John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford

Deadline: 4 December 2019
Open to: journalists with at least seven years of full-time professional experience and international applicants with at least five years of experience
Benefits: a stipend of USD 85,000 and other benefits


Each year,  the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford bring together up to 20 fellows from around the world to work on ideas to address the most urgent problems facing journalism. If you aspire to be a leader who can help reimagine and transform journalism, you should apply for this program.

From September to June, JSK Fellows spend their time on individual and collaborative projects to address these challenges. Fellows also participate in special workshops and weekly events, explore the abundant resources on the Stanford campus and in Silicon Valley, and have the option of sitting in on classes. Stanford is home to some of the leading initiatives in journalism and communication, including the Computational Journalism Lab, the Virtual Human Interaction Lab and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. They enthusiastically include spouses, partners and families in fellowship life. If you are looking for a sabbatical or a solitary experience, the JSK Fellowships is not the program for you.

Applicants should propose a project that is focused on addressing some aspect of  what they believe are the most urgent problems facing journalism:

  • Challenging Misinformation and Disinformation
  • Holding the Powerful Accountable
  • Eradicating News Deserts and Strengthening Local News
  • Fighting Bias, Intolerance and Injustice

They expect that JSK Fellows will explore a range of issues in pursuing their projects, such as audience engagement, data science and new business models, and that they may leverage the technology of all kinds, including artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

Diversity of background, experience, and viewpoints is a fundamental value of their program. Applicants must demonstrate their ability and desire to work collaboratively and respectfully with people with a range of ideas and perspectives. They want fellows who arrive at Stanford with more questions than answers, and who are open to having their assumptions and ideas challenged.

Their fellows have access to classes at Stanford, but they are not an academic program. They encourage our fellows to explore the breadth of Stanford and Silicon Valley, which extends far beyond the classroom.

They do not award fellowships to support:

  • Reporting projects;
  • Academic research projects;
  • Book projects;
  • Startups and founders seeking a business accelerator experience.



U.S. applicants typically have at least seven years of full-time professional experience; international applicants typically have at least five years of experience. They will consider less experienced applicants who have outstanding achievements. They do not require applicants to have a college degree.

Professional background

They consider applicants in these categories:

  • Journalists employed by a news organization or freelance journalists;
  • Journalism entrepreneurs and innovators;
  • Journalism business and management executives.

They do not accept applications from people working in public information or public relations jobs, for trade and house newsletters or magazines, for government agencies, or in academic positions.


They provide JSK Fellows with several financial benefits, including a stipend of USD 85,000. In addition to this stipend, they provide an additional supplement for fellows with children. They also cover the cost of Stanford tuition and Stanford health care for fellows, spouses and children. They also help fellows find housing.

Other benefits of a JSK Fellowship:

  • Access to some of the world’s most innovative thinkers and organizations, from technology giants to hot new startups to Stanford’s 100-plus special institutes and centers;
  • Opportunities to join classes taught by top Stanford professors and instructors in a wide range of specialties. It is common for classes to be taught by people who also work in the vanguard of their fields in the private sector;
  • A rich intellectual and cultural campus life, including live theater, music and dance performances and special lectures and events;
  • Fellowship social events where everyone can get to know one another;
  • Spouses and partners are eligible to take some classes and attend many fellowship seminars. Fellows’ children attend excellent Palo Alto-area schools and are included in some fellowship social activities (See: JSK Fellowship experience enriches the lives of the entire family).
  • Exposure to the incredible diversity of world views, experiences and cultural traditions that fellows from all over the world bring to the program.
  • New friendships, professional connections and entrepreneurial skills that will continue beyond the 10 months fellows spend at Stanford.

How to apply?

Elements of a JSK application:

For more information, please visit the official web page.