The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Ruby-Lankford Grant Program for Faculty-Student Collaborative Research in the Humanities

Managed by the Undergraduate Research Committee

Funds are available from the Ruby and Lankford gifts to the College for the support of an important element in our continuing commitment to undergraduate research initiatives. The goal of these grant programs is to spur and support interactive research engagement of students and faculty. Since grant programs for research internships are already operating successfully in the Natural and Social Sciences, these funds are directed toward initiatives in History, Literature, and the Humanities. Proposals are expected to be directed explicitly at scholarly research and not at course development. In recognition of the need for additional time to bring unusually promising thesis projects to fruition, Ruby and Lankford Funds may also be sought to support a summer of post-baccalaureate research and writing. The research will conclude with a formal written report and a public seminar presentation during the succeeding academic year. Or, in the case of a post-baccalaureate award, a formal written paper must be submitted to the Undergraduate Research Committee. 

The Ruby Grants are funded by a gift of the Ruby family to Reed College for support of the humanities. Jane Ruby was a 1933 Reed graduate, as was her sister, Lucile Brown (1941).

The Lankford Grants are a product of the William T. Lankford III Memorial Humanities Award Fund and are intended for support of work in literature. William Lankford was a faculty member at Reed.


The Ruby-Lankford Grants are designed to promote research in the Humanities by Reed College faculty members and Reed students. The term "humanities" in this program follows the National Endowment for the Humanities definition:

"[humanities]...includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism, and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions..."

The faculty member is the "Principal Investigator" and bears overall authority and responsibility for the project once authorized. It is expected that the student will be an active participant in the research project and not relegated to menial tasks. Both faculty member and student must be actively engaged as researchers.

Proposals should be designed for a summer of research, defined as ten weeks of full-time commitment for students and half-time commitment for faculty members. The projects must produce a co-authored paper (submitted to Meg Andrews at for the committee archives) that follows the conventions for professional papers in the field of the proposal. Except in cases of a post-baccalaureate internship, it is expected that a public presentation of the supported work will be made during the succeeding academic year.

Note: Any seminar or published work to emerge from studies funded wholly or in part by this program should acknowledge the support of the "Ruby-Lankford Grant for Research in the Humanities."


Any continuing member of the Reed faculty (including faculty on sabbatical and leave) is eligible to apply. Student applicants, in good academic standing, must normally be returning to Reed (or going on an approved study abroad program) for the following fall, however, applications involving graduating seniors may be considered when the reasons for choosing a graduate are compelling. Students applicants must be in good academic standing. Faculty may receive collaborative awards in consecutive years, but priority will be given to new projects. Students are eligible for collaborative awards in consecutive years.


The Ruby-Lankford student stipend for summer 2024 is $6,400. 


Applicants must address all aspects of the application. Proposals must include the following five items, bundled into one PDF document:

  1. A cover page with the title of the project and the names and email addresses of each member of the research team.

  2. A 1–2 page (maximum) resume from the student member describing your relevant work, volunteer, and course experience
    • 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.
  3. An abstract of no more than 250 words.

  4. A project narrative of no more than seven double-spaced pages that:
    • Explains the humanistic nature of the research.
    • Presents background rationale with citations
    • Includes project design that explains and justifies the roles of each research team member.
    • Includes a brief bibliography of works related to the proposed research.
    • Note: The URC would like to be able to use successful proposals as examples for future applicants to use. Student 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 project proposal: I give permission to have my proposal used as an example to help future fellowship applicants.
  5. A budget using the Collaborative Grant Budget form. Note that the $1,500 in research expenses may not be used for additional student wages or services. A budget narrative should explain line items wherever needed.

Application deadline is 12:00 p.m. noon, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. The complete proposals must be submitted by the student member in Handshake. Announcements of awards will be made as soon as possible after the deadline by the Undergraduate Research Committee.

Grants will include stipends of $5,000 for faculty members. The student stipend for summer 2024 is $TBD and will be at least $6,400, which was the summer 2023 stipend. There is also up to $1,500 available for project supplies. These should be listed on a separate budget page and accompanied by a justification for any item(s) that are not routine and obvious for the sort of study proposed.

Apply in Handshake


12:00 p.m. noon on Wednesday, March 6, 2024

IRB Approval

The Institutional Review Board must approve of any project involving the use of human subjects. An award will not be administered without this approval. If your project will require IRB approval, you MUST submit your application to the IRB before applying to this fellowship. 

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 the CLBR website 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.


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