John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships for Experienced Journalists

Deadline: 1 December 2013 for for international applicants , 15 January 2014 for for U.S. applicants
Open to:  international and U.S. journalists
Fellowship: $65000 stipend, plus all tuition, housing, moving, health insurance, books and childcare expenses will be covered.


The Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania each year offer two one-month fellowships to support research in residence in their collections by foreign national scholars of early American history and culture living outside the United States. The fellowships are funded by the Barra Foundation, Inc.


Being a Knight Fellow is a life-changing experience. We are intent on helping fellows become more bold, innovative and excited about journalism — change agents who help re-imagine the future of journalism. Fellows discover new ways of thinking and working and are immersed in the amazing creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Stanford and Silicon Valley. It is a personally and professionally rewarding year.

If you are looking for a traditional sabbatical, this is not the program for you. Knight Fellows spend a significant portion of their time pursuing their innovation proposals and they also take advantage of classes and other activities at Stanford and in Silicon Valley.

We expect fellows to produce something tangible to show for their year. But we urge them to be flexible, to experiment and to take risks. Fellows who embrace this approach often change their project substantially, or drop it altogether to pursue a new idea. We consider this a success of our focus on journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

To learn more about our philosophy and how we define those terms, read our Mission & History.

We support our fellows’ work in numerous ways — through coaching and skills workshops, seminar discussions with thought-leaders in technology, creativity, innovation and journalism.

The most valuable asset we offer fellows is other fellows. They learn from and collaborate with each other. They get advice and find mentors among former Knight Fellows.


U.S. applicants for a Knight Fellowship ideally have at least seven years of full-time professional experience, international applicants ideally have at least five years. But we also consider less experienced applicants with outstanding achievements.

No college degree is required.

Professional background

We consider applicants who fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Full-time journalists
  • Journalism entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Journalism business and management executives

Our definitions:

  • Full-time journalists – Those who write or edit news, commentary, or editorials; critics and reviewers, photojournalists, video journalists, designers, multimedia journalists,editorial cartoonists and supervising editors, anchors, and producers. They may be working for newspapers, wire services, television or radio news departments, web sites, magazines that cover news, commentary or public affairs, news-related startups, or as freelance or independent journalists.
  • Journalism entrepreneurs and innovators – Those whose work or proposals have the potential for great journalistic impact.
  • Journalism business and management executives – Those whose work influences editorial quality, such as publishers, general managers, and station managers. We 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 teaching jobs.

Once selected, fellows must agree to:

  • Devote their energy during the year to the fellowship rather than to regular professional work
  • Spend the academic terms in residence at Stanford
  • Participate fully in fellowship seminars and activities.
  • Fellows from news organizations that support their application must agree to return to that organization.

Benefits of a Fellowship

A Knight Fellowship is invigorating and productive –  for fellows and for journalism. Each year, 20-plus journalists from all over the world come together for 10 months of learning, collaborating, creating and fun. They have a unique opportunity to draw on the richness of knowledge and experience at Stanford University and in Silicon Valley. Fellows, as well as their spouses or partners, have opportunities to join classes taught top Stanford professors. And we enthusiastically include families in fellowship life.

To help fellows get the most out of their year, we provide several financial benefits:

Stipend: $65,000 (paid in 10 monthly installments, September through June)

Tuition: We pay this directly to Stanford for you.

Books, research and equipment allowance: $4,000 (may be used for laptops, digital cameras, recorders, software, books, research fees or payments, web design, fees for non-Stanford courses and workshops and travel expenses related to the fellow’s innovation proposal.)

Housing supplement (total for the year): 

  • $3,000 to single fellows, married fellows and those with domestic partners who are not bringing children.
  • $10,000 for fellows with one child
  • $13,000 for fellows with two or more children

We help fellows search for rental apartments or houses, sharing our database of properties that previous fellows have enjoyed and others that we’ve reviewed, giving advice on best areas to live. Most fellows live near campus. On-campus dorms and married student housing are not available to fellows.

Childcare supplement (total for the year):

  • $12,000 for one child under age 5
  • $9,000 for each additional child under age 5
  • $6,000 for each child ages 5 to 17

Health insurance supplement: Ranges from approximately $3,600 for the year for single fellows to $8,190 for a couple with two or more children, which covers the cost of Stanford health insurance.

Moving supplement:

  • $2,000 to $4,000 to fellows living in the United States, depending on family size
  • $3,000 to $6,000 to fellows living outside the United States, depending on family size

Other benefits

  • Access to some of the world’s most innovative thinkers and organizations, from technology giants to hot new start-ups to Stanford’s 100-plus special institutes and centers.
  • Opportunities to join classes taught by top-notch Stanford professors and instructors in a wide range of specialities. It is not uncommon for classes to be taught by people who also are working 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. A number of  these events also are open to fellows’ children, including two expenses-paid weekend trips to Sonoma and Monterey Bay.
  • Spouses and partners are eligible to take classes and attend fellowship seminars just as the fellows do. Fellows’ children can attend excellent Palo Alto-area schools and are included in some special fellowship social activities.
  • Exposure to the incredible diversity of world views, experiences and cultural traditions that 20-plus fellows from all over the world bring to the program.
  • New friendships, professional connections and entrepreneurial skills that will continue beyond your 10 months with us.


Applications for the  2014-15 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships are now being accepted. The deadline for international applications is Dec. 1, 2013 and the deadline for U.S. applications is Jan. 15, 2014.

The 2014-15 fellowships program begins Sept. 1, 2014 and ends June 5, 2015.

All applications are done online. This webpage includes information on our eligibility requirements, definitions and basic expectations of fellows. Information about the financial benefits we provide fellows in on the Benefits of a Fellowship page. Please review all of this material and read the application instructions document  carefully before you apply. The document includes important information about completing the online application form and submitting work samples.

Application Instructions

Application Instructions
Application Instructions

Questions? Email us at

Apply Now

To begin your application, click on the “Apply Now” button and you will be directed to the online application system. You do not need to complete the application in one sitting or from one computer.

Apply Now to be a 2014-2015 Knight Fellow

Contact Us

If you have a question, the simplest way to reach us is by email at, but you can also fax us, phone us or write to us.

John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships
450 Serra Mall
Building 120, Room 422
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2050

650.723.4937 phone
650.725.6154 fax

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