Getting a Fellowship

The next opportunity to apply for a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship will open in the Fall of 2014.  Detailed instructions and the online application system for the 2015-16 Knight Fellowships will be posted here. (Applications for the 2014-15 fellowships are now closed.) In the meantime, on this page you will find information about our eligibility requirements, definitions and basic expectations of fellows. Information about the financial benefits we provide fellows in on the Benefits of a Fellowship page. You can also listen to clips of a conference call during which Knight Fellowships Director Jim Bettinger and three Knight Fellows answered questions about the program and the application process. And to get an idea of the application requirements, view the application instructions for the previous year.


U.S. applicants for a Knight Fellowship ideally have at least seven years of full-time professional experience, international applicants ideally have at least five years. But we also consider less experienced applicants with outstanding achievements. No college degree is required.

We consider applicants who fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Full-time journalists
  • Journalism entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Journalism business and management executives

 Our definitions:

  • Full-time journalists – Those who write or edit news, commentary, or editorials; critics and reviewers, photojournalists, editorial cartoonists and supervising editors, anchors, and producers. They may be working for newspapers, wire services, television or radio news departments, web sites, magazines that cover news, commentary or public affairs, or as freelance or independent journalists.
  • Journalism entrepreneurs and innovators — Those whose work or proposals have the potential for great journalistic impact.
  • Journalism business and management executives — Those whose work influences editorial quality, such as publishers, general managers, and station managers.

We do not accept applications from people working in public information or public relations jobs, for trade and house newsletters or magazines, for government agencies, or in teaching jobs.

Once selected, fellows must agree to:

  • Devote their energy during the year to the fellowship rather than to regular professional work
  • Spend the academic terms in residence at Stanford
  • Participate fully in fellowship seminars and activities.

Fellows from news organizations that support their application must agree to return to that organization.

Questions? Email us at