Being a Fellow

JSK fellows collaborateJSK Fellows spend their time at Stanford engaged in exploring solutions to the biggest challenges facing journalism. They do this by spending a significant portion of their time together, exploring innovation ideas that fall within one of five topic areas that are the focus of our program. (Learn more about these topic areas on the Become a Fellow page.)

JSK Fellows also have the opportunity to draw on the richness of knowledge and expertise at Stanford and in Silicon Valley. They sit in on classes, attend events on campus, connect with experts in the university’s many research institutes and explore many avenues for connecting with innovative thinkers and doers in Silicon Valley.

Our job is to provide fellows with a unique opportunity: 10 months at Stanford, funding to live during their fellowship and the freedom to pursue the many opportunities for learning and experiences on an amazing, stimulating campus and in the San Francisco Bay Area. We also support fellows’ efforts through individual and group coaching, as well as special workshops and weekly events to bring them together to learn from each other and from thought-leaders in creativity, innovation, technology and journalism.

The most valuable asset we offer JSK Fellows is other fellows. They get advice and find mentors among current and former fellows.

A JSK Fellow’s job is to meet a few expectations we have and make the most of the opportunity. This means taking initiative and not waiting on people or organizations to come to you — or our program staff to arrange things for you. The most successful fellows reach out on their own, even before they arrive at Stanford, to seek out and make connections.

Once we select fellows, we ask them to agree to meet these conditions:

  • Spend the academic terms in residence at Stanford from September to June. (This means you are doing your fellowship at Stanford, not in Hawaii, on the road or at home.) You will have big vacation breaks during your fellowship year — much of December and two weeks in March — so we expect you to keep other time away to a minimum. )
  • Participate fully in JSK fellowships activities. That means attending all JSK Fellowships events, workshops and activities; we have two to three events a week. Some of the most important relationships and learning will happen within the fellowship itself.
  • Commit yourself to the fellowship rather than to regular professional work. If selected, your full-time job is to be a JSK Fellow. We require fellows to take a leave from their jobs or freelance/consulting commitments to devote their energy to the fellowship.  
  • Focus on your fellowship proposal throughout the year. In addition to our events and some classes at Stanford, your work on a challenge facing journalism should occupy half or more of your time and energy.
  • Share your fellowship. Be ready to share publicly your fellowship experiences, work and insights you’ve gained through the year, and the fruits of your efforts near the end of the program year.