We welcome applications for Fellowships. In selecting Press Fellows we apply two main criteria:
- The intellectual and personal qualities of the candidate, including his or her potential for leadership in the profession of journalism; and
- The Project proposal.
Although we are always open to original ideas for Press Fellowship projects, we tend to focus on a number of broad themes. These are:
- The changing role of media in a networked world
- Improving the reporting of business, the environment, sustainable development, medicine, bio-science and technology
- The role of free media in democratic governance
As far as the third theme is concerned, we are keen that the Programme should contribute to 'capacity building' in countries which are emerging from authoritarian regimes and moving (at varying speeds) towards liberal democracy. Journalistic cultures which were shaped under authoritarian conditions do not necessarily adapt well to more open conditions. Yet functioning democracies need free and vibrant media – staffed by journalists who understand their responsibilities and roles under these new conditions.
The selection process
We operate a two-stage selection process.
- Applicants submit an Application Form. This is obtainable for download as a pdf file or a Microsoft Word file. The form should then be submitted directly to us in Cambridge. (For addresses and fax details see here.) In addition to the usual personal details, candidates are asked to nominate two referees who are familiar with their work and to provide a one-page summary of their Project Proposal.
- Each application is scrutinised by a Selection Panel comprised of Programme staff, representatives of the College and external advisers. If the application is approved, then the candidate is offered a place on the Press Fellowship Programme, subject to the necessary sponsorship being found to support the Fellowship.
In drawing up a proposal, we ask candidates to consider the following four questions:
- What exactly do you propose to investigate?
- Why is this worth doing?
- How exactly do you propose to go about your investigation?
- How will you know when you have (a) finished, and (b) succeeded?
The process of answering these questions can be useful in focussing a proposal. It's also important that the proposed project should be on a topic that can usefully be investigated in Cambridge or, failing that, the UK.