Applications Open for 2019-20 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

Contact: Rennie Sloan,, 404-420-5129

ATLANTA... Applications from U.S. citizens and residents are now being accepted for eight one-year journalism fellowships with the Carter Center's Mental Health Program.

These fellowships aim to enhance public understanding of mental health and substance use conditions and reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with these illnesses through balanced and accurate reporting. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, April 10, 2019, and the fellowship recipients will be announced Wednesday, July 17, 2019, on the Center's website. The 2019-2020 fellowship year begins in September 2019.

"For more than two decades, Carter Center fellows have accurately and sensitively covered mental health issues around the world, helping communities better understand illnesses that affect so many people," said former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter. "Too often we only hear about mental health in the news following a crisis or tragic event. Yet, every day, millions of Americans living with these illnesses go to work, care for their children, and contribute to their communities. They are valuable members of society, and their stories deserve to be told."

Each U.S. fellow is awarded a $10,000 stipend and provided with a required expense-paid trip to The Carter Center in September 2019 and in fall 2020. During this trip, fellows will meet with program staff and advisers and the previous fellowship class. Fellows join a cadre of more than 200 current and former fellows awarded over the past two decades.

Throughout the history of the program, fellows have produced a considerable amount of content, including books, television mini-or full-length documentaries, hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and online pieces, hundreds of minutes of radio and television airtime, as well as creative and innovative uses of multimedia.

Shedding Light on Under-Reported Issues and Creating Policy Change

Fellows are not required to leave their employment during the fellowship year and are encouraged to undertake timely projects that may educate the public and raise awareness about important mental health and substance use issues. A number of fellowship projects have impacted services provided and local and state public policies such as: investigating and uncovering problems with psychiatric boarding in hospitals that eventually led to a state Supreme Court ruling; inspiring policymakers in a major American city to allocate millions of dollars to address homelessness; and exposing the complex and devastating mental health challenges faced by returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

On several occasions, fellowship projects have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Fellowship projects also have received regional Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists and American Psychiatric Association. Other recognitions have been from mental health advocacy organizations such as Mental Health America and the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

How to Apply

The program is open to active professional journalists who are U.S. citizens or residents working in all media forms with a minimum of three years of media experience. Projects are tailored to the experience and interests of the fellows and should be relevant to the dynamic mental health and substance use landscape in the U.S. Fellows are not required to leave their current employment. Preference is given to journalists who are currently employed with a media outlet that provides support for or commitment to publishing or broadcasting fellowship projects.

The full application must be completed and submitted online. The application for the 2019-2020 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism is available at Interested applicants should submit the following:

  • Resume: Resumes should include: current job status, a list of representative publications; membership in professional organizations; major journalism prizes; and/or awards and year awarded.
  • Objectives for Fellowship and Project Description: An informal essay not to exceed 1,000 words describing the applicant's professional reasons for applying and how the fellowship would benefit the applicant's body of work.
  • Samples of Professional Work: Up to three examples of the applicant's work may be submitted. At least one of the samples should be in the media form proposed.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicant's work should comment on the applicant's abilities and potential as a journalist. Recommenders will be asked to submit their letters online once the applicant has completed the application process, no later than April 24, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
  • Letter of Support: If the applicant has a full-time employer, one letter from the applicant's publisher, editor, producer, manager, or director, supporting the application is required. If the applicant is self-employed, the third letter must come from an individual familiar with his or her work. Preference will be given to those applicants with letters from editors or publishers that indicate a clear interest and strong likelihood to publish or broadcast the fellowship project. This individual will be asked to submit his or her letter online once the applicant has completed the application process, no later than April 24, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

All application materials, other than the letters of reference or support, must be submitted online by April 10, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. 


The Carter Center Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health (PDF) »

Video | Fellowship Takes Reporting to a New Level »

Read about previous fellowship projects in our archives section »

Learn about Rosalynn Carter's more than 40-year career in mental health leadership »

Direct all application inquiries to:


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 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.