2014 Donald W. Reynolds Fellowships

The Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from people and institutions with innovative ideas to improve the practice or understanding of journalism. Because of the ongoing financial challenges to sustain quality journalism, we are particularly interested in ideas on how to connect citizens with news and advertising more efficiently, to grow revenues, to engage communities or to ensure that the industry is taking full advantage of new and emerging technologies. But we welcome any proposals that offer the hope of strengthening the journalism-democracy relationship.

We have three options:

Click to compare the different fellowship programs
Click to compare the different fellowship programs

1. RJI Residential Fellow

Designed for persons, inside and outside media industries, who want to pursue solutions to journalism problems or who have an idea that would explore new opportunities. 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. Some examples include: access to programmers and app developers, financial support to conduct market research, and hiring students to produce multi-media content.

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 for the duration of this fellowship.

  • WHO: Anyone above the age of 18
  • WHEN: Sept. 1, 2014
  • 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.
  • DEADLINE: Feb. 15, 2014

2. RJI Non-residential Fellow

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, nimbler. You do not need to live in Columbia, Mo., but 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/month, plus some research and travel support
  • DEADLINE: Feb. 15, 2014

3. RJI Institutional Fellow

Designed to unlock some of the thoughtful, meaningful ideas inside newsrooms, ad departments, board rooms, break rooms, etc., that for various reasons can’t get any traction. RJI will work 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 to 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.

  • 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
  • DEADLINE: Feb. 15, 2014

How to apply

It’s easy. In a Word document, answer the four questions below and give us some contact and other personal info. Send the document with a short cover e-mail to Roger Gafke, RJI’s selection committee chairman, at rjifellows2014@rjionline.org.

If you want more information about us, please start here.

The questions

Each answer should be 250 words or less.

  1. Are you interested in a residential, non-residential or institutional fellowship?
  2. Describe the idea you would like to pursue.
  3. Outline some of the key issues you would need to tackle to bring your idea to fruition.
  4. Tell us what a successful outcome of your fellowship would be.

In addition, please include the following information at the top of your document:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Education
  • Employer and/or related work experience