The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Economics Internship Awards

The Department of Economics Internship Awards offer funding to support economics-related unpaid internship opportunities. This award is administered by the Center for Life Beyond Reed (CLBR) on behalf of the Economics department.

CLBR uses this definition of an internship from NACE:

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional workplace setting (across in-person, remote, or hybrid modalities). Internships provide students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience, develop social capital, explore career fields, and make connections in professional fields. In addition, internships serve as a significant recruiting mechanism for employers, providing them with the opportunity to guide and evaluate potential candidates.

Award amounts for 2024 recipients will be up to $5,132 for a minimum of 320 hours over 8–10 weeks between the end of spring semester and the beginning of fall semester.

Reminder: There are also many paid internships out there. Check out this How to Find Opportunities page and search for paid internships in Handshake. Please also read the Summer Internship Awards and Budget FAQ, as all of that information pertains to the Economics Internship Award as well.

SIA and Budget FAQ

Application Deadline

Wednesday, April 17th 2024 at 12 PM noon PDT


Applicants must

  • be currently enrolled at Reed,
  • be economics majors or students who have taken at least three economics courses,
  • be in good academic standing,
  • not have been a previous recipient of an Economics Internship Award.

Seniors who are graduating in the spring are eligible to apply, but must address in their application what role this opportunity plays in helping them transition to their first post-Reed destination.

Students studying abroad through a college approved program are considered to be currently enrolled at Reed for the purposes of this program and are eligible to apply. Students who are on leave in spring semester are not eligible to apply.

Eligible Internships

In order to be eligible for funding, the internship

  • must be related to economics,
  • must include at least 320 hours of work over 8–10 weeks in the summer between May 10th 2024 and September 2nd 2024 (though the work can start earlier, or end later),
  • must be off-campus (the internship cannot be with Reed College),
  • must be unpaid or underpaid,
  • must be with a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization or in the public sector (unpaid internships with for-profit or other types of organizations may be funded if the application demonstrates that they meet guidance from the Department of Labor),
  • must primarily be an internship, and not a research opportunity*,
  • can be in-person, or remote.

Applications for support with for-profit/private sector businesses or individuals are generally not funded unless the application demonstrates that the internship will comply with the guidance (linked above) from the Department of Labor. Applications for support with for-profit businesses or individuals must address this guidance in the application.

*The Economics Internship Awards prioritize funding internships, but research assistantships are also considered for funding. However, research assistantships will only be considered after all other internship applications.


Eligible proposals will be judged on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  • Connection to field of study or career goals
  • Some experience or qualifications or preparation to be successful in the internship
  • Carefulness, quality, and thoughtfulness of plan and adherence to all Economics Internship Award guidelines
  • Articulation of learning outcomes of the internship, and how the internship host will support learning

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. Your resume, cover letter, and budget need to be bundled together into one PDF and uploaded in Handshake where it asks for a resume.


An up-to-date one page resume summarizing any work and volunteer experiences relevant to your internship.

Cover Letter

No more than 1,000 words with the following components:

  • One-paragraph introduction that succinctly summarizes your proposed internship and the benefits to you.
  • Description of the mission and purpose of your host organization.
  • Description of the work/project/activities you anticipate doing as well as a description of your motivation and interest in this area.
    • If this work is similar to a role or organization that you have previously worked in or worked with, explain how this experience is different and introduces you to new skills and experiences.
  • Summary of the skills, knowledge, or other relevant preparation you will bring to this position.
  • Outline of the desired educational outcomes of this experience, how they apply to your goals, and how your internship host will support these outcomes.
    • If you are a graduating senior, you must address what role this opportunity plays in helping you transition to your first post-Reed destination.
  • Contact information (names, telephone numbers, and email addresses) for your host organization contacts.
Important: If your opportunity is with a for-profit organization, you must address how your opportunity complies with U.S. Department of Labor guidance (see above).

Detailed Budget

Include an itemized budget of your summer expenses and an explanation of how you will cover any expenses that exceed the award amount. Please use this budget template and read this budget FAQ if you haven't already.

Note: if you currently receive financial aid from Reed College, we will automatically increase your budget request by $2,000, up to the maximum award of $5,132. You do not need to take any action, or note this in your budget. CLBR staff will contact the financial aid department directly for this information.

Apply in Handshake

Next Steps

CLBR staff will form a selection committee and will begin reviewing applications after the deadline. Selection decisions and notifications will occur in late April.

If you are selected as an awardee, you will be asked to take these steps in order to receive funding:

  • submit a letter of confirmation from your organization acknowledging your internship agreement. This can be a scanned letter or email from your organization, sent to Forwarding a letter/email is permissible.
  • fill out the Internship Award Recipient Agreement form (sent to you as a google form).
  • create a LinkedIn profile, if you do not already have one.
  • follow any other directions in your award email.

During, and after, the internship you agree to:

  • participate in the reflection process over the summer as requested by the Center for Life Beyond Reed. This includes recent graduates, and may include an orientation activity before the internship begins. Any orientation will likely be online and asynchronous.

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.

Questions? Email