The Open Notebook (TON) Early-Career Fellowship Program for Early-Career Science Journalists

The Open Notebook (TON) Early-Career Fellowship Program for Early-Career Science Journalists

Every year, The Open Notebook offers a paid, part-time fellowship program for early-career science journalists. During the course of this fellowship, fellows work with a mentor to plan, report, and write articles for publication at The Open Notebook and become part of the TON editorial team.

This ten-month program offers fellows the opportunity to explore their career interests and passions and to sharpen their skills as part of a talented, supportive, diverse community of past and present fellows and mentors.

During this fellowship, each fellow will pitch, report, and write four articles for publication at The Open Notebook—a mix of “story behind the story” interviews and reported features.

They will have weekly phone or video meetings with a mentor who is an experienced science journalist and who will help them shape story ideas, provide reporting and writing guidance, edit fellows’ article drafts, and offer general craft and career-development advice and guidance. Typically, fellows’ articles go through several rounds of substantive editing.


The fellowship is open to early-career science journalists with fewer than three years of regular professional science writing experience. Please note the following details:

  • Internships and student work do not count toward this requirement.

  • Exceptions to this requirement may be made for cases in which an applicant has more than three years of professional science writing experience but some or all of that experience is not in English.

  • Some training and/or experience in writing for the general public is a requirement for this fellowship.

  • International applicants are welcome. However, applications, including writing
    samples and letters of recommendation, must be in English. Materials translated into English from another language are acceptable.

    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.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; The Open Notebook (TON) Early-Career Fellowship Program for Early-Career Science Journalists

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