BBC journalism fellowships 2014-15: Applications close 11 March

Tuesday 4 March 2014, 14:44

Jonathan Baker Jonathan Baker is head of the BBC College of Journalism

Reuters Institute, Oxford University BBC journalists are again invited to apply for two prestigious fellowships designed to enable experienced people to step out of their day job, develop new insights and bring something fresh back to the organisation.

The University of Michigan Fellowship and the Reuters Fellowship at Oxford University - both supported by the BBC - are open to all senior journalists across BBC journalism:

The Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan

The Knight-Wallace Fellowship offers a four-month placement for BBC staff at the largest research university in the world. Applicants will attend for one semester, to begin in either September 2014 or January 2015. The closing date for applications is 11 March 2014.

The Fellowship aims to provide “a broader perspective, nurture intellectual growth, and inspire personal transformation”.

You will study to complete the project you have outlined in your application, select classes from the full range of courses offered at the university, and have access to twice-weekly seminars by prominent journalists and leading academics.

Typically, 12 American Fellows are joined at Michigan by six international colleagues.

The project

The programme of research undertaken should be relevant to your work as a BBC journalist. For example, it may be related to a specialist or topical subject, or the changing nature of journalism as a whole.

To apply

To be eligible to apply, you must be a BBC journalist on a continuing contract who can demonstrate a successful career history and show the potential to make the most of this investment in you and your job.

Terms and conditions

The successful candidate will need to take unpaid leave or a career break. Your BBC salary will not be paid while you are in the US; nor will the BBC pay your travel expenses. However, the Fellowship carries a generous stipend and covers all academic fees, health insurance and one international trip.

Before making an application, you should ensure that your line manager is willing to support you and release you at the appropriate time. It is also important that you understand the implications of taking a career break in terms of its possible effect on your pension.

Selection will be based on career history, management endorsement, proposals for study and the interview. A BBC panel will select a small number of candidates to recommend to Michigan for the final decision.

To apply, please download and complete this application form (ignore suggestions that the deadline has already passed!). Note that the form requires you to submit two separate papers of 1,500 words and 500 words respectively. If you are selected to go forward for consideration by Michigan, you will be asked to provide online links to examples of your work.

Past BBC Fellows include Steve Titherington, Alicia McCarthy, Alf Hermida, Pam O'Toole, Andrew Whitehead, Sue Nelson, Joanne Episcopo, Caroline Finnigan, Mike Baker, Peter Burdin, Patricia Whitehorne, Charlie Partridge, David Edmonds, John Cary, Joanna Mills, Maurice Walsh, Roger Harrabin, Nigel Doran, Amir Paivar, Jenny Baxter, John Walton and Michael Innes.   

Completed forms should be sent to Alison Lobo at the College of Journalism, Room BC2D1, BBC Broadcast Centre, by 11 March. Please do not send forms direct to Michigan.  

Contact me if you have any questions:


The Journalist Fellowship Programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

The Journalist Fellowship Programme provides mid-career BBC journalists with the opportunity to study and research a work-related project for three to four months.

It should be a project that will broaden an individual’s academic horizons as well as benefit the BBC. The closing date for applications is 11 March 2014.

Based at the University of Oxford, this Reuters programme brings together experienced journalists from around the world for one term of residential study in the academic year 2014-15. A contribution to accommodation expenses will be paid, and tuition fees will be met by the BBC College of Journalism. The team at the Reuters Institute can provide suggestions for accommodation in Oxford. 

The project

As with the Michigan fellowship, the programme of research should relate to your work as a BBC journalist - perhaps to a specialist or topical subject or the changing nature of journalism. Fellows are asked to produce a major piece of writing of between 6,000 and 8,000 words. Candidates will also be expected to show how their research could be used by the BBC when they return to work.

It's important to remember that you will have only three months to complete this project, so make sure it is realistic and achievable within the time.

Fellows are given access to Oxford University and Green Templeton College facilities and services, and are assigned their own academic adviser to help them with their project. They also take part in seminars and other special events involving distinguished speakers.

The programme has been established for more than 30 years, attracting nearly 500 journalist fellows from around the world. Institute director Dr David Levy outlines what is on offer:

"The BBC fellowship is an immensely valuable part of the Oxford programme. The BBC features prominently in the international, comparative research, discussion and debate of journalism that is at the heart of the Institute’s activities.

“The international journalist fellows typically know about the BBC and want to learn more or include it in their research projects. Equally, BBC journalists can learn a huge amount from the Reuters experience, through the chance to move outside their comfort zone, engage with journalists from around the world and have their ideas challenged through exchanges with other journalists and experts.

“That experience, the network of fellows they will establish and their excellent research projects give BBC journalists a great deal to take back to the BBC."

Recent BBC Fellows include Jeremy Hayes (2008-09), Ric Bailey (2010-11), Emma Jane Kirby and Giang Nguyen (2009-10), Richard Lawson (2011) Emre Azizlerli (2012) and Daniel Griffiths (2013).

Terms and conditions

Only BBC journalists on a continuing contract are eligible to apply. You will need to demonstrate a successful career history and show the potential to meet this investment in you.

The successful candidate will need to take unpaid leave or a career break. Your BBC salary will not be paid during the time you are in Oxford, and there is no stipend over and above the tuition fees and accommodation allowance, which the BBC will pay.

And, as above, you should ensure that your line manager is supportive and able to release you. Once again, it is important that you understand any implications for your pension of taking a career break of this kind.

Find out more about the Reuters Institute.

To apply

Complete a BBC application form, which:

Details your career history

Provides a supporting statement from your manager endorsing your application and confirming your release for three months, and

Outlines your proposed research topic. This should indicate a planned approach to your research and the sources you might seek to use. You should aim for 500-750 words.

Selection will be based on career history, management endorsement, proposals for study and interview by a panel on which both Reuters and the BBC will be represented.

You can obtain a form from Alison Lobo at the College of Journalism: You should return it to her at Room BC2D1, BBC Broadcast Centre, by 11 March 2014.

Please get in touch with me if you have any questions:

Only open minded fellows need apply


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