Applications Open for 2020 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships at Harvard


2020-new-fellows-matrix-1The Nieman Foundation is currently accepting applications for the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships Programme, which provides short-term research opportunities designed to advance journalism in some new ways.

Applicants need not be practicing journalists, but must demonstrate the ways in which their work at Harvard and the Nieman Foundation can improve the prospects for journalism’s future. This may be related to research, programming, design, financial strategies or another topic. Publishers, programmers, designers, media analysts, academics and others interested in enhancing quality, building new business models or designing programs to improve journalism and working journalists may apply.

The Fellows have the opportunity to utilize the extensive resources at Harvard and MIT, including local scholars, research centers and libraries, to achieve concrete results, either developing a project that can be completed during the time spent at Harvard or as part of a larger undertaking that continues after the fellowship period ends. Additionally, fellows are expected to share their progress and findings either through publication on one of Nieman’s in-house websites—Nieman Reports (, Nieman Journalism Lab (, Nieman Storyboard ( or in another medium or format better suited to the project.

The visiting fellowships take place during the calendar rather than the academic year. Applicants list their preferred start date, the number of weeks requested (no more than 12), and any flexibility regarding dates in the online application. The Nieman Foundation will work with selected fellows to determine a start date. The duration of the fellowship awarded may be shorter than the number of weeks requested. Most fellowships are between four and eight weeks.

A stipend of $1,350 per week will be provided to candidates not supported by an employer during the fellowship. If an employer keeps the fellow on salary during the fellowship because the project benefits the organization, a fellowship stipend will not be provided. If a fellow does not reside in the Boston area or otherwise have accommodations, free use of a furnished one-bedroom apartment will be available for the length of the fellowship.

All visiting fellows are expected to be in residence in Cambridge during their study and present their findings to the Nieman community at the end of their research period. There are no academic prerequisites, and a college degree is not required.

The application requires biographical information, a résumé or curriculum vitae, contact information for three professional references, and a 600-word project proposal—an essay that describes the project an applicant plans to pursue as a visiting fellow at Harvard.

All applicants will be notified of their status by November 25, 2019, and Skype calls will be scheduled with those advancing to the interview stage. The Foundation expects to make its selection of fellows by December 18, 2019 while the press release announcing the 2020 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows will be posted in January 2020.

Since the inception of the Fellowships in 2012, the Nieman Foundation has awarded 42 visiting fellowships ranging between two and twelve weeks.

The fellowship is a collaboration by Harvard University and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.