The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Summer Internship Awards 2021

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 setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

The Summer Internship Awards (SIA) offer funding to support unpaid (and underpaid) internship opportunities: public sector, not-for-profit, or other unpaid summer internships. Applications for support at for-profit/private sector businesses are generally not funded unless the application demonstrates that the internship will comply with guidance from the Department of Labor. The SIA offers the opportunity to gain valuable experience relevant to career development, but does not support research.

Basic award amounts for 2021 recipients will be up to $4,000 for a minimum of 320 hours over 8-10 weeks. Both in-person and remote opportunities will be considered. Please note that we have updated our travel guidance as of March 1st.

Reminder: There are also many paid internships out there. Review this article and search for paid internships in Handshake. Please also read our Summer Internship Awards and Budget FAQ.

SIA and Budget FAQ

Need help finding internships? Try looking at this list of opportunities we've labeled in Handshake. This is not a guarantee of eligibility, but it's a good place to start looking.

Search Positions in Handshake

International Students

There is funding from the Summer Experience Award (SEA) through the International Student Services office that is reserved for internships for international students. International students will be asked to identify themselves in their Summer Internship Award applications, and will automatically be considered for this funding.

Application Deadline

Wednesday March 31st 2021 at 12 PM noon.


All currently enrolled students in good academic standing are eligible to apply, including graduating seniors. Graduating seniors must particularly address in their application essay what role this opportunity plays in helping them transition to their first post-Reed destination.


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 SIA guidelines
  • Articulation of learning outcomes of the internship, and how the internship host will support learning

Through these internships, we especially seek to increase access for students from historically underrepresented marginalized groups including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color) students, students on financial aid, non-traditional, and first generation college students to enhance their educational experience at Reed and expand their future career possibilities.

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: A one page resume, a cover letter, and a budget. Please include your name in the file name and upload all documents as pdfs. Please read our FAQ if you have questions.


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

Cover Letter

Upload a pdf document of 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 and how they apply to your goals.
  • If your internship will be in person, note what precautions you and your host will take to accommodate likely pandemic conditions and restrictions.
  • Contact information (names, telephone numbers, and email addresses) for your host organization contacts.

Other Document - Detailed Budget

Upload 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.

  • Important: If your project includes spending funds on domestic or international travel, please explain the COVID-19 protocol you will use to conduct your travel safely. Funding will not be released until your COVID-19 plan has been approved by the Director of CLBR. Please include your COVID-19 protocol at the bottom of your budget in the "Budget Explanations" section.

Apply in Handshake

Next Steps

The SIA committee will begin reviewing applications after the deadline. Selection decisions and notifications will occur in early to mid-April.

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 summer as requested by the Center for Life Beyond Reed. This includes graduated seniors.

Travel Restrictions

College-funded travel to support summer internships through the SIA requires approval from the Director of CLBR. Please follow the application directions above to apply for this approval if your internship involves college-funded travel.

Additionally, international travel to countries with a level 3 or 4 travel advisory from the Department of State, or a warning level 3 travel notice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is generally restricted from being paid for by college funds. COVID-19 travel recommendations from the CDC will also be used when evaluating funding requests for international travel.

Funding Sources

The Summer Internship Awards are funded primarily by gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college. Funds that support the SIA include (but are not limited to):

DCR Opportunity Fund
McGill Lawrence Internship

The McGill Lawrence used to be awarded separately. You can view legacy awardees here

Schroeder Student Opportunity Fund
Walter Family Fund