Science Journalism in the Public Interest


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. This includes work for newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and digital media.

Application Process
The application period will begin on January 1, 2017 and continue through February 28, 2017. Fellows will be selected by a panel of distinguished science journalists. Semifinalists will be selected by the end of March; the ten finalists will be notified in late April. A public announcement will be made in May.

Required Documents
KSJ uses an online application system and the following information describes the necessary steps in submitting a successful proposal.

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.
  • Résumé 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.)
  • Project proposal: In consultation with the KSJ staff, Knight fellows will develop and produce a research project in a particular area of science or science journalism. This project can take the shape of a formal report or be developed for publication, in formats ranging from multimedia to long-form story. All projects will be reviewed by the staff and considered for publication by KSJ during the academic year. Fellows will discuss the research progress in regular group meetings and in individual meetings with staff advisers and will deliver a formal presentation on their topic at the end of the fellowship. All applicants should describe, in a one-page document, a project to be developed during the fellowship year.
  • Work samples: Five work samples are required. Choose samples that best illustrate your interest and abilities. Please include a translation for any work not in English.
  • 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.

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 a well thought out research project or story series during the academic year.
  • To refrain from outside 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, 2017 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, KSJ associate director, David Corcoran, Undark magazine editor, Tom Zeller Jr., and a selected panel of nationally known science journalists.

Finalists will be notified in the first week of May 2017 of their selection for this prestigious program.