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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to apply?

Working print and electronic journalists with fewer than 10 years of professional experience in journalism are eligible to apply. Each applicant may submit only one fellowship proposal per year. Applicants must be citizens of the United States.

What types of fellowship grants are offered?

The Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program offers full-time $75,000 fellowships and part-time $35,000 fellowships. The full-time fellowships include a $60,000 fellowship grant and up to $15,000 to reimburse expenses. The part-time fellowships are comprised of a $28,000 grant and up to $7,000 for expenses. Full-time fellowship winners are expected to devote their full energies to completing their one-year fellowship and should not be employed elsewhere. Part-time fellowship winners may continue employment during the term of their one-year fellowship.

What topics are of interest to the Novak Journalism Fellowship judges?

Fellowship proposals should focus on journalism supportive of American culture and a free society. This program was created to provide fellowships for projects to be undertaken by journalists who share our mission to advance constitutional principles, a democratic society and a vibrant free-enterprise system. In addition to the regular fellowships, we may award special fellowships on the environment, on free enterprise and on law enforcement. Please view the list of fellowship winners to see projects previously awarded fellowship grants.

If I’m granted a fellowship, how do I submit my project?

During the course of the one-year fellowship, the journalism project will be delivered in four quarterly installments and should be double-spaced and no more than 25–30 pages. Each installment should be formatted to have the potential to be published sequentially in a periodical or all together as a book.

What is the schedule of grant and expense payments?

In addition to the funds set aside to reimburse the Fellow’s expenses ($15,000 for a full-time fellowship and $7,000 for a part-time fellowship), the fellowship grant will be paid in four increments to correspond with completion of the quarterly writing installments. An installment must be judged acceptable by the Trustees before payment of the corresponding increment.

What is the application process?

Application materials must be mailed and postmarked by Feb. 13, 2017. Please do not fax or email your application or other materials. Letters of recommendation must also be postmarked by the deadline date, although we can receive these references via email, if it is more convenient. Please have three individuals familiar with your work and your fellowship proposal submit a letter of recommendation directly to The Novak Fellowship Program. Recommendation letters can be sent via email to:

When submitting writing samples with your application, please send five sets of three relevant samples of your work, noting date and place of publication. You are asked to submit no more than three samples of work which demonstrate your journalistic abilities and your support of American culture and a free society. In addition to published articles, books and chapters of books may be submitted as samples of your work. Each part of a series will be considered one article.

Your application is judged by a panel of trustees in March. Finalists will be invited to our offices in Washington, D.C. in March for interviews with the judges. Winners are selected that day. Winners will be announced to the public at an awards dinner held in May each year at the National Press Club.

Applications packets should be postmarked no later than Feb. 13, 2017 and addressed to:

The Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program
The Fund for American Studies
1706 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009

When do the fellowships start?

The fellowships will begin no later than Sept. 1, 2017, although the start date can be sooner with prior discussion.