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FAQs

+What is the purpose of the fellowship?

The three goals of the fellowship are:

  • Increase effective and accurate reporting on behavioral health issues
  • Equip journalists with the tools needed to produce high-quality work that reflects an understanding of behavioral health
  • Develop a diverse cohort of better-informed journalists who can more effectively report on behavioral health across evolving and emerging platforms

+Am I eligible to apply for a fellowship?

Applicants must have at least three years of experience as a journalist or working directly in journalism. Previous fellows have included audio journalists, documentary journalists, photojournalists, producers, reporters, and related roles. Blogging, academic writing, and public relations do not count toward journalism experience. Experience in mental health is not required.

Applicants must submit a full fellowship application and be available to attend all-day meetings at The Carter Center in September at the beginning and end of the fellowship year.

Applicants must be citizens or residents of the United States. Citizens or legal residents of countries in Latin America, Qatar or United Arab Emirates are eligible to apply, but the application process is different. View application procedures for international applicants.

+Can I reapply if I wasn’t previously awarded a fellowship?

Feel free to reapply! The fellowship is highly competitive, and we encourage applicants to put in their best effort. Review your previous application for opportunities for improvement and consider if the mental health landscape and topic relevance has changed. Previous applications do not carry weight in the current application review process.

+When is the deadline to apply?

+Where is the application link?

When the application is open, you can find it here.

+How many recommendation letters do I need?

You need two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work. Recommenders should be able to speak to the quality of your work and commitment to your project and/or mental health reporting. Recommenders will be asked via email to submit their letters online after you have completed the application.

+What is the difference between the recommendation letters and the letter of support?

The recommendation letters speak to the quality of your work and commitment to your project and/or mental health reporting. The letter of support indicates that the media organization for which you work or the media organization for which you freelance is committed to affording you the time and editorial support to work on your project and to running your project once complete.

+Who should write my letters of support and/or recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should come from someone who has managed and/or is familiar with your work. They should be able to speak to your journalistic abilities and commitment.

The letter of support should come from a leader in the supporting news organization who has decision-making authority related to the project—such as affording you time and editorial support to work on the project and running your project once complete. The letter of support also may be written by a recommender. Letters from friends or relatives are strongly discouraged.

Get more details on letters of recommendation and letter of support.

Once an applicant completes the online application, recommenders will receive an email with instructions for uploading recommendation letters and the letter of support. Applicants will receive an email when each letter of recommendation and the letter of support is submitted.

Please encourage your recommenders to check their spam or junk email folders to ensure that they do not miss the email regarding the submission of their letter.

If you do not receive emails confirming receipt of your application or recommendation letters or your recommender does not receive your recommendation request, please log back into your application to check the status of these letters. If you have additional issues, contact carterfellows@cartercenter.orgIt is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is completed. Applications with missing criteria will not be considered.

+How will I know when my application has been received?

Applicants receive an automatic email from the fellowship program upon submission of the completed application online. A second automatic email will be sent once all three reference letters have been received. If you do not receive these emails, please contact carterfellows@cartercenter.org. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is completed. Applications with missing criteria will not be considered.

+Will I receive feedback on my application if I do not receive a fellowship?

Due to the high volume of interest in the fellowship, program staff are unable to provide individual feedback on applications. Please keep in mind that the applicant should address the following in their application: feasibility of completing the project, timeliness of the topic, and the topic's potential impact on reducing stigma.

+Can I mail in my application materials?

Materials received via mail are typically not considered and cannot be returned. If you need special accommodations, please email carterfellows@cartercenter.org.

+How can I submit my video samples that are part of my application?

Please create a PDF with links to your video or audio samples and upload the PDF to the application where work samples are requested. If your video or audio samples are not currently online, please create an account on Vimeo, YouTube, or another platform, upload your files, and create a PDF with the links.

+Where can I find samples of previous fellowship projects?

The fellowship program has compiled a database of projects completed by Rosalynn Carter Fellows during their fellowship year. Visit the Rosalynn Carter Fellows’ project database.

+Where can I find out about the fellowship programs in Romania, South Africa, and/or New Zealand?

Romania
In 2013-2014, The Carter Center and the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest awarded the final two fellows in the collaborative program.

For more information about future opportunities in Romania, please contact:

Cristina Lupu
Executive Director
Center for Independent Journalism
Bdul. Regina Elisabeta, no.32
Bucharest, Romania
www.cji.ro
www.facebook.com/Centrul.Jurnalism.Independent

South Africa
In 2011, the South African Fellowship Program was created to sustain the work of the Rosalynn Carter fellowship program in South Africa without The Carter Center. The South African fellowships are now administered through the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

For more information about the South African Fellowships Program, please contact:

Marion Scher
Media Mentors/Freelance Journalist
2005-2006 Rosalynn Carter Fellow
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel:  +27 82 467 6046
Email: journo@icon.co.za 

New Zealand
In 2006, the New Zealand Mental Health Media Grants program was established to sustain the work of the Rosalynn Carter fellowship program in New Zealand without The Carter Center. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and the national anti-discrimination campaign, "Like Minds, Like Mine," are co-creators and supporters of the program.

The grants are awarded each year to creative and journalistic projects in New Zealand that challenge people’s perceptions of the experience of mental distress and the journey to recovery.

New Zealander applicants should visit mediagrants.org.nz to apply, pre-register for next year’s Grants round or find out more about past winning Creative and Journalism projects.

For more information about the South African Fellowships Program, please contact:

Danielle Whitburn
Grants Coordinator
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
danielle.whitburn@mentalhealth.org.nz

+Can a book be included as a writing sample?

Yes, a book or portion of a book is acceptable as one of your writing samples. We recommend including the portion you would like the panel to review electronically, attached to your application. Some applicants send in full books in physical form and we cannot guarantee review of an entire book by the full panel nor can we return the book or samples given to us or sent to us physically in the mail.

+Are book projects considered?

Thank you for your interest in the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. Yes, a book is acceptable as a proposed project. While a book is an ambitious undertaking, the panel tends to look more favorably upon material scheduled to be published during the fellowship year, if including one or more articles, podcasts, or other released content in the plan for the proposed project might be possible.

In case a previous book is one of your work samples, we recommend including the portion you would like the panel to review electronically, attached to your application. Some applicants send in full books in physical form and we cannot guarantee review of an entire book by the full panel nor can we return the book or samples given to us or sent to us physically in the mail.

+Does the topic need to be U.S.-based?

The topic can be based in any country. For example, we have former fellows who have reported from Australia, Nigeria, Germany, and other countries. As long as you have at least three years of experience working in journalism and you are either a citizen of the United States or permanent resident of the United States, you are eligible to apply.

+What are the conditions of the fellowship and the reporting project? Is a collaboration credit required?

Fellows have complete editorial control over their project and project topic. We provide suggested language for the publisher to credit the fellowship. Fellows sign an agreement at the beginning of the fellowship to include it. For example, we ask fellows to include in mental health stories written during the year using knowledge gained from Carter Center resources (like training, mentorship, sources et al.) a line at the top or bottom of the story, such as: "Alex Smith is a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and a Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism. This story was published in partnership with the Carter Center." Other fellows have included it in their reporting or in their story. We are flexible with placement and language and are open to discuss. If the standards editor needs to connect with someone in the program, they can contact our team via social media or the carterfellows@cartercenter.org email address and someone on our team will forward to the appropriate contact.

If your questions were not answered above, please contact carterfellows@cartercenter.org at The Carter Center.

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