Science Journalism in the Public Interest

617.452.3513 knight-info@mit.edu

The 9-month Fellowship

Fellows at Woods Hole

Nick Clark of Al Jazeera, and Susan Phillips of NPR — KSJ class of 2014 — examine water samples taken at a research center in Woods Hole, MA. (Photo: Patrick Wellever)

 

Every year, the Knight Science Journalism Program (KSJ) offers ten science journalists a 9-month fellowship — geared to the September-to-May academic year — designed to enable them to explore science, technology, and the craft of journalism in depth, concentrate on a specialty in science, and to learn at some of the top research universities in the world.

Each Fellow largely designs his or her own course of study, with consultation offered by the director and the KSJ staff. Fellows are required to audit at least one science course per semester but are other wise encouraged to explore the  wide range of offerings at  MIT, Harvard, or other institutions in Cambridge and Greater Boston.  The program is designed to offer a rich and varied mix of coursework, attendance at departmental colloquia, research trips, lab visits, interviews, reading, and writing.

Fellows receive a stipend of $70,000 as well as some additional benefits, including basic health insurance. As such, Fellows must refrain from paid professional work during the course of the 9-month program, unless the program director grants prior permission.

The program is divided between activities arranged by the Knight Science Journalism program and self-directed activities. KSJ also provides social activities – from welcome parties to holiday celebrations – to help build a sense of community. Fellows often report that life in Cambridge and the sense of collegiality within the Fellowship are among the most rewarding aspects of the year.

Among the many Knight Fellowship programs and activities:

• Seminars: Fellows meet regularly for seminars with top researchers and media professionals.

• Field Trips: The program organizes several trips each year to locations of special interest to science and technology writers. Past destinations have included the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, ME, and the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA.

• Digital Media Training: The number of storytelling channels open to journalists is multiplying, and we want our Fellows to return to the workforce with more technical skills than they had coming in. We offer workshops in various technologies, including video and audio capture, still photography, digital editing, animation, data journalism and podcasting.

• Workshops: Occasionally the program organizes special 1- or 2-day workshops on science, technology, and journalism issues. These have ranged from policy-based questions, such as a focus on food security, to basic science backgrounders, such as a series of lectures from leading nanotechnology researchers. The Knight Fellows gain automatic admission to these workshops.

For information on applying to the 9-month program, please visit our eligibility page.