The National senior reporter Nick Webster, left, discusses his mental health reporting work at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Apply for a mental health journalism fellowship in the UAE

Rosalynn Carter fellowships are a year-long, non-residential program providing training, support and mentorship to two journalists

The United Arab Emirates program for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism is now accepting applications for its 2021-22 intake of two journalists. Interested candidates have until May 27 to apply.

It is a year-long non-residential program and begins in September. The fellowship seeks to develop a diverse cohort of reporters, editors, producers and writers who can increase the quality of mental health reporting in the media.

The Carter Center, a US-based not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, has awarded annual fellowships to journalists around the world since 1996.

Today, they are granted in the US, Latin America and the Middle East, including the UAE, where two fellows are appointed each year.

The program is named after Rosalynn Carter, co-founder of the Carter Center, who has been an influential global voice in the field of mental health for decades. The National newspaper administers and oversees the UAE program, which offers a grant, training and mentorship for 12 months to support the reporting work of successful candidates.

For 2021-22, fellows will discuss their intended reporting work with a community of journalists and mental health experts at a virtual or in-person meeting convened by the Carter Center in Atlanta, US, in September 2021. They will also participate in the same forum in September 2022 to talk about their experiences and their work. They will receive training and advice on both occasions.

Both UAE fellows for 2021-22 will be assisted by a local advisory board in the UAE and by experts in the US throughout their year with the program.

Why apply?

Successful candidates will benefit from funding to support their reporting, receive training to help improve their understanding of mental health and will connect with an international network of mentors, advisers and journalists.

Meet the 2020-21 fellows

Raya Al Jadir, a freelance journalist and co-founder of the Disability Horizons Arabic e-magazine, is reporting on how pandemic stay-at-home orders have affected the mental health of people living with disabilities.

Deena Kamel, a business reporter at The National, is working to report on the upheaval experienced by the aviation sector during the pandemic and its impact on the mental health of those working in the industry.

How to apply

Applicants should submit a copy of their CV, together with a cover letter of no more than 600 words that outlines the mental health reporting project the candidate seeks to undertake during their fellowship year. The candidate’s letter should discuss the significance and timeliness of the intended topic.

The applicant should provide details of where she/he hopes to publish their work and in what format (i.e. digital, print, broadcast, multimedia).

Any application should be supported by sample(s) of your work – no more than three. These do not have to be previous samples of mental health reporting. Rather, they should be examples of the candidate’s best work.

In addition, the applicant should supply a letter of recommendation from someone familiar with their work. That person, ideally an editor or publisher, should comment on the applicant’s ability and potential as a journalist.

Are you eligible to apply for the UAE fellowship program?

Applicants must be a citizen, resident or demonstrate a strong connection to the UAE.

You should also have a keen interest in mental health reporting and have prior experience as a writer, reporter, editor or producer.

You should also be available to attend two expenses-paid virtual or in-person training meetings in Atlanta, US at the Carter Center in September 2021 and 2022.

Where to apply

Applicants should send their CV, covering letter, sample(s) of your work and letter of recommendation to Nick March, Assistant Editor-in-Chief at The National and UAE program administrator for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, by May 27, 2021.

Please send applications to and please mark the subject line as “Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (UAE programme application)”.

The local advisory board will consider all applications and will interview a shortlist of candidates via videoconferencing or in-person in Abu Dhabi in July 2021.

Michelle Rivera

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