Science Journalism Fellowship

The Science Journalism Fellowship is no longer offered.

Applications for the 2016 Science Journalism Fellowship have closed.

Read about the 2016 Fellow, Meena Amso

Science-Media-Centre_120pxThe aim of this Fellowship, which is for candidates with a science background who are interested in pursuing journalism as a career, is to assist them to secure a post-graduate diploma in journalism and find employment in the editorial offices of one of New Zealand’s media organisations – newspaper, magazine, television or radio, including their online operations.                   


The Fellowship is to promote scientific accuracy in the media and to enable the New Zealand media to more adequately tackle science-related issues, by encouraging more people into the industry who have a science background. This Fellowship builds on the science and innovation journalism internship programme the SMC has been running for two years, which allows journalism students to gain experience of science and innovation reporting as part of their industry internships.

At least one Science Journalism Fellowship may be awarded per year, to start in the 2016 academic year.

Applications are now being accepted from candidates who meet the criteria outlined below and are seeking to undertake a post-graduate diploma in journalism at an approved New Zealand journalism school in 2016.


Fellowships are open to applicants who have completed a physical or biological science-based degree, such as a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences. Degrees in science-related fields such as engineering, agriculture, public health and the environment will also be considered. While a science degree is the minimum requirement, applications will also be accepted from those with masters’ degrees and PhDs.

Conditions of eligibility

Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand and must have completed their science degree in New Zealand.

Applicants must be successful in applying for a graduate diploma course in journalism at an accredited New Zealand journalism training institution.

Applicants must demonstrate in the application process their intention to pursue a career in journalism.

Fellowship value

Each Fellowship will be of one year’s duration, and will cover:

  • A contribution to University tuition fees to a maximum total of $2,000.

Support and mentoring

The Science Journalism Fellow will also receive mentoring and advice from the Science Media Centre’s experienced team of journalists and science communicators as well as gaining access to key people at the Royal Society of New Zealand and to editors in the industry who work with the SMC.

The opportunity will be made available to the Science Journalism Fellow to contribute to the platform to gain additional experience in science writing and develop a portfolio of science-related articles.

Application process

  • A panel comprising representatives from the Science Media Centre and the Association of Scientific and Technical Communicators (NZ)* and including at least one external party will undertake the final assessment process including interviews and independent referee support.
  • The Science Media Centre will advise the successful applicant on behalf of the parties.

*The Association of Scientific and Technical Communicators (NZ) was the professional organisation for science communicators active in the 1980s and 90s that is no longer active. Funds supporting the Science Journalism Fellowship come from remaining monies generated by the ASTC when it was in operation.

Information about post-graduate diploma in journalism qualifications offered in New Zealand:

Auckland University of Technology

University of Canterbury

Massey University