2015 Donald W. Reynolds Fellowships

The application process for the 2015-2016 Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Fellowships is now closed.

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from people and institutions to collaborate with RJI on innovative ideas and projects to improve the practice or understanding of journalism. We’re giving special consideration this year to ideas and projects focused on mobile engagement and monetization; however, we also invite submission of other ideas and projects that could strengthen democracy through better journalism.

Successful collaborations are often in one of three categories but are not limited to these categories:

  • Transformation of an idea into a market tested prototype;
  • Development and deployment of a prototyped product or service into a substantial market test to prepare it for angel or venture investment or a full launch of the project;
  • Scholarly research that leads to publication of new understandings about the practice of journalism.

We have three formats for RJI Fellowships:

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 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. 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, 2015
  • 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. 1, 2015

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, Missouri, 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. 1, 2015

3. RJI Institutional Fellowships

Designed to unlock some of the thoughtful, meaningful ideas inside newsrooms, ad departments, boardrooms, break rooms, etc., 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 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. 1, 2015

How to apply

The application process for the 2015-2016 Donald W. Reynolds Fellowships is now closed.

For those proposals we want to advance to the next stage of consideration, we will ask you to answer a second, more detailed set of questions about the project, its deliverables, your qualifications to collaborate with us, what your team will contribute to that collaboration and what you may need from RJI in the collaboration. After that, we may interview some of those who submit second-stage applications.

We plan to make our selection of Fellows in the early spring. The materials you submit in this application process become the property of RJI to use as part of our mission to advance the practice of journalism. We will notify you at the e-mail address you supply of our final decision regarding you application.

If you have questions about this process, contact Roger Gafke, RJI’s selection committee chairman, at rjifellows2015@rjionline.org. If you want more information about us, please start here.

This Fellowship application service is adapted from the
Scholarship Management System provided by WizeHive.