The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Opportunity Grants

Proposal Overview

The purpose of this program is to provide support to undergraduate students in pursuit of academically valuable and pertinent opportunities that arise. These opportunities need not be part of a student's curricular program, but should be academically respectable. Students can request a per diem to cover food and ground transportation. The per diem for the 2023-2024 year is $55.00 per night. This mirrors the per diem faculty receive when attending a professional conference. 

Examples of relevant activities include:

  • Presenting your research at a conference. 
  • Attendance at uniquely significant art or theatre exhibition
  • Attendance at an intensive seminar, workshop, or other professional gathering. 
  • Acquisition of an academic resource, which will remain property of Reed.

Items not eligible for an Opportunity grant:


Applicants must address all aspects of the application. Bundle all application documents (except for the faculty sponsor letter) into one document in PDF format before uploading. A completed application will consist of:

  • Budget form (PDF fillable form). Please make sure your math is correct. Students traveling together to a conference should have budgets that match, unless flying out of different airports. Budgets that don’t match will be returned for revision.
    • Poster reimbursement has been capped at $100. 
  • Resume - Please include a 1-2 page (maximum) resume.
    • The URC asks for resumes to help learn more about each applicant, and to encourage students to develop their application materials. The URC does not make evaluative decisions based on the content of the resume.
  • Abstract (if applicable)
  • One-page, single-spaced proposal that reflects the general practices of the discipline.
    • If applying to present work at a conference, please address these items:
      • What is your role in the project? List all co-authors.
      • What opportunities will you seek out at the conference?
    • If applying to attend an event without presenting research, please address these items:
      • What opportunities will you seek out at the proposed activity?
      • What specific workshops or events you will participate in and what do you expect to learn?
      • What meetings have you set up at the proposed event and what do you expect to get out of those meetings?
      • How would attending the event inform your future plans?
      • Why it is not feasible or common practice for an undergraduate in your discipline to present at this conference?
    • The URC would like to be able to use successful proposals as examples for future applicants to use. Names will be redacted from proposals before use. If you are comfortable with this possibility, then please include this statement at the bottom of your proposal:
      • I give permission to have my proposal used as an example to help future fellowship applicants.
  • Evaluative letter from a Reed faculty sponsor that addresses the specificity of the project. This letter should be sent directly to Meg Andrews ( by email. If a faculty member is sponsoring more than one student, they are welcome to write one recommendation letter for the group, addressing the individual merits of each student. Please make sure you contact your letter writer with adequate advance of the deadline.

Application Procedure

The bundled PDF application package will be submitted in Handshake. The faculty sponsor must also review the entire grant application and provide an evaluative letter of support, which they will email directly to Meg Andrews, URC Administrator, at The faculty sponsor must also confirm that an attempt has been made to secure department funding. Only proposals from students in good academic standing at the College will be considered.

Apply in Handshake

After the Undergraduate Research Committee has made award decisions, applicants will be notified by email. Please note: if you have been accepted to present research at a conference that takes place before the grant deadline you are applying to, if funded, the grant award can be used to retroactively reimburse your expenses. There is no guarantee that an applicant will receive a grant.

Award amount:

$1,500 is the maximum award amount.

Note: Posters and papers presented should acknowledge the support of the "Reed College Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grant," unless your award letter lists a different funding source. 

There are five deadlines for consideration:

  • Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.
    • Note: The Handshake post will say that this post expires on May 16th at 12:00 a.m. This is incorrect. Applications for the final May 15th deadline are due at 12:00 p.m. noon.

Preference will be given to returning students. For seniors who wish to present thesis research at opportunities taking place within three months after graduation, applications must be submitted by the May 15 deadline. Recent graduates should apply to the Professional Research Opportunity Grant (PROG).

Applications received after a specified deadline will not be considered until the next deadline. 

Available Guidance

Review the best practices for applying to any URC grant. For questions about the application process, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Meg Andrews ( Members of the Undergraduate Research Committee offer office hours to answer proposal development questions. The CLBR advising team can also help you with your application and offers drop-in advising as well as 1:1 appointments. Please see for drop-in hours and for how to make an appointment. We encourage you to take advantage of this.


The Undergraduate Research Committee seeks to offer students opportunities to support their studies and interests in the form of grants and awards. The URC views the opportunity to apply for grants and awards as a pedagogical one in which students have the chance to learn about how the application process works. The URC grants and awards are open to all students regardless of discipline. The URC is aware of systemic bias in the application process, and seeks in particular to support students from historically underrepresented communities in academia, and we take into consideration bias, oppression, and opportunity as we evaluate applications.


Reed College prohibits College-funded international travel to countries that are classified with a State Department travel advisory risk of Level 4.