Science Journalism in the Public Interest

617.452.3513 knight-info@mit.edu

Fellowship Application Basics

Photo class

Fellows of the 2016 class take a workshop in photography. (Photo: KSJ@MIT archives)

 

The Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program supports a global community of dedicated and thoughtful journalists specializing in science, health, technology and environmental reporting. The program is designed to recognize journalists who demonstrate a high level of professional excellence and accomplishment as well as a long-term commitment to their craft. Journalists from all countries compete on an equal basis and are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for a Knight Fellowship, applicants must:

• Be full-time journalists, whether on staff or freelance. Part-time writers or producers are not eligible.
• Have at least three full years of experience covering science, technology, the environment, or medicine.
• Be reporters, writers, editors, producers, illustrators, filmmakers, or photojournalists. They may work for newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and digital media.

Application Process:
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2016-’17 fellowship. We’ll announce details about the 2017-’18 fellowship in late 2016. KSJ uses an online application system and the following information describes the necessary steps in submitting a successful proposal.

Required Documents:

In the course of completing the online application form, you will be asked to submit several supporting documents. For each required document, you can either upload a PDF file, or type (or copy/paste) the document’s contents into the text area provided. File formats other than PDF are not accepted.

The following documents are required for 9-Month Fellowship applications:

  • Professional Autobiography: Provide a brief statement (1 page maximum) about why you want to participate in the Knight Science Journalism fellowship program and how it would fit with your professional goals.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae: Be sure to include your education and work history. (Freelancers should include a list of freelance jobs in the last 12 months. Include each story, venue, and date of publication or broadcast.)
  • Undark proposal: Each semester, Knight fellows will be required to develop and produce, in consultation with the publication’s editor(s), an essay, feature story, multimedia package, or other contribution to the program’s forthcoming science magazine, UndarkDescribe one story or project you might like to pursue during your time in Cambridge. Information on the magazine’s format and editorial mission can be found here.
  • Work samples: Five work samples are required. Choose samples that best illustrate your interest and abilities. If work samples are not in English, a translation must also be submitted.
  • Recommendations: Three letters of recommendation are required. Letters should come from individuals familiar with your work and should comment on your abilities and your commitment to journalism.

Stipulations
To be awarded a Fellowship, selected applicants must agree to the following requirements:

  • To reside full-time in the Boston/Cambridge area for the academic year: August 15 through May 15.
  • To attend field trips, seminars, and required training sessions arranged by the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships.
  • To participate in at least one science course per semester.
  • To produce two short journalistic works for the program’s magazine, Undark, during the academic year.
  • To refrain from professional work during the Fellowship, unless written permission has been granted by the Director.
  • International candidates must obtain a J-1 visa from the U.S. State Department after being awarded the Fellowship.

Semi-finalists for the fellowship program will be notified by email by April 1, 2016 and Skype interviews will be scheduled for all those wishing to continue further in the process. All documents and the interviews will be reviewed by a panel of judges including KSJ director, Deborah Blum; Undark magazine editor, Tom Zeller Jr., former acting director Wade Roush, and Robert Lee Hotz, science writer for the Wall Street Journal.

Finalists will be notified in the first week of May of their selection for this prestigious program.