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Fellowships and Academic Awards

American University School of Communication (SOC) is the only professional school in Washington, DC that brings journalism, film and strategic communication together, with an international perspective and a focus on new media -- digital, interactive, and social media.  

SOC offers prestigious merit-based awards to full-time graduate students in partnership with the organizations listed below. MA candidates receive a scholarship for a designated number of academic credits plus a stipend and an opportunity to pursue professional projects with some of the country’s finest media organizations. 

Unless indicated below, students may not accept both a merit award and a graduate fellowship. Acceptance of a fellowship indicates withdrawal of any previous merit award.

Meet the fellows.

Journalism Fellowships


The Washington Post

The Washington Post is one of the world's premier news organizations, in print and online. The newspaper maintains an array of bureaus around the world, reports on all aspects of national politics and the federal government, and covers greater Washington, an increasingly diverse region that includes the nation's capital and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, including both state capital bureaus. With a population of about 5 million, the region boasts the highest per capita income in America and features rich ethnic and racial diversity. With 60 reporters, The Post's Local staff is the region's dominant news gathering organization, in print and online. Post reporters cover government, politics, crime, social issues, transportation, development and education; they write feature and trend stories; they investigate major local institutions, and they blog, shoot video, chat online and work intensively with databases.

Meet Washington Post fellow Victoria St. Martin

The Washington Post is looking for graduate fellows with:

  • Two-to-five years of newspaper experience, doing high-caliber work
  • Experience in reporting; background in any of these topic areas is a plus: religion, transportation, education, law enforcement or government
  • A career devoted to journalism with a focus on deep reporting and elegant writing
  • Superb work ethic, willing to take direction, ability to multi-task
  • Ability to blog, create other engaging digital content a plus
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status required

Compensation: Full tuition remission and $30,000 stipend.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Application deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).


Center for Public Integrity (CPI)

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) is a nonprofit digital news organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. Journalists, FOIA experts, researchers, and data experts conduct domestic and cross-border investigations into a wide range of topics, including: the environment, public health, government accountability, federal and state lobbying, and financial regulatory reform. Projects and stories are produced on the CPI website, as well as distributed through mainstream media outlets.

CPI is looking for graduate fellows with:

  • Solid reporting experience
  • Strong writing skills
  • Experience and/or interest in investigative journalism
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status required

Compensation: Minimum of 18 credits of tuition remission and $28,000 stipend.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Application deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).

Bloomberg BNA

As we like to say, if you can report in Washington, D.C., you can report anywhere. And here is the perfect opportunity to cover the thought leaders who make this town work. Bloomberg BNA -- a leading source of legal, regulatory and business information for professionals -- is looking for graduate fellows. You'll be part of a network of more than 2,500 reporters, correspondents, and experts who deliver analysis, news and the information. And take note: Bloomberg BNA has three times been named to the FORTUNE list of "100 Best Companies to Work For in America." Coverage areas range from energy and the environment, economics, intellectual property, banking and finance, and health care.

Bloomberg BNA is looking for a fellow with:

  • At least two years of journalism experience
  • Ability to write for and work in a digital environment
  • Interest in business-to-business or specialized reporting
  • Basic understanding of how government works
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status required

Compensation: Minimum of 18 credits of tuition remission and $24,000 stipend.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).

The Investigative Reporting Workshop

The Investigative Reporting Workshop (IRW) at AU conducts significant, multimedia investigative journalism projects on a national and international scale. IRW mentors and enables the work of a new generation of investigative reporters while also enlarging the public space for leading journalists of our time to work with IRW as Senior Fellows or contract writers. IRW has partnered with PBS Frontline to expand its research and reporting.

Meet IRW fellow Elyssa Pachico

IRW is looking for graduate fellows with:

  • Solid reporting experience
  • Strong writing skills
  • Digital journalism skill sets
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status required

Compensation: Minimum of 18 credits of tuition remission and a stipend.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).

Film and Media Arts Fellowships

National Park Service

The National Park Service is one of the world's premier public land management agencies. The agency, within the Department of the Interior, maintains a headquarters office in Washington D.C. and Regional Offices around the US. With 84 million acres of National Park land, in 397 Park Units, our nation’s rich natural and cultural heritage is preserved and protected for current and future generations. This fellowship gives two students, each year, the opportunity to develop video stories of our National Parks. This partnership with AU SOC and its Center for Environmental Filmmaking (CEF) will give students an opportunity to explore media delivery systems for deployment to National Parks and the internet.

Meet NPS fellow Erin Finicane

The National Park Service is looking for a graduate fellow with:

  • Three-to-five years of communications and film-making experience, doing high-caliber work
  • Experience in any of these topic areas is a plus: environmental, public lands, wildlife, climate change, youth, relevancy for diverse populations.
  • A career devoted to film-making and story-telling
  • Superb work ethic, willing to take direction, ability to multi-task
  • Ability to blog, create other engaging digital content a plus
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status required

Compensation: 9 credits of tuition remission plus a $20/hour salary (20 hours/week during school semester and 40 hours/week during summer).

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in a corresponding master's program. If the fellow enrolls in less than 9 credit hours for either the fall or spring semester, tuition remission credits for the term will be forfeited. If the fellow is a continuing student and does not have enough credit hours remaining in the program for full-time status, no tuition remission credits will be applied. For more information please e-mail Center for Environmental Filmmaking Director Prof. Chris Palmer at palmer@american.edu or Sharmeen Ahsan-Bracciale, Director for Graduate Services at gradcomm@american.edu.

Application deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).


Strategic Communication Fellowships 


Outreach Strategies

Outreach Strategies (OS) is a mission-driven communications firm focused on promoting sustainability and positive environmental outcomes at the national and international levels. OS focuses on the nexus between communication and public policy in the areas of climate, natural resources, energy, water, food and agriculture.  The firm was founded in early 2009 by Tad Segal, a senior advocacy communications strategists with experience in a variety of environments, including large coalitions, agency, corporate, and government settings. The OS philosophy is to couple senior-level strategy with hands-on implementation by highly knowledgeable senior staff. 

Outreach Strategies is looking for a fellow with:

  • An interest in a career in public affairs communications
  • Strong writing skills and multi-tasking abilities
  • Knowledge of, or familiarly with, issues of sustainability, environment, natural resources, energy, food and agriculture a plus
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status required
Compensation: 6 credits of tuition remission and $18,000 stipend.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).

Political Communication Fellowships


PunditWire

PunditWire, political commentary website for speechwriters sponsored by the School of Communication at American University, is seeking a graduate student fellow to serve as editor of the site. This unique opportunity will allow the student to get involved with a consequential political publication and connect with some of the top communicators and speechwriters in the country. The fellow will train the incoming editor at the end of their term.  

Please note that this is a 12 month position beginning on September 1 and is restricted to incoming Political Communication graduate students who have already received a research assistantship. 

PudintWire is looking for a graduate fellow with:

  • An interest in politics
  • Editing, writing, new media, and HTML experience
  • Ability to manage and update the site, work with the writers, review and post all columns, respond to comments from readers, promote the site on Twitter and elsewhere, and reach out to political media

Compensation: Stipend of $4,500 in addition to current merit award package.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).


James B. Simpson

Endowed by the late Rev. James B. Simpson, author of Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations the Simpson Fellows will conduct projects related to the collection, archiving, and publication of notable quotations as specified in the fund, The recipients are required to entitle any published research: Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations: Notable Quotes Since 1950. The fellows report directly to and work under the guidance of the Director of the Political Communication MA program. 

Fellowship eligibility:

  • Admission (or application) to the full-time MA in Political Communication program at SOC
  • An understanding of the importance of quotations in contemporary communication
  • Vision for a quotations project both in print and on the Web
  • Working knowledge of the importance of interactivity and building community on the Web
  • Editing, writing, new media, and HTML experience preferred
  • Ability to manage and update the site

Compensation: TBD. This award may be renewed for a second year at a different rate of compensation. 

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Application deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).

 

Outreach Strategies

Outreach Strategies (OS) is a mission-driven communications firm focused on promoting sustainability and positive environmental outcomes at the national and international levels. OS focuses on the nexus between communication and public policy in the areas of climate, natural resources, energy, water, food and agriculture.  The firm was founded in early 2009 by Tad Segal, a senior advocacy communications strategists with experience in a variety of environments, including large coalitions, agency, corporate, and government settings. The OS philosophy is to couple senior-level strategy with hands-on implementation by highly knowledgeable senior staff. 

Outreach Strategies is looking for a fellow with:

  • An interest in a career in public affairs communications
  • Strong writing skills and multi-tasking abilities
  • Knowledge of, or familiarly with, issues of sustainability, environment, natural resources, energy, food and agriculture a plus
  • US citizenship or permanent resident status required
Compensation: 6 credits of tuition remission and $18,000 stipend.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).

International Media Fellowship

PUBLIC DIPLOMACY COUNCIL

The Public Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization committed to fostering greater public recognition of public diplomacy in the conduct of foreign affairs. PDC serves as a resource and advocate for the teaching, training, and development of public diplomacy as an academic discipline, while promoting the importance of the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Its members, composed of Foreign Service and public diplomacy professionals, active and retired, as well as academics dedicated to public diplomacy scholarship, believe that understanding, informing, and influencing foreign publics and dialogue between Americans and United States’ institutions and their counterparts abroad are vital to the national interest and core elements of 21st century American diplomacy. The SOC/PDC fellow will promote PDC's core mission, support ongoing activities, and develop individual learning and research objectives relating to public diplomacy that are consistent with and enhance his/her academic program at American University School of Communication.

Ideally, the Public Diplomacy Council is looking for a graduate fellow who would combine the following:

  • an appreciation for the field of public diplomacy and desire to learn more
  • experience or interest in conference event planning, policy writing and research project development
  • superior oral presentation skills and network building abilities
  • background in website management

US citizenship or permanent resident status required.

Compensation:  $15,000 stipend.

Recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student in the corresponding master's program.

Application deadline: March 15

Download fellowship application form (PDF).

Game Design Fellowship 

JoLT (Journalism Leadership Transformation) Fellowship

Fellows simultaneously will earn a Master’s of Art in Game Design while working to reorganize the way media are communicated, analyzed and produced from a leadership perspective. This includes participating in two D.C.- based summits, the American University Game Lab and a host of forward-thinking iterations on leading change in media engagement.

The Fellows will:

  • Enroll full time in AU’s Game Design master’s program;
  • Help design, and participate in, two JoLT Summits;
  • Help design, and participate in, an ongoing speaker series in disruptive leadership; and,
  • Work in the AU Game Lab on relevant game projects with partner organizations.

Fellowships include support for tuition and living expenses. Fellowships begin Jan.12, 2015. Ideal fellows will possess many of the following traits: they are adaptive, creative thinkers, high energy, self starters, are demonstrated leaders and are technologically fluent in contemporary methodologies. Applications are being accepted immediately.

To apply, please email the following to gamelab@american.edu by Nov. 10, 2014, with “JoLT Fellow” in the subject field:

  • A link to a five-minute or shorter video introducing yourself and your unique experience as a media disruptor, systems thinker or transformative leader
  • An essay, article, infographics, or similarly appropriate media outlining your qualifications and interest in the fellowship. Limit essays to 1,200 words or fewer
  • A resume or CV
  • List of up to three references

U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is required.

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