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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to apply?

Working print and online journalists with fewer than 10 years’ professional experience are eligible to apply. This includes freelance and part-time journalists. 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 provides each fellow with an income grant of $30,000, along with an expense account of $5,000 for qualifying project-related expenditures. Fellows may draw upon their expense accounts at the beginning of their fellowships. Grants are paid out in six disbursements over the course of the fellowship, following receipt of each written project installment.

One fellow each year will be designated by TFAS as the John Farley Memorial Alumni Fund Fellow. This fellow receives the same grant support and expense allowance as the others. The unique name for this particular fellowship reflects the support that our alumni contribute to the Novak program and the inspiring legacy of the program’s long-serving first director, John Farley.

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

Fellowship proposals should focus on journalism broadly supportive of a free society and reporting on interesting, newsworthy subjects that deserve deeper investigation. Proposed projects should also involve significant reporting components: interviewing sources, travel, attendance at newsworthy events, etc.

The purpose of the Novak program is to allow journalists to complete serious writing and reporting projects they would otherwise be unable to undertake. Government, culture, economics, religion, science, politics, education, law-enforcement, national security and foreign affairs are among the appropriate fields for Novak Fellowship projects. Please view the list of fellowship winners to see projects previously accepted for fellowship grants.

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

During the course of a one-year fellowship, the journalism project will be delivered in six written installments – one every other month, beginning in the second month of the fellowship. Each installment must be 4,000 to 5,000 words. Installments should have the potential to be published as articles or as elements of a book.

What is the application process?

Applicants submit a CV or resume, three published writing samples, Fellowship project proposal, project budget statement and reference form to be considered.

Finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges in May. Winners will be notified within a week after the in-person interviews and will be announced to the public at the Novak program’s annual awards dinner in the Fall.

All application materials and references should be submitted digitally on the application form and reference form, or emailed to TFAS Manager of Continuing Education Programs Ryan Wolfe at rwolfe@TFAS.org.

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.

The fellowships will begin in September each year, although the start date can be sooner with prior discussion.