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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The John S. Knight International Fellowships, USA

The John S. Knight Fellowships accepts applications from qualified journalists and journalism entrepreneurs from around the world for 20 Fellowships each year.

Please review the eligibility and selection criteria for United States or international Knight Fellows.
If you are uncertain whether you should apply for a U.S. or International Knight Fellowship, please don’t guess. Send us an email with your work history to

* What is the application deadline?
The U.S. application deadline for the 2011-2012 academic year is Feb. 1, 2011. The international application deadline is Dec. 15, 2010. We are no longer accepting applications for the 2010-2011 Fellowship year.
* I hear that the focus of the Knight Fellowships is changing. Why?
The Knight Fellowships is transforming itself in order to serve the needs of journalism and journalists as much in the years ahead as it has in the past. All the turmoil and opportunity in the industry make journalism a chaotic and exciting proposition today. We are making significant changes to meet these new realities.

* What exactly does that mean?
The program will focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership to foster high quality journalism — including an emphasis on developing and strengthening press freedoms around the world — during this time of profound transformation. We will seek Fellows with a broader range of experience, media and skills, both in the U.S. and abroad, than in the past. This could include journalistic entrepreneurs, as well as journalists who are a bit less experienced – or more experienced – than the average Fellow.

* I’m an international journalist. How will the program changes affect me?
The program welcomes applications from all qualified international journalists, but will pay particular attention to international journalists who can have a direct impact on the development of a free press and flow of information in their countries. We will continue to seek international journalists from countries with a more robust press, especially those who would focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

* Will I need to produce something at the end of my fellowship?
Yes. Given the emphasis on innovation, the program will expect Fellows to come to Stanford with a coherent proposal that will lead to a tangible result.

* What does that mean?
The proposal is really up to you. We’re looking for applicants with good ideas that emphasize experimentation and innovation in regards to modern journalism. Your proposal could result in perhaps the beginnings of a creative plan for a journalism innovation, or a way that writers might use new storytelling tools, or a proposal to fund journalism. The idea is to enable Fellows the space, time and mentoring to embrace the challenges facing journalism.

* Does this mean I can’t take classes or do anything other than work on my proposal?
No! The riches of classes, research and experiences at Stanford University, one of the world’s great learning institutions, are there for you, just as before. Fellows can take classes across the university, and connect with experts at the more than 100 research centers and institutes. For more information on how Knight Fellows can make use of Stanford, please visit Our Program: Classes, Research, and More.

* What’s not changing?
Key parts of the Knight Fellowships will not change. Fellows will spend an academic year at Stanford University and take advantage of the university’s deep intellectual and educational resources, inside the classroom and outside it as well. Fellows will be responsible for setting their own agenda during their year. And rich interaction among the Fellows will continue to be a major element of their experience.

* Isn’t it expensive to be a Knight Fellow in Palo Alto?
Yes, and for that reason, in addition to a $60,000 stipend (paid in 10 monthly installments, September through June), we provide supplements for housing, childcare and health insurance as well as moving and research/equipment expenses. The housing supplements are $3,000 annually for single Fellows, married Fellows and those with domestic partners; $9,500 annually for Fellows with one child and $13,000 annually for Fellows with two or more children. Families with children in their households receive $12,000 for one child under age 5, $9,000 for each additional child under age 5, and $6,000 for each child aged 5 to 17 to offset childcare costs. The Knight Fellowships pays a health insurance supplement for Fellows and their families, ranging from approximately $3,000 for single Fellows to $7,000 for a couple with two or more children.

A moving allowance is provided. Fellows coming to the program who live within the United States receive $2,000 to $4,000, depending on family size. Fellows coming from outside the United States receive $3,000 to $6,000, depending on family size. The program also pays for your Stanford tuition and provides a $1,000 book allowance and up to $1,500 towards the purchase of laptop computers, digital cameras, recorders, fees for Continuing Studies or other courses related to the fellowship, computer software, research fees or payments, and travel expenses related to the Fellow’s research or study.

* Is there an age limit?
There’s no official or unofficial age limit. We look for people who have been working long enough to have achieved a lot, but who are young enough for a Knight Fellowship to pay journalistic dividends for many years to come. We are seeking Fellows with a broader range of experience, media and skills, both in the U.S. and abroad, than in the past. This could include journalistic entrepreneurs, as well as journalists who are a bit less experienced – or more experienced – than the average Fellow.

* I’m a freelancer. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, full-time freelancers are eligible. Applicants are judged on the quality of their work, their essays, their journalistic potential and their letters of references. Freelancers do not need a leave of absence letter from their employer since they work for themselves.

* I’m not sure whether I should apply as a U.S. or an International journalist.
Each case is different; let us make the call. If you aren’t certain, send us an email briefly summarizing your work history, list the countries where you have worked, describe your current position and your plans for the future. One of the determining factors will be whether your audience is primarily in the U.S. or outside it.

* Do international applicants have to find their own funding?
International Knight Fellows are funded from a number of sources. International applicants should seek financial sponsorship for their fellowship if possible. But finding funding is not a condition of being awarded a fellowship.

One organization that provides funding for international journalists is the Fulbright Scholar Program; for more information, please visit their web site at

In addition, some news organizations provide their employees with full or partial funding. Other sources of support come from Knight Fellowship funds that are designated for specific purposes, including one that funds a journalist from Latin America. Regardless of the source of funding, all decisions to award fellowships are made by the Knight Fellowships program.

* Where do Knight Fellows usually live during their year at Stanford?
Most Fellows live in rental apartments and houses near the campus. We help Fellows as they look for a place to live, we compile a list of available housing nearby, check out rentals you’re interested in and offer advice on best areas to live. A number of landlords in the area know our program well and have happily rented to Knight Fellows for many years.

* Do I need the approval of my employer to apply for the fellowship?
Yes, all applicants (except freelancers) must submit a letter from their employer supporting their application and granting a leave of absence. If you win a fellowship, you are expected to return to your place of employment at the end of the academic year.

* I’m married and have kids – is the Knight Fellowship right for me?
Yes. Many Knight Fellows have found their year at Stanford a wonderful experience not only for them, but for their family as well. Spouses and partners are eligible to take classes and attend Knight Fellowships seminars and events just as the Fellows do. Children of Knight Fellows can attend excellent Palo Alto schools and often form life-long bonds with other Knight children from all over the U.S. and the world.

* For International or foreign language applicants: Do I need to translate everything I send in, including my work samples?

Yes, all application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted in English or in English translation.
* How can I learn more about the fellowships and the application process?

Further Fellowship Information and Application

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