The Nieman Foundation
selects an equal number of U.S. and international journalists.
Twelve U.S. and 12 international fellowships are awarded
to journalists of accomplishment and promise who have demonstrated
a capacity for growth and leadership and whose application
statements argue persuasively that their experience at Harvard
will improve their abilities as journalists.
Two of the most important parts of the Nieman
application process are the personal statement and the proposal
for study at Harvard. The selection committee carefully
evaluates the statements for both accomplishment and potential.
The committee is particularly interested in indicators that
suggest a significant capacity for growth and leadership
and that answer the question, would a year at Harvard help
make the candidate a better journalist?
There is no nomination process. Candidates
nominate themselves by submitting an application and supplementary
materials. There is no age limit. There are no academic
prerequisites. No college degree is required.
All applicants must be full-time staff or
freelance journalists for the news or editorial departments
of newspapers, wire services, radio, television, online
publications or magazines of general public interest. Additionally,
photojournalists, editorial cartoonists, columnists and
broadcast producers are eligible.
All applicants must have at least five
years of professional news-media experience, although most
have been working for between seven and 10 years. Among
recent applicants, the average professional experience is
12 years. Work done as a university student does not count
toward experience. People who work in public relations or
at organizations whose primary business is not the media
are not eligible.
All applicants must have their employer's
consent for a leave of absence during the academic year
(mid-August through mid-June). Those who have recently participated
in a fellowship, full-time course of study or other sabbatical
program lasting six months or more, must wait two years
before applying for a Nieman Fellowship.
Once candidates have been chosen and
before their confirmation as Nieman Fellows by the Harvard
Corporation, they must agree in writing to four stipulations:
- To return at the end of the sabbatical year to the employer
who granted the leave of absence.
- To refrain from professional work during the period of
- To complete all the work in two academic courses of their
choice: one in the fall semester, the other in the spring.
- To remain in residence in the Cambridge area each term
while classes are in session.
How to apply
To request or download an application package,
please visit online:
For the most current information about the
fellowships, please visit: