Call for Fellowship Applications

logo-bwfWe are now accepting applications for The Open Notebook/Burroughs Wellcome Fund fellowship for early-career science writers. (See here for stories written by our previous two fellows.)

The Fellowship

The next four-month TON/BWF fellowship will begin on November 15, 2014 and end on March 15, 2015. A second fellowship will begin on March 15 and end on July 15. (If you are available for only one or the other of these periods, please note in your application that your availability would be limited to that period.)

During the fellowship period, fellows will produce a total of five articles for publication at The Open Notebook—a mix of “story behind the story” interviews, reported features, and other resources, with the guidance of a mentor who will help shape story ideas, provide reporting and writing guidance as needed, and edit final copy. The fellowship will be remote and will be part-time. Thanks to a generous grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, each fellow will receive a stipend of $1,800.


The fellowship is open to early-career science writers with fewer than two years of professional science writing experience. (Internships and student work do not count toward this requirement). Graduate students interested in science writing are eligible. Prospective fellows must be available to devote sufficient time to completing articles as specified in the fellowship description.

Selection Criteria

TON’s editors will select one fellow for the fall 2014/winter 2015 period and one for the spring 2015 period. Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate an ability to propose good feature ideas and who show strong writing ability.

Application Process

Applicants should email the following documents (collated into a single PDF file) to

  • A resume or CV
  • A one-page letter of interest explaining why you are seeking the fellowship and what you hope to learn from the experience
  • Up to three writing samples
  • Proposals for two TON features or multimedia stories (these can take the form of a behind-the-story writer interview; a topical feature on some element of the craft of science writing; or some other project centered on the craft of science writing). Each proposal should be no more than two paragraphs.

Separately, please provide one or two (no more) letters of reference. (Applicants who applied for our last round of fellowships, last winter, may re-use letters from their previous applications, if they wish. If doing so, please indicate as much at the TOP of your application letter.) Please ask referees to send letters directly to


Applications, including letters of reference, must be received by midnight (Central time), October 27, 2014.