The Carter Center, a global leader in mental health, is now accepting applications from journalists who are U.S. citizens and residents for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. Eight selected fellows will join a top-notch cohort of more than 220 fellows awarded over the past two decades.
The yearlong, non-residential fellowships aim to equip journalists with resources to produce compelling and balanced reporting on mental health and substance use issues and to develop a diverse cohort of journalists who can effectively report on the topics across evolving and emerging platforms.
Each U.S. fellow is awarded a $10,000 stipend and an expense-paid trip to The Carter Center in Atlanta in September 2020 and again in 2021 for intensive training and networking on behavioral health reporting and to connect with advisors and fellows. Fellows also interact with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and members of The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force. At the end of the fellowship year, fellows present their completed projects, and discuss their challenges, successes and the impact of their mental health reporting.
Fellows from across mediums pursue a range of innovative journalism projects that tackle some of society’s biggest behavioral health challenges and seek to drive change in their communities and help reduce stigma through storytelling. Applicants are not required to be on a health or mental health beat or have experience reporting on mental health to qualify.
Applicants are encouraged to propose topics that are timely, unique and that will have a significant impact on their community. The Carter Center provides resources through its network of fellows, scientific, health care, education, consumer, family, provider, and government agencies.
Previous projects have investigated problems with psychiatric boarding in hospitals that eventually led to a state Supreme Court ruling; inspired policymakers in a major American city to allocate millions of dollars to address homelessness; and exposed the complex and devastating mental health and substance use challenges faced by returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Fellows are selected by a committee of current and former journalists, mental health experts, and the Fellowship Advisory Board, with an emphasis on diversity across ethnicity, geography, gender, mediums, the communities their fellowships project will cover, and other criteria.
The Carter Center encourages fellows to conduct a training session related to mental health and journalism for their peers during the fellowship year to help spread the knowledge. The center also helps facilitate speaking and training opportunities for fellows.
The fellowships are part of the Carter Center's Mental Health Program, which works around the world to improve access to mental health care and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses. The program is committed to providing journalists with the tools they need to report on behavioral health and distributes a Journalism Resource Guide. Fellows’ reporting is curated on @CarterFellows on Twitter.
No relocation necessary
One year to focus on a mental health or substance topic that you're interested in learning more about
Training and networking opportunities
Fellowship meetings at The Carter Center at the beginning and end of the fellowship year
Access to experts and resources in the mental health and journalism fields
Applications must be completed and submitted online. The deadline is Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Fellows will be announced Wednesday, July 15, 2020, on the Center's website. The 2020-2021 fellowship year begins in September 2020. More tips on applying.
Eligible applicants must:
Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States. No relocation necessary. Applicants can apply as a citizen or legal resident of Qatar, United Arab Emirates or any country in Latin America, but the application process is different. View international applicant procedures.
Have at least three years of experience as a journalist or working directly in journalism. Preference is given to journalists who are currently employed at or working with a media outlet that expresses support for and commitment to publishing, airing or distributing fellowship projects.
Be committed to reporting on mental health long-term. Fellowship projects are tailored to the fellow’s interest and experience and should be relevant to the dynamic mental health and substance use landscape in the U.S.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.
As part of an international effort to reduce stigma and discrimination, the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism at The Carter Center provide stipends to journalists from the United States, Latin America, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to report on topics related to mental health or mental illnesses.