly, and how are different contexts and people helping you to develop the other qualities?
    • What would you like to learn from and contribute to the Rhodes community in Oxford?
    • From your place in the world, how will you use your energy and talents to address humanity’s pressing challenges?
  • Your Reed transcript, which can be requested for free and sent to via the linked instructions.

When working on your personal statement only, note that it should be entirely your own work, with no assistance received from anyone (including advisors and friends), meaning that no external help was given in its creation or editing. You have to attest to this in the final application. This requirement is unique to the Rhodes Scholarship.

Internal Letters of Recommendation

You will need four internal letters of recommendation for the internal application. The recommenders should be academics who have formally taught and graded you in your undergraduate (or, if relevant, postgraduate) studies and who can comment in detail on your academic ability and how well they think you would fare at Oxford. Make sure to give your recommenders several weeks notice and read our guidance on requesting letters of recommendation.

These letters need to be sent via email to by the internal application deadline. The committee will only consider the first four recommendations received, so do not have more than four submitted for the internal deadline. These internal letters are only for the Reed faculty fellowships & awards committee, and will not be shared with the Rhodes Trust.

Please note: the final application requires between five and eight recommendations (Rhodes calls them referees), at least four of which need to be academic. You will need to consider up to four additional recommenders from whom you can request letters if you are endorsed by the committee.


You will need to complete this online waiver form as the final step in submitting your internal application.

Waiver Form

Applicants or faculty submitting application materials electronically by email will generally receive a confirmation within twenty-four hours. If you do not receive a confirmation during this time, please follow up with the Center for Life Beyond Reed at to ensure that the application was successfully submitted.

Next Steps

You will hear about the status of your application from CLBR and/or a member of the committee about a week after the internal deadline. If you do not receive an endorsement from the committee, we still encourage you to apply for other awards later in the year. You may still be eligible to apply for the Rhodes again as an alum.

If you are endorsed, a member of the committee will reach out to you, as they'll need to speak with you in order to prepare the institutional endorsement that they'll write. Register for the application on the Rhodes website if you haven't done so yet. Reach out to your recommenders to let them know you've been endorsed by Reed, and add them to your application in the Rhodes application portal. Use your recommenders, the committee Rhodes liaison, and CLBR to help you work on your application. Remember that this award requires you to attest that your personal statement is entirely your own work, with no external help given.

In your application you'll need to choose your place of application, which will either be Oregon, or the state/U.S. territory where you are a permanent resident. If you are selected as a finalist, you'll need to attend an in-person social event and final interview for your district on November 10th and 11th 2023, which will likely require travel. The Rhodes Trust does not pay for this travel. Winners are announced the same day that the interviews conclude.

Please note that applying for this award will require a significant time commitment. One past applicant described it as being equivalent to taking another class.

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