The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Summer Internship Awards

May 30th 2023 update: The application for funding from the Summer Internship Awards is now closed to new applications.

May 23rd 2023 update: Funds are now extremely limited. Applications received on or after May 23rd will be funded in order of application date until funds are expended. The application will remain open for now, but may close if we receive a large number of applications this week. Funding is not guaranteed until you receive your award letter (and complete the steps outlined in the award letter). We intend to fund as many requests as funds allow, but it is possible that not all applications received on or after May 23rd will be funded, even if they are approved in Handshake.

The Summer Internship Awards (SIA) offer funding to support unpaid (and underpaid) off-campus internship opportunities: public sector, non-profit, or other unpaid summer internships (see below for eligibility). These awards are accompanied by a guided reflection process over the summer to help awardees get the most out of their internships. 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 2023 recipients will be up to $4,700 for a minimum of 320 hours over 8–10 weeks.

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

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 automatically be considered for this funding.

Video Overview

This info session from spring 2023 covers the basics of the Summer Internships Awards, and provides a walkthrough of the application process in Handshake. 

Application Period

May 30th update: The application for funding from the Summer Internship Awards is now closed to new applications.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis between March 15th 2023 and May 31st 2023 and will be reviewed weekly by CLBR staff.

Since we will accept and fund applications as they are received, applicants are encouraged to apply early. However, we anticipate that we will be able to keep accepting applications throughout the entire application period.


Applicants must

  • be currently enrolled at Reed,
  • have already been offered an internship.

Seniors who are graduating in the spring are still eligible to apply up to the end of the application period, but must address in their application what role this opportunity plays in helping them transition to their first post-Reed destination.

Students studying abroad through a college approved program are considered to be currently enrolled at Reed for the purposes of this program and are eligible to apply. Students who are on leave in spring semester are not eligible to apply.

Eligible Internships

In order to be eligible for funding, the internship

  • must include at least 320 hours of work over 8–10 weeks in the summer between May 12th and August 27th (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 SIA offers the opportunity to gain valuable experience relevant to career development, but does not support research.


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 SIA guidelines

To Apply

All applications will be submitted in Handshake Experiences. The application consists of filling out the "Request an Experience" form, and then uploading three documents as attachments. These are the three documents to upload: A one page resume, a cover letter, and a budget. Please include your name and the document type (cover letter, resume, or budget) in the file name and upload all documents as pdfs. You won't be able to upload your documents until after you submit and complete the form.

Please read our FAQ as well. You can also review this guide from Handshake on how to request an experience.

"Request an Experience" Form

The experience type you'll select at the top is "Summer Internship Awards 2023". There will be two to three pages included in this form. There are some optional questions at the top of the form; please fill in as much information as you have. You will need to provide the name and email address for your internship supervisor, and they will see your form responses, as well as your attached documents, except for your budget, which will only be seen by CLBR staff. The last question on the form will require you to include a two to three sentence short summary of your internship for potential use in publicity and stewardship materials.


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, how they apply to your goals, and how your internship host will support these outcomes.

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

Upload an itemized budget of your summer 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 first if you have questions.

Next Steps

CLBR staff will use the comments section of your experience request to communicate with you. Make certain that you are receiving email notifications for comments on your experiences. You can adjust this in your notification preferences in Handshake (these email notifications are on by default).

CLBR staff will review applications weekly throughout the application period. After you submit your SIA experience request and upload your documents, a CLBR staff member will start the approval process and review your request. We'll review your eligibility, the internship's eligibility for funding, and compare your application materials to the award criteria (all of which are listed above on this page). We'll also download your budget for internal review and delete it from your experience request in Handshake.

You may be asked to revise your application materials or provide additional information. Watch your email for notifications from Handshake or email from

If your application is approved by the CLBR staff reviewer, then it will be sent to your internship supervisor (at the email address you provide in the form). They'll review your form responses and attached documents (except the budget), and be asked to confirm the accuracy of your application to the best of their knowledge.

If your internship supervisor also approves your request, then your request will be considered approved in Handshake. Within a week of this approval, you should receive an award email from clbrfellowships containing your award amount, and instructions on how to accept your funding. If we have more requests for funding than available funds can support, applications will be funded in order of application date.

You will be notified if we find that we are unable to offer you funding as soon as we are certain.

During, and after, the internship you'll need to participate in the reflection process over the summer as requested by the Center for Life Beyond Reed (including recent graduates).

Contact as at if you have any questions.

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 if you have any questions.

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):

  • Arao/Singleton Dream Student Opportunity Fund
  • DCR Opportunity Fund
  • McGill Lawrence Internship: The McGill Lawrence used to be awarded separately. You can view legacy awardees here
  • Paxson Student Experience Award in the Performing Arts
  • Schroeder Student Opportunity Fund
  • Walter Family Fund