Eligibility and Expectations
The fellowship is for journalists. It is limited to individuals whose primary professional activities involve reporting, writing, producing, editing, or otherwise preparing the news and other editorial content of independent media organizations, regardless of platform. Freelance journalists are welcome to apply.
Individuals who are ineligible include employees of educational institutions, professional associations, unions, and groups focused on research, advocacy, lobbying, or political action. Employees of Education Week/Editorial Projects in Education and officers and members of the EPE Board of Directors also are not eligible.
The fellowship operates on the following annual schedule: Applications are accepted in May and June. The fellowship is awarded in August, with work on the project to begin with the new school year. The final project must publish, unless otherwise agreed to by Education Week, within one year of the award.
Activities Covered by the Fellowship
The fellowship provides financial support totaling up to $10,000, as well as professional development and mentoring support, including the following:
- A project allowance of up to $4,000 that can be accessed for such uses as field reporting trips, data-gathering, other approved research expenses, data visualization, multimedia support, and enrollment in workshops for relevant knowledge-building;
- Registration and travel costs for attendance at related education or journalism conferences;
- One year’s membership in a relevant journalism or other professional association;
- Support from senior Education Week journalists during the project, e.g., an assigned Education Week editor, with visits, if relevant, to Education Week’s Bethesda, Md., headquarters; and
- A $3,500 fellowship award for successful completion of the project.
Early-career, midcareer, and veteran journalists based in the United States are eligible. Applicants may work in any journalistic setting, including local and national publications, digital-only news platforms, and broadcast media. Although applicants do not have to be education beat reporters, their experience should include reporting on education or closely related social or public-policy concerns.The fellowship is open to staff and freelance journalists who are able to work independently over a one-year period while still maintaining their regular jobs or work commitments.
For a proposal focused on a topic outside the United States to be considered, it must come from a U.S.-based journalist and have an angle relevant to American pre-K-12 education.
A commitment to co-publication of the finished project by an applicant’s employer or a comparable freelance outlet is not required, but will be considered a plus.
An applicant’s editor or newsroom manager (or, in the case of a freelancer who is proposing co-publication, the equivalent person at the designated outlet) will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation pledging to support the applicant:
- in participating in the fellowship;
- in traveling as needed to complete the project;
- by allowing Education Week to publish the completed project;
- by committing to co-publish the work, as appropriate; and
- by including mention of the journalist’s fellowship support in the package, if co-published.
How Proposals Will Be Judged
In awarding the fellowship, Education Week will consider factors that include the following:
- The significance of the proposed topic and its relevance to Education Week’s core audience of education leaders and practitioners, as well as members of the general public;
- Whether the applicant would approach the topic from a fresh journalistic angle, bring heightened attention to a critical issue in a compelling way, or spotlight an underreported but important trend, problem, or phenomenon in pre-K-12 education;
- Evidence that the applicant will make effective use of innovative tools to help tell the story, such as multimedia components or data journalism;
- Whether the project will not only highlight problems but also explore potential solutions; and
- Whether the applicant has laid out a clear plan for structuring, researching, reporting, and completing the project within the time period of the fellowship noted above.
Because EPE is committed to the inclusion of diverse social backgrounds, economic circumstances, personal characteristics, life experiences, perspectives and beliefs, philosophical outlooks, and other such attributes, applications will also be viewed through this lens.Applications for the fellowship will be reviewed and the final selection made by an Education Week committee that includes the chief executive officer, the editor-in-chief and other members of the Education Week leadership team and newsroom. Greg Chronister serves as an advisory member of the group.