Become a fellow

This opportunity closed on July 22, 2020.
Thanks to everyone who applied.

Being a fellow

The novel coronavirus has exposed systemic failings in many of our institutions, including journalism. We are creating a remote fellowship model specific for the upcoming 2020-2021 cycle to address the urgent needs of our times. Fellows will craft and develop practical solutions that address the flaws in how our industry serves communities of color in the United States.

The John S. Knight Community Impact Fellows will do this by working remotely on projects to address information gaps in those communities. Projects should focus on journalism experiments that help move community knowledge or engagement forward in a significant way. We will select up to 12 fellows.

Based on Santa Clara County public health guidance and Stanford University restrictions, we are not planning for any in-person activities during the fellowship year. The program year will begin Sept. 14, 2020, and will end on May 14, 2021.

JSK Community Impact Fellows will focus on journalism experiments that help move community knowledge or engagement forward in a significant way.

Life of a fellow

These are not reporting fellowships, though the project deliverables may include articles, essays, data visualizations, photojournalism, or other content or technology. Your work product remains yours alone, though any code or other work must be open source.

The opportunity is open to journalists with legacy and digital-native news organizations, independent journalists, and people in communities who are already working on information projects. If you are currently employed, you will not be expected or encouraged to leave your organization. Ideally, your project should be endorsed and supported by your employer. Independent journalists should explain in their application how your project has local buy-in and will have community impact.

Though fellows will work remotely, you must demonstrate the ability and desire to work collaboratively and respectfully with people with a range of ideas and perspectives. You will be expected to adhere to the Stanford Code of Conduct and to a specific JSK Code of Conduct. 

Fellows will be required to publicly share the work and insights they gain throughout the year. You should expect to write at least one Medium post each quarter outlining your progress. 

 A tentative timeline with proposed milestones is required as part of your application.

We will not award fellowships to support:

  • Reporting projects.
  • Academic research projects.
  • Book projects.
  • Startups and founders seeking a business accelerator experience.

Though fellows will work remotely, you must demonstrate the ability and desire to work collaboratively and respectfully with people with a range of ideas and perspectives.

Who can be a fellow

Eligibility

JSK alumni are ineligible to apply for the Community Impact Fellowships. Previous applicants for a traditional JSK Fellowship and alumni of other journalism fellowship programs may apply.

Professional background

Applicants must already be authorized to work in the United States. You should have at least three years of full-time professional experience. We do not require you to have a college degree.

We consider applicants in these categories:

  • Journalists employed by a news organization or freelance journalists.
  • Journalism entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • People in communities who are already working on information projects.

We do not accept applications from people working in public information or public relations jobs, for trade and house newsletters or magazines, for government agencies, or in academic positions.

JSK Community Impact Fellows will be eligible to apply for a residential JSK Fellowship in future years.

Benefits of a fellowship

JSK Community Impact Fellows who remain employed with their organizations during the fellowship year will receive a stipend of $50,000 paid in monthly installments; you may request additional support for health care insurance and project expenses subject to JSK review. 

JSK Community Impact Fellows who are independent will receive a stipend of $70,000 paid in monthly installments, plus an additional $10,000 for the year to cover health care insurance and project expenses.

Other benefits of a JSK Community Impact Fellowship:

  • Biweekly virtual meetings with a dedicated professional and project adviser.
  • Biweekly virtual meetings with members of your cohort to share progress, brainstorm and build collaborations.
  • Membership in the Stanford University community, with access to strategic support from Stanford and industry experts.
  • Connection to the vast JSK alumni network.
  • Monthly virtual seminars with journalism, business and technology leaders.
  • Digital access to Stanford’s libraries and other resources. 
  • Opportunities to occasionally join classes taught by top Stanford professors and instructors in a wide range of specialties. (We are not an academic program and classes are not required.)
  • New friendships, professional connections and skills that will continue beyond the nine-month fellowship.
  • Eligibility to apply in future years for a residential JSK Fellowship.

Key Dates

  • July 1: Applications opened for the JSK Community Impact Fellowships
  • July 8, 12:30 p.m. PDT: #AskJSK Twitter chat
  • July 22, noon PDT: Application deadline
  • Mid-August: JSK makes offers to JSK Community Impact Fellows
  • Sept. 14: Start date of JSK Community Impact Fellowship
  • May 14, 2021: End date of JSK Community Impact Fellowship

Read our FAQ for even more information and follow @JSKstanford on Twitter for the latest. Please email Mary Beth Boch, our selection and resources administrator, with questions: jskfellowships@stanford.edu. We look forward to learning more about you!

Applications are closed.

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