Due to health, safety, and logistical concerns raised by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Knight Science Journalism Program has made the difficult decision to suspend its residential fellowship program until the 2021-22 academic year.
In the interim, and in keeping with KSJ’s core mission of supporting science journalism, we will be opening an application process on June 1, 2020 to award up to 20 KSJ Project Fellowships. These fellowships, open to U.S. residents only, are designed to support independently conceived projects — books, investigations, documentaries — and they will be awarded for varying durations over the course of the upcoming academic year, from September 2020 to May 2021.
Candidates will be asked to apply for one of three forms of fellowship support:
- A nine-month, $40,000 fellowship running from September 2020 thru May 2021
- A four-month, $20,000 fellowship running from September 2020 thru December 2020
- A four-month, $20,000 fellowship running from February, 2021 thru May 2021
There is no requirement for project fellows to be based in Cambridge. 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.
Applications for the 2020-21 KSJ Project Fellowships should be submitted through our online portal, which will open for submissions June 1, and winners will be announced on July 31, 2020.
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 work with assigned project mentors at the Knight Science Journalism Program for advice, to assure successful completion of progress deadlines, and for support with final deliverables.
Eligibility and Applying
To be eligible for a project fellowship, an applicant must:
- Be a U.S. resident.
- 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. Applicants may be either staff or freelance journalists.
Applications must be submitted through our online portal, which will open for submissions June 1, 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 at least one 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 should be submitted by 11:59 pm EDT, June 30, 2020. Successful applicants will be notified in July, and the project fellows will be publicly announced on July 31, 2020.
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