Science Journalism Fellowships

The basic goal of the fellowship program is to enable journalists to lay aside their narrow focus on getting “the story,” and instead explore science, technology, and the craft of journalism more deeply and more broadly. Knight Fellows have the opportunity to follow intellectual digressions, to learn the history of a field, to understand how scientists and engineers pursue their work, and to explore the storytelling opportunities arising in today’s fast-changing media environment. With more background knowledge, Fellows return to their careers more confident about asking the right questions, and in turn are better prepared to communicate science and technology to their audiences.

Fellows receive a stipend of $70,000 as well as some additional benefits. The program is divided between programs arranged by the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships and self-directed activities, which may include a media project or publication. KSJ also plans activities to help build a sense of community. Fellows often report that life in Cambridge and the sense of collegiality within the Fellowship are rewarding aspects of the year.

Each Fellow designs his or her own course of study in discussion with the director. Some Fellows audit two or more courses per semester at MIT and Harvard. Others choose to spend time in a lab. A Fellow’s work usually includes courses, attendance at departmental colloquia, research trips, lab visits, interviews, reading, and writing. Fellows must refrain from paid professional work, unless prior permission is granted by the director.

Fellows are required to attend at least one science- or engineering-related course per semester at Harvard or MIT (chosen in consultation with the director). Near the end of each semester, each Fellow is expected to make a 20-minute presentation to the other Fellows of some relevant portion of what was learned.


To be awarded our 9-month academic year Fellowship, selected applicants must agree to the following requirements:
  • To reside full-time in the Boston/Cambridge area for the academic year: August 15 through May 15.
  • To attend all seminars, field trips, workshops, and new media training sessions arranged by the Knight Science Journalism program.
  • To participate in at least one science or engineering course per semester.
  • To refrain from professional work during the Fellowship, unless written permission has been granted by the Director.
  • For international candidates: To obtain a J-1 visa from the U.S. State Department after being awarded the Fellowship.
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