Call for Fellowship Proposals

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

The Fellowship

The next TON/BWF fellowship period will begin on January 1, 2017 and end on June 30, 2017. The subsequent fellowship period will begin on July 1, 2017 and end on December 31, 2017. Applicants may express interest for one or both fellowship periods.

During the six-month fellowship period, fellows will report and write six articles for publication at The Open Notebook—a mix of “story behind the story” interviews and reported features—with the guidance of a mentor who will help shape story ideas, provide reporting and writing guidance, edit final copy, and offer career-development mentoring. Fellows (and mentors) will also be part of a professional discussion group composed of former fellowship participants and TON editors.

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 $3,000.


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. (International applicants are welcome. Note that applications, including writing samples, must be in English.)

Selection Criteria

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
  • Proposals for two TON features or multimedia stories (these can take the form of a behind-the-story writer interview; a reported feature on some element of the craft of science writing; or some other creative, feature-length project centered on the craft of science writing). Each proposal should be no more than two paragraphs.
  • Up to three writing samples

Separately, please provide one or two (no more) letters of reference. Please ask referees to send letters directly to


Applications, including letters of reference, must be received by 11:30 p.m. U.S. Central time on October 15, 2016. Selections for both fellowship periods will be announced by November 15, 2016.

Skip to content