Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship 2018/2019

Filed in fellowships by on January 9, 2018 0 Comments

Deadline: January 31, 2018

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from people and organizations who wish to partner with them on innovative projects that strengthen democracy through better journalism. Each Reynolds Fellow carries out a major project aimed at enhancing the practice or understanding of journalism or advertising.

Whatever your idea, its benefits should extend to other news organizations and the people who depend on them. Successful projects often include devising new strategies to take advantage of an opportunity or solve a problem, building new tools for news organizations, transforming an idea into a market-tested prototype or advancing a prototype so it’s ready for investment or a full product launch.

The fellowship program is focused on innovation and problem-solving. Each fellow is expected to produce deliverables intended to enhance the practice and understanding of journalism or advertising.


There are three types of RJI Fellowships: residential, nonresidential and institutional.

  • Residential fellows spend eight months on the University of Missouri campus, receive an $80,000 stipend and a $10,000 one-time housing or relocation allowance.
  • Nonresidential fellows explore their ideas from their home or office, with an occasional visit to campus. They receive a $20,000 stipend, plus research and travel support.
  • Institutional fellows remain at their post in a newsroom or other organization while developing an idea.  The institutional fellowship stipend — $20,000 — is paid to the company or organization and can be used for salary relief or for another purpose to best ensure the success of the fellowship project.

1. Residential:

Residential fellowships are designed for persons, inside and outside media industries, who want to collaborate with RJI in the pursuit of solutions to a particular journalism problem. Residential fellows spend eight months on campus at the Missouri School of Journalism, taking advantage of the intellectual and technological resources of RJI and the school and interacting with Missouri faculty and students. Resource examples include access to programmers and app developers, financial support to conduct market research, and paid students to produce multimedia content.

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Solutions — in the form of strategies, products or services — developed from these ideas would be shared with many news and news-related organizations. You must reside in Columbia, Missouri, for the duration of this fellowship.

WHO: Anyone above the age of 18
WHEN: Sept. 1, 2018
HOW LONG: 8 months (two academic semesters)
HOW MUCH: Fellows receive a $10,000 a month stipend and a one-time $10,000 allowance to use for relocation or housing.

2. Nonresidential:

Nonresidential fellowships are designed for entrepreneurial individuals with a strong interest in journalism and issues related to digital communications. Your fellowship can be about something you are interested in pursuing on your own or something that could benefit a current employer. Successful ideas, products or strategies should serve as a model for the news industry or help the industry get smarter, faster and nimbler. You do not need to live in Columbia but you will need to make occasional visits to consult with RJI leadership and staff.

WHO: Anyone above the age of 18
WHEN: Starting date is negotiable
HOW LONG: 8 months
HOW MUCH: Fellows receive a $20,000 stipend, payable monthly for eight months at $2,500 per month, plus some research and travel support.

3. Institutional:

Institutional fellowships are designed to unlock some of the thoughtful, meaningful ideas inside newsrooms, ad departments, boardrooms and break rooms that for various reasons can’t get any traction. RJI will collaborate with a leader at a company or institution who will identify an employee who can develop an idea or lead a team that could do it. The employee will be named an RJI Fellow but will continue working at his or her job. The stipend for this fellowship will be paid to the company or institution to be used for salary relief for the part-time fellow, or for another purpose that the company or institution determines will best ensure the success of the fellowship project.

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WHO: Managers and executives from institutions or companies
WHEN: Starting date is negotiable
HOW LONG: 8 months
HOW MUCH: $20,000 payable to the company or institution, in four $5,000 payments


  • RJI Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and news organizations as well as international news outlets.
  • They also welcome proposals from international journalists who plan to partner with U.S.-based news, technology and civil society organizations.


To apply, please clearly describe your experience, relevant connections and expected outcomes during and immediately following your fellowship year.

Complete the application form.

For more information, visit Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship.

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