Fellowship Opportunity in Science Communication (Boston, MA)

Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication
Boston, MA
This opportunity is open to early- to mid-career science media producers, journalists, or working scientists with a commitment to science communication.  Candidates must be US citizens or green card holders.  The Fellow will be embedded at WGBH and live in Boston for the duration of the fellowship.  This is not a typical journalism fellowship. Rather, they want to give the fellow a year to pursue a project that could be research-based or practical/experimental in nature, with the goal of identifying new, useful tools to improve science communication…no matter how unusual. The final products can be in any format, but must be practical. This is not intended to produce scientific journal articles.
The Rita Allen Foundation and WGBH Boston are pleased to announce the Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication. This new program will provide a year’s support for one fellow to study the field of science media, experiment with successful media formats and work to expand science literacy in the general public.  The fellow will embed at WGBH, one of the pre-eminent science media producers in the US and home to the flagship public media science series NOVA.
The goal of the Rita Allen Fellowship is to identify ways to expand how and to whom science news and information are communicated.  It also aims to discover new information by experimenting with best practices that will provide all science media producers with tools to reach new audiences more effectively. 
Elizabeth Christopherson, President of the Rita Allen Foundation, says, “The Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication will explore the state of science journalism today and propose new and innovative approaches for improving popular understanding of science.”  She calls science literacy “a cornerstone of our democracy.”
The Rita Allen fellow will investigate, first hand, the state of science communication in popular media, examining audiences, approaches and formats.  As examples, the fellow might look to answer these questions:
  • What audiences should be targeted in science communication efforts to create greatest short-term and long-term impact?
  • What new content approaches are most effective for engagement and for improving science literacy among specific audience sub-groups or general audiences?
  • Which formats have the best potential for engagement, again thinking of target audiences as well as broad public audiences?
The research will include looking at trends and technologies, and also at how people are finding their own ways to make science media.  Details of the fellow’s research will be finalized based on the fellow’s interest and skills, with the input and collaboration of the Fellowship staff at WGBH. As the fellow develops and answers the research questions, he/she will also have the opportunity to share this new knowledge with the public.  The fellow will report out quarterly on findings to both the Fellowship program and the public via WGBH science media outlets (such as NOVA, the NOVA Next blog, radio programs like PRI’s The World, and online and social media platforms), as well as other distribution channels outside of WGBH.
The Fellow will receive a stipend of $82,000 plus benefits, for the year. He/she will live in or move to the Boston area and have office space at WGBH’s studios.

Should you have any questions, you can contact program coordinator Judith Vecchione. at raf2017@wgbh.org. There is also more information available on the application site: http://www.wgbh.org/support/ritaallenfellowship.cfm

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