The Open Notebook is offering grants through its Early-Career Fellowship Program.
Every year, The Open Notebook offers a paid, part-time fellowship program for early-career science journalists. During the course of this fellowship, fellows work with a mentor to plan, report, and write articles for publication at The Open Notebook and become part of the TON editorial team. This ten-month program offers fellows the opportunity to explore their career interests and passions and to sharpen their skills as part of a talented, supportive, diverse community of past and present fellows and mentors.
During this fellowship, each fellow will pitch, report, and write five articles for publication at The Open Notebook—a mix of “story behind the story” interviews and reported features. They will have weekly phone or video meetings with a mentor who is an experienced science journalist and who will help them shape story ideas, provide reporting and writing guidance, edit fellows’ article drafts, and offer general craft and career-development advice and guidance.
Typically, fellows’ articles go through several rounds of editing. As each article nears completion, fellows are also responsible for fact-checking their articles using TON’s fact-checking guidelines and for collecting demographic data about their sources as part of their effort to track the diversity of their sources.
Please Note: Although it is part-time, this fellowship requires a significant weekly time commitment, and juggling the fellowship along with a full-time job can be challenging. Prospective fellows who have full-time jobs are welcome to apply, but should consider carefully whether they will be able to devote sufficient time to completing articles as specified in the fellowship description. This includes making time for:
- conducting phone interviews with sources,
- weekly phone meetings with mentors,
- multiple rounds of editing and revision for most stories,
- participating in conversations in the fellowship Slack community.
The fellowship period is normally January 30—November 30. In arranging fellowships, they can work around issues such as graduate program completion dates, other journalism fellowships or internships, family responsibilities, and work visa approvals processes. They are also flexible about making schedule changes after fellowships begin to accommodate major professional and life events.
- Stipend: $5,500
- Length of Fellowship: 10 months (part time)
- Fellowship Period: January 30–November 30 each year
The fellowship is open to early-career science journalists with less than two years of regular professional science writing experience. Please note the following details:
- Internships and student work do not count toward this requirement.
- Exceptions to this requirement may be made for cases in which an applicant has more than two years of professional science writing experience but some or all of that experience is not in English.
- Graduate students in the sciences who are interested in science journalism are eligible. However, please note that some training and/or experience in writing for the general public is a requirement for this fellowship.
- International applicants are welcome. However, applications, including writing samples and letters of recommendation, must be in English. Materials translated into English from another language are acceptable.
Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate:
- A strong intention to work primarily as a professional science journalist
- Some training and/or experience writing about science for the general public (it does not have to be extensive)
- Some understanding of the science journalism profession, the challenges science journalists commonly face, and the ways in which you would like to grow as a science journalist
- Familiarity with The Open Notebook and the types of topics they tend to cover
- An ability to generate good story ideas suitable for The Open Notebook
- Strong writing ability
- If English is not your first language, they do take this into consideration and do not expect flawless writing. However, for a successful experience in this fellowship you must have a fairly high level of proficiency in English.
For more information, visit https://www.theopennotebook.com/early-career-fellowship-program/