The Open Notebook/Burroughs Wellcome Fund Early Career for Science Writers Fellowship 2023

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Application Deadline: October 31, 2022.

We are accepting applications for the next round of The Open Notebook/Burroughs Wellcome Fund fellowship for early-career science writers. (In arranging fellowships, we can work around issues such as graduate program completion dates, other journalism fellowships or internships, family responsibilities, and work visa approvals processes. We are also flexible about making schedule changes after fellowships begin to accommodate major professional and life events.)

This ten-month fellowship is remote and part-time. Fellows will report and write five articles for publication at The Open Notebook with the guidance of a mentor who will help shape story ideas, provide reporting and writing guidance, edit final copy, and offer career-development mentoring. Fellows and mentors will also take part in a Slack-based professional discussion group composed of former fellowship participants and TON editors. During the fellowship, fellows will be responsible for hosting two informal Slack discussions centered on aspects of craft that are of interest to them. Each fellow will receive a stipend of $5,500.


The fellowship is open to early-career science journalists with less than two years of regular professional science writing experience. Note the following details:

  • Internships and student work do not count toward this requirement.
  • Exceptions to this requirement may also be made for cases in which an applicant has more than two years of professional experience but some or all of that experience is not in English.
  • Graduate students in the sciences who are interested in science writing are eligible.
  • International applicants are welcome. However, applications, including writing samples and letters of recommendation, must be in English.

PLEASE NOTE: Although it is part-time, this fellowship requires a significant weekly time commitment, and juggling the fellowship along with a full-time job can be challenging. Prospective fellows who have full-time jobs are welcome to apply, but should consider carefully whether they will be able to devote sufficient time to completing articles as specified in the fellowship description.

This includes:

  • making time for conducting phone interviews with sources,
  • weekly phone meetings with mentors,
  • multiple rounds of editing and revision for most stories,
  • participating in conversations in the fellowship Slack community.

Selection Criteria:

Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate:

  • A strong intention to work primarily as a professional science journalist. (Note: This fellowship is intended for people whose main goal is to do journalism, as opposed to other forms of science communication.)
  • Some training and/or experience writing about science for the general public (it does not have to be extensive)
  • Some understanding of the science journalism profession, the challenges science journalists commonly face, and the ways in which you would like to grow as a science journalist
  • Familiarity with The Open Notebook and the types of topics we tend to cover
  • An ability to generate good story ideas suitable for The Open Notebook
  • Strong writing ability (If English is not your first language, we do take this into consideration and do not expect flawless writing. However, for a successful experience in this fellowship you must have a fairly high level of proficiency in English.)

Details and Application here

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