Become a fellow

Being a fellow

The 2021-22 JSK Community Impact Fellowships will focus on practical solutions to the U.S. journalism industry’s long-standing neglect of communities of color — a failure exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Each fellow will work to address information needs in their local community while also participating virtually in weekly cohort meetings during which we provide programming to support their work and their growth as leaders. 

Our goal is to help fellows develop the leadership resilience this work requires. Through individual coaching, tailored workshops and peer-to-peer learning, the JSK Fellowships helps fellows identify the tools and mindsets needed to effectively lead and navigate change in times of uncertainty.

We will select up to 12 fellows.The program year will begin Sept. 7, 2021, and will end on June 3, 2022. At this time, it is not known when Stanford will fully resume on-campus activities open to visitors. If public health guidance and conditions allow, we would explore bringing fellows together on campus for a few days sometime in the second half of the program. 

JSK Community Impact Fellows will work to address information needs in local communities of color.

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 digital-native and legacy 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 post each quarter outlining your progress. 

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.

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.

We will not award fellowships to support:

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

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 $55,000. JSK Community Impact Fellows who are independent will receive a stipend of $75,000. Each fellow will receive 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 member of the JSK leadership team who is your  dedicated professional and project adviser.
  • Weekly virtual meetings with members of your cohort to share progress, brainstorm and build collaborations.
  • Leadership workshops designed for the cohort’s needs.
  • Connection to the vast JSK alumni network.
  • Digital access to Stanford’s libraries and other resources. 
  • The possibility of taking professional and personal development classes offered virtually by the Stanford Continuing Studies program.
  • New friendships, professional connections and skills that will continue beyond the fellowship.
  • Eligibility to apply in future years for a residential JSK Fellowship.

Key Dates

  • May 6: Applications opened for the JSK Community Impact Fellowships
  • May 27, noon PDT: Application deadline.  
  • Late July: JSK makes offers to JSK Community Impact Fellows
  • Sept. 7: Start date of JSK Community Impact Fellowship
  • June 3, 2022: 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!

Alumni voices