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Jan. 7, 2014, 3:45 p.m.

American journalists, it’s time to apply for a Nieman Fellowship

It’s the best opportunity you’ll find to grow as a journalist. The application deadline is January 31.

With the winter cold, you’re probably going to be spending some quality time indoors this week. Which makes it a great time to work on your application to join the next class of Nieman Fellows.

If you’re not familiar: The Nieman Fellowships have, for three-quarters of a century, brought talented journalists to Harvard for a year of study. These days, it’s 24 journalists (half Americans, half from the rest of the world) who have proposed a course of study and explained why both they and journalism more broadly would benefit from their spending time here.

I came to Harvard as a Nieman Fellow in 2007, and in the years since I’ve seen nearly 200 great journalists grow their brains, explore new areas of knowledge, and deepen their capacity to do great work. It’s really a tremendous experience.

If you’re an American citizen, the deadline to apply is coming up — January 31, to be precise. (If you’re not a U.S. citizen, sorry, your deadline was back in December — but see the exception below.)

You can read much more about the fellowship on the Nieman Foundation website: the program at a glance, eligibility information, what we pay, types of fellowships, and maybe most practically, how to apply. But another way to get a handle on the fellowship is simply to read the bios of our current class of fellows. They’re a very impressive group, but I’d also wager that a lot of people reading this could imagine themselves in their number.

What does applying entail? Again, read the full details, but the basics are a personal statement, a proposed course of study, some samples of your work, and some recommendations. If you have any questions about the fellowship itself, I’m happy to answer questions. (If you have specific questions about the application process and requirements, best to reach out to our fellowship administrator John Breen.)

One other note: January 31 is also the deadline to apply for a Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation.

The Nieman-Berkman Fellowship is a lot like the regular Nieman Fellowship, with a few key differences:

— Applicants must propose a course of study or project specifically relating to journalism innovation. (Proposals for the regular Nieman can, of course, focus on journalism innovation too! It’s just a requirement for the Nieman-Berkman.)

— It’s actually two fellowships in one: a full Nieman Fellowship and a full Berkman Fellowship. The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard is a premier center for the study of technology and its impact on the world. You get to be an integral part of both communities, which is an enormous privilege.

— It’s open to a wider group of applicants. While the Nieman Fellowship is open only to full-time journalists (including freelancers), the Nieman-Berkman Fellowship is also open to people who work in fields that support journalism — including the technology, business, and academic worlds.

— It’s open to both U.S. and international applicants. (That’s the exception I mentioned above — it’s not too late to apply for a Nieman-Berkman if you’re not an American citizen.)

Much more about the Nieman-Berkman here.

POSTED     Jan. 7, 2014, 3:45 p.m.
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