U.S. applications for the 2024-2025 academic year are now open
What to Prepare
Please read this page carefully as it contains instructions on submitting the required documents, work samples and reference letters to successfully submit your application.
- To apply, you will create an account on OpenWater.
- You can save your information and return to the application at any time before your final submission.
You will be asked to provide contact information for yourself and your employer, demographic information and answer questions about your journalism achievements. You will also be asked to upload several documents including a resume, journalism project proposal, personal statement, and work samples.
In this section, you will be required to upload three documents. The content and format are described below.
You will be required to upload a document to include educational background information, all relevant positions held since completing formal education, and professional awards received.
2. Journalism Project Proposal
In no more than 500 words, tell us what you hope to gain for yourself, your news organization or the field of journalism more broadly. Do your reporting. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the University of Michigan and its many schools, departments and resources. We do not need to know the specific courses you would take, but rather the academic areas and subjects you wish to pursue and/or the university resources that you plan to tap into. Be creative and authentic. Select a project that speaks to your goals and passions. Journalism projects can include, but are not limited to, sharpening professional skills, addressing a challenge facing your newsroom, digging into data and research for a long-term reporting project or developing a journalism venture.
You will also be asked to summarize your fellowship project in 60 words or less.
3. Personal Statement
You will be required to upload a personal statement of up to 1,500 words. This statement should examine what inspires you as a journalist including your life experiences, professional interests and core ethical values. How have these factors influenced your decision to submit an application for a fellowship at this point in your career? What are your professional aspirations and how do you expect the fellowship to help you attain those goals?
Please submit three samples of your work. You may submit samples from more than one medium in the accepted formats as indicated in the application. Samples should be from the past two years.
- Print/Digital: Samples should include dates of publication.
- Photography: Include captions indicating when and where photographs were published. These photographs should be from the past two years.
- Video and Audio: Maximum viewing or listening time should be a total of 30 minutes highlighting work from the past two years. Include a brief description indicating dates aired and a statement describing your involvement in each piece.
- Editors/Managers: Upload a statement of no more than 500 words describing your job responsibilities and approach to your work. In addition to the statement, you may also submit stories or projects and include a description of your role in the piece.
- Graphic/Visualization: Include dates of publication.
Request for References
You are required to enter the name, affiliation, title and email address of the two professional references who will be asked to complete a form on your behalf. A link to the reference form will automatically be sent to the email addresses you provide. Once the requests are sent, you will receive confirmation that your references have been contacted. To check on the status of those submissions, log into your OpenWater account. Requests to your recommenders to complete our reference form may be sent before completing and submitting the final application, or upon final submission.
The deadline for the references to complete the form is February 7.
The two required references are:
- One professional reference from a past or present supervisor or colleague.
- A reference from your current immediate supervisor elucidating your qualifications for a Knight-Wallace Fellowship and granting a leave of absence to participate in the program.*
* If you are unable to obtain a reference from your current supervisor, you will be asked to please explain why on the application.
Please note: If your references have not received the email request within 24 hours of you submitting the request, please ask them to check their SPAM box before contacting us.