The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner with us on practical innovative projects for local news.

Chosen projects often include devising new strategies or models to solve a problem, building new tools, creating a training workshop/program or building resources for journalists. All fellowship projects are built and implemented within the span of the 8 month fellowship.

Applications open Jan. 3, 2022

Past fellows have built a data guide for small newsrooms, a toolkit to help Latina journalists fight discrimination and a guide to starting a community based publication. Our 2021 fellows are currently working on projects that address accessibility, equity and community engagement.

Whatever your idea, its creation should benefit other news organizations, journalists and the people who depend on them. You will publish regular updates to share what you’re learning for other newsrooms or journalists who want to tackle similar projects.

The final product of your fellowship must be a resource that journalists and newsrooms can utilize – whether it’s a guide, toolkit, platform, workshop or tool.

RJI Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and U.S. news organizations. We also accept proposals from international journalists who plan to partner with U.S.-based news and/or organizations to address a challenge that impacts U.S. journalism and newsrooms.

Fellowship type Location Stipend Additional support Length
Residential Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, Missouri $10,000 a month and a one time reimbursement for relocation costs up to $10,000 Access to RJI’s services, facilities and collaboration with staff and students 8 months
Nonresidential Your current location or location of choice $20,000 total, distributed as $5,000 quarterly to you Consulting relationship with RJI staff 8 months
Institutional Your current location or location of choice $20,000 total, distributed as $5,000 quarterly to your institution Consulting relationship with RJI staff 8 months

We have three types of RJI Fellowships:

1. Residential

Residential fellowships are designed for individuals who want to collaborate with RJI staff, students and faculty on-site at our institute in Columbia, Missouri. Residential fellows spend eight months on campus at the Missouri School of Journalism to take advantage of the intellectual and technological resources of RJI and the Missouri School of Journalism. Resource examples include access to programmers and app developers, support to conduct market research, and paid students to produce multimedia content.

Your final project — in the form of strategies, products or services — developed from the original idea will be shared with many news and news-related organizations. You must reside in Columbia, Missouri, for the duration of this fellowship. The project can be tested and implemented at one of the Mizzou newsrooms or another newsroom of your choice during your fellowship.

WHO QUALIFIES:
Anyone above the age of 18
START DATE:
July 1, 2022
DURATION:
8 months (two academic semesters)
STIPEND:
Fellows receive a $10,000 a month stipend and a one-time reimbursement for relocations up to $10,000.
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
March 25, 2022

2. Nonresidential

Nonresidential fellowships can tackle something you are interested in pursuing on your own or something that could benefit a current employer. You do not need to live in Columbia but you will need to make at least one visit to consult with RJI leadership and staff. Your project will be implemented and tested in the newsroom of your choice during your fellowship.

WHO:
Anyone above the age of 18
START:
July 1, 2022
HOW LONG:
8 months
STIPEND:
Fellows receive a $20,000 stipend, payable quarterly in increments of $5000.
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
March 25, 2022

3. Institutional

Institutional fellowships are designed to unlock some of the thoughtful, meaningful ideas in your newsroom or company that for various reasons haven’t been able to be explored yet. RJI will collaborate with a leader at your institution or company who can develop the idea and lead a team that will make it a reality. That leader 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. The project will be implemented and tested at the institution or in a newsroom of their choice during the fellowship.

WHO:
Managers and executives from institutions or companies
START:
July 1, 2022
HOW LONG:
8 months
STIPEND:
Fellow’s institutions receive a $20,000 stipend, payable quarterly in increments of $5000 to the institution
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
March 25, 2022

How to apply

Open the application form at this link.

submit

Questions you will answer:

What will you be creating/building for your fellowship project? 

What problem or need in local journalism does your idea address?

Who are you hoping to serve with your final product? (Ex: specific newsrooms, geographical areas, communities etc)

Where do you plan to implement/test this project during your fellowship? (You will be expected to implement your idea in a newsroom during your fellowship and publish results from it. If you would like to work with a Mizzou newsroom, please put that.)

How do you see your previous experiences in journalism informing your project 

Tell us about a time you built something from scratch 

Is there anything else we should take into consideration?


For proposals we advance to the next stage of consideration, you will be asked to answer a second, more detailed set of questions about the project, its deliverables, your qualifications to collaborate with us and more. After the second stage, we will interview finalists for the fellowships.

If you have questions about this process, contact Kat Duncan.