Most of Reid's current interests in linguistics stem from the twelve years he spent as a member of the Philippine branch of the Summer Institute of Linguistics. For the first four years (1959-63), he lived in a fairly remote village of Bontoc, Mountain Province doing basic linguistic research as part of the Institute’s Bible translation program. After three years of graduate study in the then newly formed Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawaii (1963-66), Reid returned to the Philippines as a linguistic consultant for four years (1966-70), becoming more or less acquainted with many of the more than 100 languages spoken in the country. He had also had opportunity in 1964 to do some fieldwork on several of the Formosan languages (i.e., the Austronesian languages of Taiwan), and gradually became interested in the genetic relationships which characterize all of these languages. In 1970 he joined the University of Hawai’i, bringing with him a grant from the National Science Foundation to prepare a dictionary of the Bontok language. Reid joined the Pacific and Asian Linguistics Institute (PALI), which was later incorporated into the Social Science and Linguistics Institute (SSLI), and later renamed the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI). Upon the completion of the dictionary (M5) his position was split between the Institute and the Department of Linguistics, a situation which was maintained until his retirement in 2001. Since retirement he has spent most of his time in Japan, presently (2008) as a cooperating researcher with the National Museum of Ethnology (MINPAKU) in Osaka. In 2007, he was an affiliated researcher with the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden, the Netherlands, and was a visiting researcher in the Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences of the National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, participating in the Project Monsoon Asia and Multi-Culturalism from 2009-2010.