Applications Invited for Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Programme in Harvard

Laura Manley, Executive Director, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

Career professionals from a variety of related fields are invited to apply for the Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Programme in Harvard in the United States, which seeks to advance research in the field of media, politics and public policy and facilitates dialogue among journalists, scholars, policymakers and students. 

Designed to bring journalists, scholars, politicians and policymakers to the Shorenstein Center for a semester to work on a project with a tangible output, and engage with students, faculty, other fellows, and the broader Harvard Kennedy School community, the Fellowship Programme has been central to the Shorenstein Center’s mission examining the intersection of media, politics and public policy.

There is the Fall Semester (September – December) and full year (September – May) and January 31, 2024 is deadline for submission of application. Applications for Fall 2024 and Full Year 2024-25 are also open.

Fellows are expected to be fully participating members of the Shorenstein Center community while in residence, attending and in Center events, social gatherings, and other activities.

The following categories of people are eligible to apply however, prospective applicants who are unsure if they are eligible are encouraged to contact the Center staff to discuss further.

  • Journalist: Reporters, editors, columnists, producers, media business executives and related, with aminimum of ten years of full-time experience either at professional news organizations or as a full-time freelancer (not including work completed as a university student).
  • Politician: Someone who has been elected to a national or high-level state office, or high-level communications professionals within politics and policy, e.g. speechwriters, press secretaries. Minimum of ten years’ experience (can be cumulative between elected office and other roles).
  • Scholar: Tenured or tenure-track professoremployed by a college, university or research institution in political science, political communication, journalism, technology studies, sociology, computer science, or a field relevant to the Shorenstein Center’s areas of inquiry. 
  • Policymaker: High-level official in a cabinet office, or policy adviser to a candidate for national office or high-level elected official.
  • Documentary Filmmaker: Documentary filmmakers and/or academics and practitioners with expertise in documentary filmmaking as it relates to public interest media, and/or its intersections with journalism. Minimum of 10 years’ experience. 

Applicants in their applications are expected to pitch a project proposal and the quality of that proposal is a key deciding factor in the selection process. The primary deliverable for a fellow is a research-based project that contributes to a broad understanding of an issue within the information ecosystem, or addresses a problem related to journalism, media, public interest technology, or decision science (with ideal candidates focusing on the intersection of at least two of these areas and with an eye towards politics and/or public policy solutions). Project topics should fit into the existing work of the Center and provide a new angle or area of focus that is not covered specifically by one of the Center’s existing programmes.

Projects can take many forms, including white paper, policy paper, annotated bibliography, podcast, video, or interactive. Projects should have an anticipated impact in society, and applicants should be able to clearly articulate their project’s desired impact.

Fellows receive a stipend which is paid in monthly installments at the end of each month of their term. The Shorenstein Center does not cover travel, housing, and living expenses of Fellows. They are provided with a desk in the Shorenstein Center offices, a Harvard email address, and a Harvard ID allowing access to libraries and other resources.

Fellows are also able to select a paid Harvard Kennedy School student research assistant (eligible to work up to 10 hours per week) to help with their projects.

For detailed information about the fellowship and to apply, please visit