The International Center for Journalists offers two types of opportunities for an ICFJ Knight Fellowship: Candidates may either propose a Fellowship or apply to a Fellowship opening (listed below). ICFJ accepts applications from candidates proposing their own Fellowship on a rolling basis throughout the year, and will select candidates based on fit for the mission and program criteria, and availability of funding. Periodically, ICFJ also posts openings for specific Fellowships that are developed based on opportunities for impact identified by the program or tailored to requirements of a Fellowship funder.
All interested candidates must complete a Fellowship application, and select whether they are proposing a Fellowship or applying to a Fellowship opening. All applications require a proposal as part of the application.
Successful proposals will target news innovation in one or more of the key areas of innovation listed under Fellowship Criteria below. Proposals should outline Fellowships that include multiple, complementary projects. They should clearly state how each of the projects will help to measurable results for newsrooms, journalists and society. We will not consider proposals that simply offer training to journalists or teach students. We are not likely to consider proposals that need substantial fundraising during the Fellowship to achieve their objectives.
Before submitting an application, all candidates should read our program overview and criteria below to ensure proper understanding of the program and submission of a strong application.
Applications, CVs and resumes must be in English. Relevant work samples or supporting material for project proposals may be in the applicant’s native language. To become a Fellow, professional proficiency in English is required.
ICFJ will review applications in a timely fashion and contact a selection of candidates for interview(s) based on their fit and strength of their proposal. ICFJ may also contact potential partners regarding the fit and proposal strength. All references will be contacted for those candidates that advance.
ICFJ will offer the Fellowship in writing to the candidate deemed to have the best fit and strongest proposal. In the event that that offer is accepted, ICFJ will work with the accepting candidate to identify an appropriate start date for the Fellowship. All Fellows must sign a contract with ICFJ that details the terms of the Fellowship and agreement with ICFJ. ICFJ will lead an in-person or virtual orientation that explains the program policies and works with the Fellow to design the initial Fellowship plan.
For any questions about the application process, please contact Program Assistant Natalie Van Hoozer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ICFJ Knight Fellowships are designed to instill a culture of news innovation and experimentation worldwide. Fellows primarily work with newsrooms to seed new ideas and services that deepen coverage, expand news delivery and engage citizens with the ultimate goal to improve people’s lives. They work in key areas of innovation such as newsroom transformation, entrepreneurship and business models, technology creation and adoption, diverse voices in news, investigative reporting, digital security and specialized reporting on health, gender and development. Each project should be designed to ensure that the impacts and achievements last beyond the Fellowship. Fellowships are typically a minimum of one year, and may be extended by ICFJ depending on funding and the opportunity for greater impact. Fellowship projects must produce measurable results.
For more information our criteria for Fellowships, see our Overview page.
Fellow candidates may be from any country and must have the experience and skills necessary to lead their Fellowship projects, and be able to act as a thought leader for broader influence on media.
- Experience working in newsrooms
- Experience creating digital media content, and audience development and engagement strategy
- Experience managing digital production and innovation teams, while working to tight deadlines
- Experience incorporating the use of interactive, immersive and/or data journalism technologies in news media
- Experience measuring results, such as the impact of content, adoption of technology and audience engagement
- Ability to clearly communicate program results
- Success at replicating, adapting and creating technologies to answer local needs
- Strong leadership skills
- Strong project- and time-management skills
- Experience in the target region
- Fluency (speaking, reading and writing) in the local language of the target country/region and English
- Training or coaching experience
ICFJ Knight Fellows also act as “thought leaders,” which means they should be able to effectively share their experiences and lessons learned on the Knight International Media Innovators page on IJNet.org, and speak at top conferences focusing on media and information innovation.
A key to our model is that we fund Fellows to collaborate with partners that pool their own resources to achieve our mutual goals. As a result, partnership is essential to the mission of the program. Partners are typically newsrooms, but can also include tech companies, NGOs, universities and others. ICFJ will work with Fellows to establish and ensure the success of partnerships as needed during the Fellowship. Candidates are encouraged to identify and establish partnerships prior to submitting their Fellowship proposals to strengthen their applications.
See our Partner With Us page for more information on partners.
Fellowship Finances and Compensation
During the Fellowship, each Fellow receives an allowance for expenses related to the Fellowship. Expenses are calculated based on the needs of the Fellowship in the context of local market rates. Depending on the nature of the Fellowship, they can include coverage of reasonable living, travel and professional expenses. Fellows receive an honorarium based on the nature of the services of the Fellow and market rates.
Fellows are expected to work full-time on their Fellowship projects. Exceptions have been made on a case-by-case basis. Fellows may not work as journalists during the Fellowship.