Call for Applications, The Santa Fe Institute’s Journalism Fellowship In Complex Systems

Posted: July 5, 2014 in News and Views

Craig Zelizer on June 16, 2014 at 9:05pm in Scholarship, Fellowship Opportunities and Academic Programs View Discussions

The Santa Fe Institute’s Journalism Fellowship In Complex Systems

The application window is open. Apply by August 1, 2014.


With the generous support of SFI Board of Trustees Chair Emeritus Bill Miller, the Santa Fe Institute offers a journalism fellowship for accomplished reporters. National and international journalists with a demonstrated interest in and record of reporting about matters related to complex adaptive systems are encouraged to apply for the paid, residential fellowship in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The premise of the fellowship is to transcend the journalist’s shorter-term, deadline-driven reporting focus to explore complex systems science more deeply, to gain an appreciation for the history of and trends in the field, to discover the state and limitations of current scientific theory, to understand the issues underlying current scientific debates in many scientific fields, and to interact with the unmatched collection of top scientists collaborating across disciplines at the Santa Fe Institute. With this knowledge, the fellow returns to his or her day-to-day reporting better prepared to convey the interrelatedness of solutions to the complex problems we face.

Fellowship terms are at least one month and up to three months, which provides an immersive opportunity for the selected fellow or fellows to participate in SFI complexity education programs, and to participate in scientific workshops, working groups, offsite meetings such as Business Network Topical Meetings, or SFI Short Courses.

A monthly-equivalent stipend of $7,000 is provided; housing in Santa Fe is paid for by the selected fellow. This stipend may enhance the fellow’s existing salary, or the journalist’s employer may use the stipend to offset his or her ongoing salary. Enrollment in co-occurring SFI education programs is provided free of charge. Health care coverage is not provided, nor are relocation expenses. Travel reimbursement of up to $2,000 is provided so the fellow may participate in one or more SFI-sponsored offsite events. Other travel is not covered (except to reimburse top candidates for travel to SFI during an introductory visit/interview prior to the fellowship).

To ensure immersion in complex systems science, selected fellows are expected to refrain from routine reporting in their normal news media outlets during the fellowship. (However, maintaining the continuity of ongoing blogging and social media activity by selected fellows is accepted and encouraged.) No specific reporting outcome or product is expected or required of selected fellows.

This is the fellowship’s second year. SFI’s inaugural journalism fellows are listed here.

Selection process

The application deadline is August 1, 2014.

Candidate journalists are self-identified or are recommended by Santa Fe Institute faculty, staff, or trustees or by their employers or colleagues. Top candidates may be asked to visit the Institute once for in-person interviews. Final decisions will be made by the Institute’s president.

Application submission requirements

Resume or CV
Five past examples of bylined professional work that demonstrate substantive past coverage of issues relating to or illustrative of complex adaptive systems (accepted file formats include pdf, scan, or active url)
Fellowship proposal letter detailing how the journalist intends to use the fellowship to further his or her own journalistic experience and perspective
Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the journalist’s work
Eligibility requirements

We seek accomplished, actively reporting journalists.

Applicants are considered whose reporting in the national and international news media demonstrate an interest in science or in problems that interdisciplinary science can help address. (Applicants need not consider themselves “science journalists,” however.)
Each applicant must be able to demonstrate his or her status as an actively reporting journalist (any beat) consecutively for at least the previous seven years. Freelance journalists must be able to demonstrate routine, frequent reporting for the past seven years.
Applicants may be reporters, writers, editors, producers, or program hosts. They may work in newspapers, magazines, news websites, television, or radio.
Journalists from all countries will compete equally; top priority will be afforded journalists working primarily in the English language.
There are no educational prerequisites.
Professionals now working primarily in public information, public relations, the trade press, government, or academia without all of the above experience requirements are not eligible.

Selected applicants must agree to the following requirements:

To reside in the Santa Fe area for the full term of the fellowship and to report to work at the Santa Fe Institute on a full-time basis during the fellowship.
To refrain from professional reporting during the fellowship (maintaining continuity of existing blogging and social media activities is permitted and encouraged)
To give at least one informal talk during the fellowship (topic TBD)
For international selectees, to obtain required travel credentials including an appropriate visa with a status allowing direct payment and receipt of U.S. payments

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