Mentoring Programs

Our mentoring programs are rooted in the idea that the skills that it takes to produce high-quality science journalism, while complex and challenging, are completely learnable. The Open Notebook exists, in its current form, because over the years thousands of science journalists have been generous enough to share with us their insights, hard-won wisdom, and even their self-doubts and failures, so that others might find the path a little less rocky. Through our mentoring programs, we aim to make that sharing a little more personal.


Early-Career Fellowship Program

The Open Notebook offers a paid, part-time fellowship program for early-career science journalists. During the course of this fellowship, fellows work with a mentor to plan, report, and write articles for publication at The Open Notebook and become part of the TON editorial team. This ten-month program offers fellows the opportunity to explore their career interests and passions and to sharpen their skills as part of a talented, supportive, diverse community of past and present fellows and mentors. This fellowship is made possible through the generous support of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Learn more about the early-career fellowship program here.


The TON Covering Science Peer-Mentoring Community

This peer-mentoring community supports local and general-assignment reporters and editors who may not identify themselves as science journalists but who want to develop greater skills and confidence in incorporating science into their stories. Alongside members supporting each other, a group of experienced science journalists serve as mentors for this community, helping members connect with sources, vet story ideas, edit pitches, and dig deeper into the craft of science writing. A pilot phase of this program was supported through a seed grant from the Science Literacy Foundation, and the program is currently supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Learn more about the Covering Science Mentoring Community here.


The Sharon Dunwoody Science Journalism Mentoring Program

The Sharon Dunwoody Science Journalism Mentoring Program is a free, nine-month mentoring program aimed at increasing the diversity of voices covering science and supporting journalists who are from underrepresented communities or who have experienced higher than average barriers to entry to the field. During the course of this program, each participant will be paired with a paid mentor as part of an individually tailored learning program aimed at providing the skills and community support to help them do their best work in covering science. This mentoring program is made possible at no cost to participants through the generous support of Science Sandbox and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, as well as through charitable donations from members of the science writing community.

Learn more about the Sharon Dunwoody Science Journalism Mentoring Program here.


Mentorship Program for AAAS Mass Media Fellows

In partnership with the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship program, we offer a six-month mentorship program for recent alumni of the MMF program. The program offers one-on-one mentorship with paid mentors, a series of skills and professional-development webinars, and access to a moderated Slack community for fellows and mentors in the program.


International Students Slack Community

We’ve started a Slack community for science writers who are current, past, or aspiring international students to share information and advice about university applications, securing financial aid, dealing with visas and immigration issues, and other academic and day-to-day challenges of being an international student.

If you are (or were or want to be) an international student and would find this community helpful, please join us!


Mentoring for Science Journalists from Low-Income Countries

On an ad-hoc basis, The Open Notebook offers one-on-one remote mentoring for early-career and mid-career journalists who live in or have recently immigrated to the U.S. or Canada from low-income or middle-income countries. The nature of these mentoring arrangements is variable depending on the mentees’ needs and circumstances. There is typically a waiting list for people who wish to participate in this program. If you are interested in being considered for this mentoring program, please contact Siri Carpenter, editor-in-chief, at Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about who you are, where you are from, and what you hope to gain through a mentoring relationship with a member of the TON team. (Don’t worry if English isn’t your first language!)


Want to Create a Mentoring Program with The Open Notebook?

If your journalism school, organization, or newsroom wants to develop a mentoring program for your students, members, fellows, interns, or awardees and would like to partner with The Open Notebook to do so, please contact Siri Carpenter, editor-in-chief, at


Want to Sponsor a Mentee?

If you value the mentoring opportunities that The Open Notebook provides to emerging journalists and would like to financially support one or more mentorships in the form of a charitable donation, thank you! Mentoring is a valuable professional service, and we always pay our mentors for the time, expertise, and care they bring to their work as mentors. Depending on the circumstances, the cost of supporting one months-long mentorship ranges from $1,200-$5,000. To learn more or discuss options, please contact Siri Carpenter, editor-in-chief, at

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