The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner with us on innovative projects that strengthen journalism’s future.

Chosen projects often include devising new strategies or models to solve a problem, building new tools, creating a prototype or advancing a prototype so it’s ready for investment or launch. All projects will be built and implemented in a newsroom within the span of the 8 month fellowship.

Whatever your idea, its benefits should be able to extend to other news organizations and the people who depend on them. You will publish regular updates at to share what you’re learning and how it could benefit news organizations. At the end of your fellowship, you will publish the results and lessons learned from the implementation of your project after it has been tested or utilized in a newsroom.

RJI Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and news organizations as well as international news outlets. We also welcome proposals from international journalists who plan to partner with U.S.-based news, technology and civil society organizations.

Fellowship typeLocationStipendAdditional supportLength
ResidentialReynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia, Missouri$10,000 a month and a one time reimbursement for relocation costs up to $10,000Access to RJI’s services, facilities and collaboration with staff and students8 months
NonresidentialYour current location or location of choice$20,000 total, distributed as $5,000 quarterly to youConsulting relationship with RJI staff8 months
InstitutionalYour current location or location of choice$20,000 total, distributed as $5,000 quarterly to your institutionConsulting relationship with RJI staff8 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 18START DATE:June 1, 2021DURATION: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:Dec. 18, 2020

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 18START:Starting date is negotiableHOW LONG:8 monthsSTIPEND:Fellows receive a $20,000 stipend, payable quarterly in increments of $5000.APPLICATION DEADLINE:Dec. 18, 2020

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 companiesSTART:Starting date is negotiableHOW LONG:8 monthsSTIPEND:Fellow’s institutions receive a $20,000 stipend, payable quarterly in increments of $5000 to the institutionAPPLICATION DEADLINE:Dec. 18, 2020

How to apply

Open the application form at this link.


The questions in the first stage of the application you will be asked to complete are:

  1. Name, phone, email and twitter handle
  2. Location
  3. Type of fellowship you are applying for
  4. Please summarize your project idea in one succinct paragraph
  5. What problem or need in journalism does the project address?
  6. Who will benefit from the creation of your project?
  7. How and where do you plan to implement it once it is completed/built?
  8. Is there anything else you feel we should take into consideration
  9. Attach resume/CV

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.

We plan to make our selection of fellows in the early spring. The materials you submit in this application process become the property of RJI to used as part of our mission to advance the practice of journalism. We will notify you at the e-mail address you supply of our final decision regarding your application.

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

For more information please open this link

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