The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

Founded in 1996, the highly-competitive Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism awards yearlong, non-residential fellowships to journalists from the United States, Colombia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates to report on a mental health topic of their choice. Fellows receive a generous stipend, training, networking opportunities, and access to top experts and resources in mental health and journalism.

The goals of the fellowships are to 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 challenges; and develop a diverse cohort of better-informed journalists who can more effectively report on behavioral health across evolving and emerging platforms.

Fellowship Highlights

  • $10,000 stipend
  • No relocation necessary
  • Flexible
  • One year to focus and report on a behavioral health topic
  • Training and networking opportunities
  • Access top experts and resources in the mental health and journalism fields
  • Meet your cohort and the previous year’s fellows at The Carter Center at the beginning and end of the fellowship year

About the Fellowships

Every year, eight U.S. journalists are selected and awarded stipends of $10,000 each to cover expenses during the fellowship project. Selected international journalists are awarded a comparable stipend. If you apply as a team, the total stipend will be divided evenly among the team. The fellowship encourages total journalistic independence and only requires that the fellows report accurately.

Fellows are connected with the fellowship’s Journalism Fellowship Advisory Board, other fellows and alumni for mentorship, information about complex mental health issues and professional contacts in mental health and journalism. All fellows are required to maintain contact with their mentor or mentors throughout the year and complete learning objectives that serve as an update on their project progress. Fellows also have the opportunity to meet former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and with The Carter Center’s Mental Health Task Force.

Fellows enjoy a great deal of flexibility in scheduling their project work throughout the year. They make two expense-paid visits to The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The first trip occurs in September at the beginning of their fellowship year when fellows meet with mentors on the Journalism Fellowship Advisory Board, the Mental Health Task Force, alumni and other fellows to pair with a mentor and discuss project plans.

The second visit comes at the end of the fellowship year the following September when fellows present their completed projects and discuss challenges and successes in mental health reporting. Each visit lasts three days. Projects do not require fellows to leave their jobs.

Fellows’ Projects

Fellows are encouraged to select topics that are unique and creative. Projects may educate the public, raise awareness and inform other journalists in the field. The Carter Center provides resources through its network of over 200 fellows, scientific, health care, education, consumer, family, provider, and government agencies.

Fellowships are tailored to suit the needs, interests, and experiences of each fellow. They also generate knowledge and information to benefit the mental health field and the public. When appropriate, the program requests that fellows conduct one training session related to mental health and journalism for their peers during the fellowship year. Training can be in a variety of formats, including brown bag lunches, seminars, or panels.

Photography Credits
All photos used with permission. Homepage: M. Hossaini; About: L. Linder; Meet the Fellows: C. Pennington; Send Updates: C. Servan-Schreiber; All other images: The Carter Center.