Applicants must be full-time journalists, with a minimum five years professional experience, whose work appears regularly as an employee or freelancer. Print/digital, broadcast, photo, documentary and graphic/visualization journalists are eligible to apply. There are no academic prerequisites.
All fellows must agree not to work, either in their current job of other paid assignments, maintain residency in Ann Arbor for the duration of the fellowship and attend all program seminars and events. Applicants working in a newsroom are encouraged to obtain employer consent granting a leave of absence with the understanding that, upon completion of the fellowship and where applicable, the fellow will return to their place of employment.
U.S. applicants will be considered for either a general or specialized fellowship. Specialized fellowships are:
- Burton R. Benjamin Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism
- Daniel B. Burke Fellowship in General Studies
- Ford Fellowship in Transportation Technology and Environment
- Benny Friedman Fellowship in Sports Journalism
- Knight Fellowships in Specialty Reporting: Business, Education, Law, Medicine
- Karsten Prager Fellowship in International Reporting
- William C. Richardson Fellowship in Public Policy and Philanthropy
- Time-Warner Fellowship
- Mike Wallace Fellowship in Investigative Reporting
U.S. fellowships are offered for eight months. International fellowships are offered for either four months or eight months, as funding is available.
Fellows are selected on the basis of past performance, future promise and, above all, leadership in some aspect of journalism. Great care goes into assembling classes of fellows that mix the type and size of news organizations as well as geography and background. Typically, 12 Americans are joined by six international colleagues.
Selection is determined by a committee of distinguished journalists and University of Michigan faculty. U.S. finalists are interviewed at Wallace House in April and announced in early May.