The Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships at Harvard offer short-term research opportunities to individuals interested in working on special projects designed to advance journalism in some new way. 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. This may be related to research, programming, design, financial strategies or another topic. Both U.S. and international applicants are invited to apply.
In addition to working journalists, those who should consider applying include publishers, programmers, designers, media analysts, academics and others interested in enhancing quality, building new business models or designing programs to improve journalism. Project proposals may be completed during the time spent at Harvard or be part of a larger undertaking. All visiting fellows are expected to be in residence in Cambridge during their study and present their findings to the Nieman community at the end of their research period. There are no academic prerequisites, and a college degree is not required.
Successful applicants are invited to the Nieman Foundation for a consecutive period ranging from a few weeks to three months, depending on the scope of the project. Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows have access to the extensive resources at Harvard and throughout Cambridge, including local scholars, research centers and libraries. Successful applicants also have the opportunity to work with Nieman Fellows and the various projects housed at the Nieman Foundation, including Nieman Reports, Nieman Journalism Lab, and Nieman Storyboard.
Learn more about recent Visiting Fellows including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek, who used his time at Harvard to plan an epic seven-year reporting trip walking across the globe to trace the path of human migration, and Hong Qu, chief technology officer for Fusion, who spent time on campus developing his Keepr application to help journalists and other users better follow stories on Twitter. Keepr was put to the test in April 2013 during the Boston Marathon bombings when Hong used his algorithm identifying reliable information as events unfolded. Read Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski’s thoughts on the importance of the visiting fellowships: New Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows: Journalism Needs Everyone’s Help.
Other Key Points
- For Visiting Fellows who will not be supported by an employer during the fellowship, a stipend prorated for the length of the fellowship will be provided ($1,225 per week).
- If a Visiting 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.
- Visiting fellowships take place during the calendar year. There is no fixed date when visiting fellowships begin. The application asks candidates to list their preferred start date. If selected, Nieman will take that preference under consideration and will work with the fellow to determine that date. Additionally, Nieman will decide each fellowship duration, which may be fewer than the number of weeks requested within the application.
- At least five Visiting Fellows will be selected each calendar year. As many as 11 Visiting Fellows have been selected in a given calendar year.
Advice to Candidates
- Be sure to consider whether your needs are better met by our longer Nieman Fellowship, geared toward broader inquiry and professional development.
- A focused inquiry is better than a broad one. Two or three months speed by quickly and having clear goals — even if it’s only a part of a larger project — is important.
- Visiting Fellows are expected to prepare by planning ahead of their time at Harvard.
The application deadline for the 2018 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships is Sept. 29, 2017. For questions about the application process, contact Nieman Fellowship program administrator Nicole Arias or call 617-495-2238.