In addition to the Anderson Fellowship, the Politics Department also awards three merit-based fellowships for summer research or internships: the McKelvey, Reath and Caldwell Fellowships.

The Politics department offers awards for outstanding research projects or  internships performed by full-time students majoring in Politics. 

All Politics majors are eligible for summer support via the Anderson Fellowship. The summer fellowships listed here are merit-based awards for outstanding projects in the following areas:

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

Each fellowship is awarded as a study grant in the amount of $1500.

Who can apply for these fellowships?

  • Students must have a 3.5 GPA overall and in the major to be eligible for the awards. They must also be in good standing with the College. 
  • 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.

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

These are merit-based awards that outstanding students can receive in addition to the Politics Department awards that are available to all students. Students needing more funding should apply for the Anderson Fellowship (as well as the URC, the Richter and other on-campus resources). Students may receive both an Anderson Fellowship and a Reath, McKelvey, and Caldwell award, but in this event, the Anderson Fellowship is reduced to $3000-- so a student receiving both fellowships will receive $3000 from the Anderson and $1500 from their Reath, McKelvey, or Caldwell award. 

What are the criteria for receiving these fellowships?

These fellowships are merit-based study grants given to the students whose applications show the strongest intellectual and academic merit.

How many fellowships are awarded?

The department selects one or two awardees for 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 not 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 HSRRC approval, per federal law. The HSRRC approval process must be initiated at the time of application or a statement must be attached explaining why the HSRRC approval could not be initiated at the time of the application. If you receive the fellowship, the monies will not be released until the HSRRC approval process has been completed. 

How do I apply for these fellowships?

  • Applications are due by 4:30 pm 3 weeks prior to the last day of finals. (For Spring 2024, that date is 4:30 pm on Friday, April 19). 
  • The application consists of several components, itemized below. The faculty member should submit their letter of application directly to Romy Corona at Students should submit all remaining components via email attachment in one single email to Romy Corona at
  • Each component should be prepared as an individual file in Microsoft Word or PDF, labeled as follows: “Lastname_Component” (for example, “Jones_CoverPage” and “Jones_PersonalStatement”). Only Word (.docx) and PDF are accepted. Failure to submit the correct file types or to label your files correctly can result in disqualification.
  • Incomplete applications (including applications with missing letters of reference) will not be accepted.
  • Please note that all applications for international travel, per the International Programs Office, must be received 30 days prior to the first date of travel. If the fellowship involves international travel, and the deadlines above are within that 30 day window, the application must be submitted earlier. The deadline for international projects takes precedence over the deadlines set above. There are no exceptions to this rule.

To apply, submit the following:

  1. Cover page: download and complete the cover page.
  2. Personal statement (one page): describe the summer research project or internship and explain how the research project or internship fits with your academic plans
  3. Academic statement (two pages): explain the intellectual merit and importance of the work; discuss and cite academic literature and include a professionally formatted bibliography (the bibliography does not count towards the page limits) 
  4. 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.
  5. Letter of recommendation from a faculty member. If applying for faculty-supervised research, this letter must be from a faculty member other than the faculty supervisor.
  6. If applicable, copy of email confirming submission of HSRRC materials to the HSRRC committee or separate statement explaining why the HSRRC approval process could not be initiated (for instance, because part of the project entails completing the research design).  

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

Awards will be distributed in one installment within three weeks of the selection or later, if HSRRC approval is needed but has not been obtained. 

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 and 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.
  • Be willing to engage with the Politics Department upon return, to promote your project and your work.

Who can I contact with questions?

Contact Politics
Johnson Hall 317

Administrative support: J 101A