The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Summer Opportunity Fellowship Award (SOFA)

Proposal Overview

The Summer Opportunity Fellowship Award (SOFA) provides funding for a student to pursue academic work with a mentor at another institution/organization for up to 10 weeks over the summer. The purpose of this program is to expose Reed students to new environments and opportunities not available on campus. This program is intended as a learning experience for the student and mentorship should be at the forefront of the project. Students must provide documentation of being accepted to work with a mentor at a distant institution/lab by the application deadline. 

Project examples:

  • 2019 awardee mentored with New York City artist Miya Ando
  • 2019 awardee studied and classified a large variety of meteorites. 
  • 2018 awardee conducted ethnographic research in Michoacán
  • 2017 awardee tested experimental compounds looking for a cure for ALS.
  • 2017 awardee worked with a choreographer to create an AIDs survivor archive. 
  • 2016 awardee conducted atmospheric chemistry research at the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.  

All majors are eligible and encouraged to apply. 

International students should note that the Summer Experience Award (SEA) funding has been folded into the Summer Opportunity Fellowship so it is no longer necessary to apply separately to the two programs. There are two dedicated fellowships for international students within the Summer Opportunity Fellowship. International students should now apply to Summer Opportunity Fellowship for consideration for SEA funding from the International Student Services office. 

Looking for funding to present your research at a conference: apply to the Opportunity grant.

Proposal Process

Application requirements:

  • Narrative description of the project proposal, single-spaced, two-page maximum, and includes:
    • Steps taken to find and secure the opportunity
    • Specifics of the project
    • Anticipated benefits of this project to you
  • Sponsor letter from the proposed mentor. This letter should state the level of mentorship the student can expect to receive (can be emailed directly to Jolie Griffin at Distant sponsor letters must be received by the application deadline. 
  • Evaluative letter from a faculty sponsor at Reed. 

The Reed faculty sponsor must review the entire grant application and provide an evaluative letter of support, which can be emailed directly to Jolie Griffin, URC Administrator, at Only proposals from students in good academic standing at the College will be considered. Preference will be given to students returning to Reed the following fall, however, applications involving graduating seniors may also be considered.

Fellowship award amount: up to $5,300
A $5,300 stipend is normally awarded for 10 weeks of full time work. Award stipends will be prorated if the proposed project is under 10 weeks. 

After the Undergraduate Research Committee has made award decisions, applicants will be notified by email. For more information on eligibility or any questions about the application process, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Jolie Griffin ( 


Applications are due Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. The applicant will upload their Opportunity Fellowship application online. Link to upload Opportunity Fellowship application on IRIS.