The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Spring Internship Awards

The Spring Internship Awards are exclusively for graduating spring/fall seniors, and offer funding to support unpaid (and underpaid) off-campus internship opportunities: public sector, not-for-profit, or other unpaid internships after graduation (see below for eligibility). This award is administered by the Center for Life Beyond Reed (CLBR).

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 spring 2024 recipients will be up to $4,700 for a minimum of 320 hours over 8–10 weeks between December and May.

Reminder: Search for paid internships in Handshake and meet with CLBR advisors for help in your search. Please also read our Summer Internship Awards and Budget FAQ, as most of that content is relevant for this award as well.

SIA and Budget FAQ

Application Deadline

Wednesday, December 6th, 2023 at 12:00 PM noon


Applicants must

  • be enrolled seniors in fall semester with a graduation date in December or January.

Eligible Internships

In order to be eligible for funding, the internship

  • must include at least 320 hours of work over 8–10 weeks between December 15th and May 31st (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 Spring IA prioritizes funding internships, but research assistantships are also considered for funding. However, research assistantships will only be considered after all other internship applications.


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
  • Articulation of learning outcomes of the internship, and how the internship host will support learning
  • Carefulness, quality, and thoughtfulness of plan and adherence to all Spring Internship Award guidelines

To Apply

All applications will be submitted in Handshake. The application consists of uploading documents, as well as filling out a Handshake survey. A letter or email of confirmation from your internship will also be required if you are selected for funding.

There are three documents to upload as a single pdf: A one page resume, a cover letter, and a budget. Please include your name in the file name and combine all three documents into one pdf. Handshake will ask for a resume, and that's where you'll upload your combined resume, cover letter, and budget. You'll be directed to fill out the survey afterward. Please read our FAQ if you have questions.


An up-to-date one page resume summarizing any work and volunteer experiences relevant to the opportunity for which you are applying.

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.
  • 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.
  • Describe what role this opportunity plays in helping you transition to your first post-Reed destination.

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

An itemized budget of your expenses and an explanation of how you will cover any expenses that exceed the award amount. Please use our budget template. Refer to our budget FAQ if you have questions.

Apply in Handshake

Next Steps

The Spring IA committee will begin reviewing applications after the deadline. Selection decisions and notifications will occur in December.

If you are selected as an awardee, you must 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.

During, and after, the internship you agree to:

  • participate in the reflection process over the spring as requested by the Center for Life Beyond Reed.

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. If alternative plans don't work out, it could be possible that you would be required to return some or all of the funding.

Email with any questions.