KSJ Project Fellowships
Update: The Knight Science Journalism program is delighted to announce that, as of August 2022, it has resumed hosting journalists for in-person, academic fellowships. As a result, we have discontinued our remote project fellowship program. For information on applying to KSJ’s academic fellowship program, please see the eligibility and application page.
During the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years, the Knight Science Journalism program instituted a new remote project fellowship program, in response to safety and logistical issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Over a two-year span, these project fellowships helped support dozens of U.S.-based journalists. The fellowships were designed to support independently conceived projects — books, investigations, documentaries — and were awarded for varying durations over the course of each academic year. In August 2022, however, the in-person academic fellowships made a long-anticipated return to campus, and the project fellowships were discontinued.
Applications for the remote KSJ Project Fellowships are no longer being accepted. The program has returned to its standard in-person fellowship model.
Project Fellowships Overview
Projects must be based in science journalism. In terms of story-telling approaches, they may include, but are not limited to, in-depth or investigative reporting work in any medium — including online, print, audio, video, and data visualization. Book research and explorations of innovative new approaches to science storytelling are also eligible. Projects may address the Covid-19 pandemic, though this is not required.
The fellowship is open to both freelance and staff journalists, and applicants may propose individual work or work that requires support from collaborators. However, the stipend will be awarded to the individual, not the institution, and the selection committee will lean more favorably toward projects proposed and planned by the applicant, rather than by a newsroom.
The selected fellows will attend a Zoom orientation in September as well as a series of Zoom roundtables that will allow them the opportunity to present and discuss their projects with their colleagues. KSJ will also offer a series of digital training programs and staffers will be able to offer help, guidance, and mentoring with the work. All fellows will be required to write a blogpost for the KSJ website that will offer some insights into their work. Upon completion of the program, project fellows will receive a graduation certificate. (Learn more about the 2020-21 class of KSJ Project Fellows on our Current Fellows page.)
Eligibility and Applying
Candidates will be asked to apply for one of three forms of fellowship support:
- A nine-month, $40,000 fellowship running from September 2021 thru May 2022
- A four-and-a-half-month, $20,000 fellowship running from September 2021 thru mid-January 2022.
- A four-and-a-half-month, $20,000 fellowship running from mid-January 2022 thru May 2022.
There is no requirement for project fellows to be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where MIT is located. Fellows may choose the appropriate location for their work. But each fellowship will grant awardees remote access to MIT’s university libraries and their vast trove of journal and database materials. And all appointments will include up to $5,000 in additional support for research-related expenses, such as travel or equipment during the period of the fellowship.
To be eligible for a project fellowship, an applicant must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or green card holder and reside in the U.S.
- Have at least three full years of experience covering science, technology, the environment or medicine.
- Be a reporter, writer, editor, producer, illustrator, filmmaker, or photojournalist. This includes work for newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and digital media. Applicants may be either staff or freelance journalists.
Applications must be submitted through our online portal and should include:
- A working title for your project.
- A résumé or curriculum vitae.
- A project proposal of 1000 words or less that: (1) describes your project, including any deliverables you expect to produce during the fellowship period; (2) describes your project’s potential to have meaningful impact, both during the fellowship and beyond; (3) explains why you are the person best qualified to do the project; and (4) why this fellowship support would be critical to the project’s success.
- A budget detailing anticipated research-related expenses, including travel, equipment, and other expenditures. Support for these expenses will be capped at $5,000 per fellow.
- A letter of recommendation from an individual familiar with your work who can comment on your abilities, your commitment to journalism, and the suitability of your project idea.
Applications for the KSJ Project fellowships are no longer being accepted .
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