Student Fellowships & Awards

The Center for Life Beyond Reed, Division of Student Services

Initiative Grants in Undergraduate Research

Proposal Overview

The purpose of this program is to enhance thesis research opportunities for students by providing modest support for research expenses. A carefully prepared and realistically budgeted proposal is required.

Proposal Details

The application must be accompanied by a detailed proposal of the project. Narratives longer than five pages will be returned unread for editing.
  • Eligible expenses might include, but are not limited to, travel to field sites or performances, the purchase of equipment and supplies (which then become the property of Reed College), duplicating costs (an example might be large numbers of copies of a questionnaire) or audio/visual costs not provided by other Reed facilities. Requests for computing equipment and software must include a review by Computing and Information Services to ensure the materials are appropriate for the project and are not already available. Expenses that are NOT eligible include thesis duplicating, food per diem, student wages (except when a student is providing a skilled service not otherwise available), or faculty stipends.
  • Projects that require knowledge of a foreign language must be supported by a description of the applicant’s training and competence.
  • The Institutional Review Board must approve of any project involving the use of human subjects. An initiative award will not be administered without this approval. 
  • This program is not related to financial aid. Applications are evaluated strictly on the basis of the strength of the proposal as research.
  • Every proposal requires a budget. Each budget item, other than routine disposables, should be carefully justified. It is expected that requests for support have been made to the pertinent department. Include any funds received from other sources in the overall budget detail.

A final report itemizing funds used should be submitted electronically to Jolie Griffin, administrator of the Undergraduate Research Committee (URC) at as soon as they are expended, but no later than the end of the academic year.


  • Enrolled and in good academic standing at Reed College.
  • For reasons of equity, grants for groundwork on an anticipated thesis project are not normally considered.
  • Student wages are eligible only in specially justified circumstances.
  • Support is provided during the academic year only. 

Note: Support is currently not available to fund unpaid summer internships or summer living expenses. 


There are three deadlines for consideration.

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 4:00pm
  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 4:00pm
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 4:00pm
Please submit applications electronically to Jolie Griffin, URC administrator, at Applications received after a specified deadline will not be considered until the next deadline.


Awards are limited to a total of $2,500. List and justify as needed all expenses in your budget, including those that will be covered by departmental, or other, resources.


A completed application will consist of:

  1. Application and Budget Form (download).
  2. Single spaced, narrative description of the proposal (5-page maximum. Solid proposals should be at least 3-4 pages long.). This comprehensive description should contain:
    • Background and rationale including citations
    • Overall project design
    • Methodology of research
    • Anticipated outcomes
    • Previous work completed to ensure research will be successful. For example, contacting institutions where research will be conducted.
    • The rigor of a professional grant application.
  3. Evaluative letter from a faculty sponsor (download guidelines).
  4. Pertinent ancillary documents in support of the proposed activity.

Application Procedure

The applicant completes the Initiative Grant Application and Budget Form and the project proposal. The applicant will email these materials directly to Jolie Griffin, URC Administrator, at Jolie will send an email confirmation that the application was received. The faculty sponsor must review the entire grant application and provide an evaluative letter of support which can be included with the student's application materials or emailed directly to Jolie Griffin, URC Administrator, at

For more information on eligibility or any questions about the application process, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Jolie Griffin ( Grants received at least a few days before each deadline can be assessed for completeness. This courtesy is not available on the day applications are due.