The Open Notebook/Burroughs Wellcome Fund fellowship is now accepting applications for two rounds of early-career science writers course with the first one spanning January 4, 2021, to August 31, 2021, while the second one takes place between July 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022.
The fellowship is open to early-career science writers with fewer than two years of regular professional science writing experience. (Internships and student work do not count toward this requirement). Graduate students in the sciences who are interested in science writing are also eligible.
Applicants who may express interest for one or both eight-month fellowship periods will report and write six articles for publication at The Open Notebook—a mix of “story behind the story” interviews and reported features—with the guidance of a mentor who will help shape story ideas, provide reporting and writing guidance, edit final copy, and offer career-development mentoring.
International applicants can also apply after duly submitting their applications, including writing samples and letters of recommendation in English.
Application requirements entail the applicants writing a letter of interest explaining why they are seeking the fellowship, their previous experiences in writing about science for the public, and what they hope to learn from the experience.
Applicants are also expected to state their overall plans (in 500 words maximum) during the fellowship period and about the time commitment they are able to make to the fellowship.
Applicants are also expected to send proposals(Combined length of these two proposals must be no more than 500 words.)for two TON features or multimedia stories. These can take the form of a behind-the-story writer interview; a reported feature on some element of the craft of science writing; or some other creative, feature-length project centred on the craft of science writing.
The fellowship which will run on a part-time basis, however, requires a significant weekly time commitment, and juggling the fellowship along with a full-time job can be challenging.
However, prospective fellows who have full-time jobs are welcome to apply but should consider carefully whether they will be able to devote sufficient time to complete articles as specified in the fellowship description.
This includes making time during regular business hours for 1) conducting phone interviews with sources, 2) weekly phone meetings with mentors, and 3) multiple rounds of editing and revision for most stories.
Fellows (and mentors) will also be part of a professional discussion group composed of former fellowship participants and TON editors.
Each fellow will receive a stipend of $4,200 due to a generous grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund while the part-time fellowship will be remote.
Applications, including letters of reference, must be received by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Central time on October 25, 2020.
Applicants are expected to provide an email address for each person writing a letter of reference; the system will then send a unique link to each reference. Applicants should complete applications early enough to allow references to also submit their letters on time.
Selections for both fellowship periods will be announced by December 10, 2020.