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How to Apply to the 2019 National Data Fellowship

All applications must be filed through our online application.      We suggest that you begin preparing your application in Word or another text format so that you can cut and paste the components into the online application.

 The application asks for the following:

  • A personal statement

    Personal Statement (Including Project Proposal) [We recommended that you write this in Word and cut and paste it into the online application]

    In no more than 500 words, please describe your health reporting experience. Tell us about the types of health care stories you currently cover (or would like to cover) and why you are interested in attending the Fellowship sessions. Include a description of your publication, broadcast outlet or website, including the size, nature and geographic reach of its audience and how it's measured. (For websites, we require Google analytics or an equivalent.) Your proposal should be well researched and should demonstrate that you have done some deep thinking about the relevance of the topic to your community. Preference is given to projects that focus on underserved populations. Journalists at mainstream and ethnic publications who propose a collaborative project will be given priority consideration. If you write or broadcast for a mainstream media outlet and your proposed project deals with health issues that affect an ethnic community, we strongly suggest that you arrange co-publication or co-broadcast in an ethnic media outlet as well.

    California Journalists: In 750 to 1,000 words, summarize  a major California health reporting project that you propose to pursue as part of the Fellowship. We are looking for project descriptions that are in-depth and indicate that you have already done some preliminary research. In your description, summarize likely themes, multimedia components and any social media and audience/community engagement strategies you anticipate,  interactive digital features, partnerships with other media outlets or community organizations and so on. Tell us what sources and datasets you anticipate consulting, as well as how you would spend the $2,000 reporting grant. The Center gives priority to proposals for projects on health policy topics such as critical community health issues; health-related environmental justice issues; racial, ethnic, economic and geographic health disparities; mental health and substance abuse; the performance of California’s safety net; the possible consequences of the rollback of health care reform and current social supports for low-income people; health challenges for immigrants; and innovative solutions to the state's health care challenges. We also welcome proposals from California journalists that are focused on children and families, but they should also meet one of the above criteria. Be specific about deliverables (e.g. a three-part multimedia series, three seven-minute radio pieces, a 30-minute TV documentary, a 4,000-word magazine piece and so on). 

    Journalists from Other States: In 750 to 1,000 words, summarize  a major reporting project on child or juvenile health, welfare or wellbeing that you propose to pursue as part of the Fellowship. We are looking for project descriptions that are in-depth and indicate that you have already done some preliminary research. In your description, summarize likely themes, multimedia components and any social media and audience/community engagement strategies you anticipate, interactive digital features, partnerships with other media outlets or community organizations and so on. Tell us what sources and datasets you anticipate consulting, as well as how you would spend the $2,000 reporting grant. From applicants from states other than California, we are seeking proposals for projects that explore child welfare, juvenile justice and child health and well-being issues, including, but not limited to, the impact of chronic stress, poverty and childhood trauma on child development; juvenile justice; the intersection between partner violence and child abuse; the role of policy in improving prospects for children; community violence; child illness, injury and mortality trends; the intersection of race/ethnicity and/or class in child and family outcomes; strengths-based approaches to improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families; creative financing strategies; cross-agency strategies to treat and prevent the impacts of child maltreatment on children and families; and innovative solutions. Be specific about deliverables (e.g. a three-part multimedia series, three seven-minute radio pieces, a 30-minute TV documentary, a 4,000-word magazine piece and so on). 

    Three Samples of Your Work: Submit three samples of your best work. (For work that has only appeared online, please provide working URLs, as well as Word documents or PDFs of the published stories.) Broadcasters should submit links to working URLs of their online stories or CDs/DVDs. If you are an editor, submit work that you supervised and edited, along with an explanation of your role in shaping the content. If you write in a language other than English or Spanish, we prefer to receive translations of your work. If that is not possible, send a comprehensive two-paragraph summary in English of each story. 

    Resumé: Please include a current resumé. Note:  Any misrepresentation that is discovered after you are admitted to the Fellowship will result in your dismissal.

    Letter of Reference: Please supply a letter of reference from your assigning editor, producer, or news director that discusses your abilities and potential as a journalist in detail and the newsroom's support for your project. The letter should also confirm the following:

    • That you have discussed your proposed stories with your supervisor or assigning editor.  Please tell us why they are important to the news outlet
    • That the news organization expects to publish or air your stories, assuming they meet its standards
    • That your employer will permit you to attend all Fellowship sessions (disregard if you're a freelancer)

    Editor/Story Checklist (download pdf) or Word document: Download it, complete it, get your assigning editor's signature on it, and scan it into your computer to submit with your online application or FAX it to us at (877) 413-3873. Both freelance and employed journalists must submit written confirmation of a news organization's commitment to publish or air the work resulting from the Fellowship, assuming the work meets its standards.

  • Data Experience Survey:  Complete at this link
  •  

    California Applicants: If you wish to be considered for a Community Engagement Grant of $1,000-$2,000, click here  to file a supplemental application.

  • A Fellowship project proposal
  • Three samples of professional work
  • A current resumé
  • A letter of reference
  • Completion of a survey about your experience with data analysis and visualization tools.  Click here to access it.
  • An Editor's Checklist signed by a supervising editor and confirming the media outlet's intent to publish or broadcast the Fellowship project

 Applicants must join CenterforHealthJournalism.org and post a profile and photo.

How We Select Fellows:

When choosing Fellows, we consider each candidate's personal and professional accomplishments and potential, as well as the potential contribution of his or her proposed stories or project on the public's understanding of health issues. We value diversity in both our Fellows and their media outlets. We encourage applications from candidates who serve non-English speaking audiences, although our seminars are conducted in English, so Fellows must be fluent in English. 

The Fellowship program will only review complete applications submitted by the deadline.

Tips for Maximizing Your Chances of Being Selected

  • Think big journalistically. 
  • Provide lots of details about what we can expect from your project.  Provides specifics, such as likely story count and multimedia components. We want to know what will result from our investment in you.
  • We're looking for impact, so tell us what problem your project will expose and what might happen as a result of increased awareness by the public and policymakers.
  • Tell us how you will engage the community with your project.  It's not sufficient any more to just put something out there.  Tell us how you will involve the public both in helping shape your journalism and responding to it.

 

Fellowship Terms:

All Fellows are expected to:

  • Attend all required workshops.
  • Participate in a "community of Fellows" during workshop sessions
  • Treat other Fellows' works-in-progress as confidential
  • Join and become active in our online community
  • Within six months of the Fellowship's final session, complete  a major reporting project on a domestic health issue (or three substantive articles on health issues).    
  • Provide us with digital copies of all components of your project for publication on CenterforHealthJournalism.org
  • Disseminate information from the seminars to colleagues
  • Serve as a mentor and resource to our program as we reach out to other journalists
  • Write at least two posts for ReportingonHealth.org about your Fellowship project -- an initial blog post introducing your planned project and a "Lessons from the Field" essay after it has been published or broadcast

For More Information: In advance of your application, we require a phone conversation about your project idea with one of our staff members or Senior Fellows. To arrange to talk to us, please email Martha Shirk at CAHealth@usc.edu.

Announcements

Interested in honing your data analysis and visualization skills and taking home a reporting grant of $2,000-$3,500? Dates: October 23-26. Deadline to apply: August 26. Click on the headline to learn more.

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