The Nieman Visiting Fellowships at Harvard offer short-term research opportunities to individuals interested in working on special projects designed to advance journalism. Since this initiative’s inception in 2012, the program has awarded 69 visiting fellowships. In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the movement for racial justice, the Nieman Foundation dedicated the 2021 fellowships to projects that advance racial justice and public health journalism in the U.S.
Candidates need not be practicing journalists but must demonstrate the ways in which their work at Harvard and the Nieman Foundation may improve the prospects for journalism’s future.
Nieman Visiting Fellows utilize the extensive resources at Harvard and MIT, including local scholars, research centers, and libraries, to achieve concrete results, either by developing a project that can be completed during the time spent at Harvard or as part of a larger undertaking that continues after the fellowship period ends. Additionally, fellows are expected to share their progress and findings either through publication on one of Nieman’s in-house websites—Nieman Reports, Nieman Journalism Lab, and Nieman Storyboard—or in another medium or format better suited to the project.
For fellows not supported by an employer during the fellowship, a stipend of $1,325 per week will be provided. If an employer keeps the fellow on salary during the fellowship because the project benefits the organization, a fellowship stipend will not be provided.
If a fellow does not reside in the Boston area or otherwise have accommodations, free use of a furnished one-bedroom apartment will be available for the length of the fellowship.
- The proposed project must have the potential to advance journalism. This may be related to research, programming, design, financial strategies, or another topic.
- Those who should consider applying include journalists, publishers, technologists, entrepreneurs, programmers, designers, media analysts, academics, and others who want to make an impact. There is no age limit or academic prerequisites, and a college degree is not required. Both U.S. and international applicants are invited to apply.
- Candidates must be available to be in residence in Cambridge, Mass., for the duration of the fellowship.
- Prospective fellows must speak and read English fluently and have a command of written English.
Visiting fellowships take place during the calendar rather than the academic year. Applicants list their preferred start date, the number of weeks requested (no more than 12), and any flexibility regarding dates in the online application. The Nieman Foundation will work with selected fellows to determine a start date. The duration of the fellowship awarded may be shorter than the number of weeks requested. Most fellowships last between four and eight weeks.
The application will require biographical information, a résumé or curriculum vitae, contact information for three professional references, and a 600-word project proposal—an essay that describes the project you plan to pursue as a visiting fellow at Harvard.
The guiding questions to answer within the essay are:
- Which particular Harvard or local resources will be especially important and useful?
- How, specifically, will you use your fellowship time to advance the project?
- What will be the end product or result of your fellowship?
- How will your work benefit journalism?