Funded Summer Research

Apply for summer research funding through the McKelvey, Reath and Caldwell Fellowships.

The Politics department supports student research and internships performed by full-time students majoring in Politics.

What are the Politics Department's Summer Fellowships?

The Politics Department offers three summer fellowships:

  • Reath Fellowship:  for an internship or faculty-supervised research project in Legal Studies.  ($1275)
  • McKelvey Fellowship:  for an internship or faculty-supervised research project in any area of Politics or Policy Studies. ($2100)
  • Caldwell Fellowship:  for research in national security, comparative politics, or international relations.  Preference is given for Senior Comprehensive projects ($2000)

Who can apply for these fellowships?

  • The McKelvey and Reath Fellowships are open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are Politics majors.
  • The Caldwell Fellowship is awarded to junior Politics majors in the summer prior to their senior year.
  • Students may be awarded one McKelvey or Reath or Caldwell Fellowship during their time at Occidental College.
  • All applicants must be in good standing with the College and have a minimum 3.2 GPA in the Politics major.

What are the criteria for receiving these fellowships?

These fellowships are cash awards given to the students whose applications show the strongest academic and personal merit.  To see how your applications will be assessed, refer to the scorecard. DOWNLOAD THE SCORECARD

How many fellowships are awarded?

The department awards one of each fellowship each year.

My project fits the criteria for all three fellowships. May I apply to all three?

No, the application will require you to select one of the three fellowships.

I want support for an internship, but I haven't secured the position yet.  Can I still apply?

No.  You must have the internship identified before applying, and you must provide a letter of invitation or support from the institution.  In addition, the application will ask you to explain what you will do and learn while completing the internship.

I want support for research, but I do not have a faculty supervisor.  Can I still apply?

No.  We require that students using these fellowships for research be working with a faculty supervisor.  The research project does have to line up with the faculty member's own research interests.

I want support for research, and my research involves human subjects.  What do I do?

All research involving human subjects must receive HSRC approval, per federal law.  The HSRC approval process must be initiated at the time of application.  If you receive the fellowship, the monies will not be released until the HSRC approval process has been completed and approval received.

I need more financial support than these fellowships offer.  Can I apply for more funds?

Unfortunately, these amounts are fixed and cannot be raised or lowered.  We encourage students to seek additional summer support from the Anderson Funds, the URC, the Richter, and other on-campus resources.  A student may receive the McKelvey or Reath or Caldwell Fellowship in addition to other campus awards.

How do I apply for these fellowships?

Applications are due by 4:30 pm on the first Monday in April.  Complete applications must be submitted in hard copy to Romy Corona in Johnson Hall 101A.  Incomplete applications (including applications with missing letters of reference) will not be accepted.  All materials should be submitted at the same time.

To apply, submit the following:

  1. Application.  DOWNLOAD APPLICATION
  2. Personal statement describing why you are seeking the summer fellowship
  3. Academic statement describing how the fellowship fits with your academic plans; be sure to identify what you will do and learn
  4. Letter of recommendation from a faculty member
  5. Letter of support or invitation:  for internships, this letter must be from the internship supervisor; for faculty-supervised research, this letter must be from the faculty supervisor
    •  The faculty supervisor must be different from the faculty reference
  6. If applicable, copy of email confirming submission of HSRRC materials to the HSRRC committee.

I was awarded the fellowship.  When do I receive the money?

Awards will be distributed in two installments during the summer (May and August). In extenuating circumstances, awards will be distributed in full in May.  To seek a full award distribution you must submit a clear statement of need for review by the committee.

What do I need to do after completing my fellowship?

By the first Friday of the fall semester you must submit the following:

  • A letter from the internship supervisor or faculty supervisor describing your work over the summer;
  • A 2-3 page report on your internship or research.

Failure to submit these items on time may require you to return the fellowship award.