Applications Being Accepted for 2017-18 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

February 03, 2017

ATLANTA…Applications from U.S. 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 issues and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses through balanced and accurate reporting. The deadline for applications is April 12, 2017, and the fellowship recipients will be announced July 13, 2017, on the Center’s website, www.cartercenter.org. The 2017-2018 fellowship year begins in September 2017.

“For nearly 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 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 fellow is awarded a $10,000 stipend and provided with two required expense-paid trips to The Carter Center – one in September 2017, and one in September 2018 – to meet with program staff and advisers. In addition to the eight U.S. fellowships, there will be fellowships offered to citizens and legal residents of Colombia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The application processes and deadlines for these three countries will vary, but all fellows are still required to attend the two Carter Center meetings. More information on the international fellowships can be found here.

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 Issues and Creating 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 issues. Through their reporting, Carter Center fellows have: investigated, and uncovered 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 challenges faced by returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Many fellowship projects have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and have been nominated or received Emmy Awards. Others have received the Peabody Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists and American Psychiatric Association, as well as recognition from mental health consumer advocacy organizations such as Mental Health America and the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

How to Apply

The program is open to journalists who are U.S. citizens or residents working in all media forms with a minimum of three years of professional experience. Projects are tailored to the experience and interests of the fellows. Fellows are not required to leave their current employment.

The full application must be completed and submitted online. The application for the 2017-2018 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism is available at http://mhjapply.cartercenter.org. Interested applicants should submit the following:

  • Resume: The resume should include: 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 26, 2017.
  • 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. This individual will be asked to submit his or her letter online once the applicant has completed the application process, no later than April 26, 2017.

All application materials must be submitted online by April 12, 2017.

Additional Resources:

The Carter Center Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health
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:
Stephanie Uribe, M.Sc., M.Ed
Program Associate
The Carter Center Mental Health Program
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30307
Tel: (404) 420-5165
Email: carterfellows@cartercenter.org
Twitter: @CarterFellows