Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the fellowship?

The goals of the fellowship 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
  • Develop a diverse cohort of better-informed journalists who can more effectively report on behavioral health across evolving and emerging platforms

How are fellows announced or notified?

Fellows are notified individually by program staff by telephone before The Carter Center makes an official announcement on the center website and via press release. These calls are confidential. Due to the high volume of applications, applicants not selected as Fellows will not be contacted. Click here for the announcement date. 

Where can I find samples of previous fellowship projects?

To see a database of projects completed by Rosalynn Carter Fellows during their fellowship year, visit the Rosalynn Carter Fellows’ project database to search by Fellow name or year.

Where can I find out about the fellowships in New Zealand, Romania or South Africa?

New Zealand
In 2006, the New Zealand Mental Health Media Grants program was established to sustain the work of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships in New Zealand without The Carter Center. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and the national anti-discrimination campaign, "Like Minds, Like Mine," are co-creators and supporters of the program.

The grants are awarded each year to creative and journalistic projects in New Zealand that challenge people’s perceptions of the experience of mental distress and the journey to recovery.

New Zealander applicants should visit mediagrants.org.nz to apply, pre-register for next year’s Grants round or find out more about past winning Creative and Journalism projects.

For more information about the South African Fellowships Program, please contact:

Danielle Whitburn
Grants Coordinator
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
danielle.whitburn@mentalhealth.org.nz

Romania
In 2013-2014, The Carter Center and the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest awarded the final two fellows in the collaborative program.

For more information about future opportunities in Romania, please contact:

Cristina Lupu
Executive Director
Center for Independent Journalism
Bdul. Regina Elisabeta, no.32
Bucharest, Romania
www.cji.ro
www.facebook.com/Centrul.Jurnalism.Independent

South Africa
In 2011, the South African Fellowship Program was created to sustain the work of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships in South Africa without The Carter Center. The South African fellowships are now administered through the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

For more information about the South African Fellowships Program, please contact:

Marion Scher
Media Mentors/Freelance Journalist
2005-2006 Rosalynn Carter Fellow
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel:  +27 82 467 6046
Email: journo@icon.co.za 

Am I eligible to apply for a fellowship?

Applicants must have at least three years of experience as a journalist or working directly in journalism. Previous fellows have included audio journalists, documentary journalists, photojournalists, producers, reporters, and related roles. Blogging, academic writing, and public relations do not count toward journalism experience. Experience in mental health is not required.

Applicants must submit a full fellowship application and be available to attend all-day meetings at The Carter Center in September at the beginning and end of the fellowship year.

Applicants must be citizens or residents of the United States. Citizens or legal residents of countries in Latin America, Qatar or United Arab Emirates are eligible to apply, but the application process is different. View application procedures for international applicants.

Am I eligible if I am a United States citizen, but currently live in a different country?

Yes, if you are a United States citizen and currently live in another country, you are eligible to apply for this fellowship. When completing your application, please select “Not Applicable” in the state field.

Can I reapply if I wasn’t previously awarded a fellowship?

Feel free to reapply! The fellowship is highly competitive; we encourage applicants to put in their best effort. Review your previous application for opportunities for improvement and consider if the mental health landscape and topic relevance has changed. Previous applications do not carry weight in the current application review process.

Can more than one person apply as a group or joint project?

Yes, more than one person can share a fellowship slot. Applicants proposing to share a fellowship must complete one application together and share the stipend and responsibilities of the project. If you’re applying for a joint or group project, please make note that it is a shared fellowship in your application. While the project will have only one application, each applicant must provide letters of recommendation and a letter of support, a resume, and work samples attached to that application. 

Is experience in mental health reporting required?

Previous experience in mental health reporting is not necessary to apply for this fellowship. 

When does the 2020 application window open?

When is the deadline to apply?

Where can I apply for a fellowship?

When the application is open, you can find it here.

How will I know when my application has been received?

Applicants receive an automatic email from the fellowship program upon submission of the completed application online. Automatic emails are sent when each letter of recommendation and letter of support has been received.  

If you do not receive these emails, please check your spam folder before contacting carterfellows@cartercenter.org. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is completed. Applications with missing criteria will not be considered.

Will I receive feedback on my application if I do not receive a fellowship?

Due to the high volume of interest in the fellowship, program staff members are unable to provide individual feedback on applications. 

What is the difference between the summary of proposed project and informal essay?

The summary of proposed project is a short paragraph describing the issue you would like to report on, why you’ve selected that issue, and what you hope to achieve with your reporting. It shouldn’t exceed 1,000 characters. The informal essay includes your reasons for applying for the fellowship, your proposed project and a plan for completion clearly outlined (including your expected project timeline and potential obstacles, if any), the significance and timeliness of your topic, and the potential impact of the project. The informal essay shouldn’t exceed 1,000 words.

Can I mail in my application materials?

Materials received via mail are typically not considered and cannot be returned. If you need special accommodations, please email carterfellows@cartercenter.org.

Can I send the documents associated with my application in an email?

All documents associated with your application must be uploaded to the application portal. If you are experiencing issues in uploading, please email trish.solomon@cartercenter.org.

How can I submit my video or audio samples that are part of my application?

Please create a PDF with links to your video or audio samples and upload the PDF to the application where work samples are requested. If your video or audio samples are not currently online, please create an account on Vimeo, YouTube, or another platform, upload your files, and create a PDF with the links. 

Will I receive confirmation that my application was submitted successfully?

When you complete and submit your application, you will receive an email confirming successful submission. You also receive an automatic email when each letter of recommendation and the letter of support is submitted. If you do not receive one of the emails when expected, please check your spam folder before emailing carterfellows@cartercenter.org.

Would my project qualify?

Any project related to mental health may be considered for a fellowship project. Please keep in mind that the topic should be timely and show the potential for a strong impact.

Can I change my project during the fellowship year?

If you would like to change your project topic after you’ve been awarded a fellowship, you must contact your advisor and program staff to discuss and receive approval for your new topic. Fellows are selected, in part, based on the strength and timeliness of the topic they proposed when applying for the fellowship.

What if I’m selected as a fellow and my project runs longer than the fellowship year?

Fellows are encouraged to continue to report on mental health beyond the fellowship. However, fellows typically have a year to complete their actual fellowship project. Fellows present their project at the end of their fellowship year. Project extensions are considered on a case-by-case basis and must be accompanied by an estimated timeline for completion. Projects are not funded beyond the fellowship year for which they were awarded.

What kind of support would I receive as a fellow?

Fellows receive intensive training on mental health reporting at the start of the fellowship year. They are advised by the Journalism Fellowship Advisory Board and staff at The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program. Fellows also have access to a cohort of 220+ program alumni, some of whom serve as volunteer mentors to fellows and non-fellow journalists. We also help facilitate speaking and training opportunities for fellows.

What is the deadline for recommendation letters and letter of support?

The deadline for recommendation letters and the letter of support is different from the application deadline. View important dates and deadlines here.

How many recommendation letters do I need?

You need two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work. Recommenders should be able to speak to the quality of your work and commitment to your project and/or mental health reporting. Recommenders will be asked via email to submit their letters online after you have completed the application. 

Applicants are also required to submit a letter of support. A letter of support is different from the recommendation letters.

For further information on the letter of support, please see: What is the difference between the recommendation letters and the letter of support?

Applicants will receive an email when each letter of recommendation and the letter of support is submitted.

My recommender did not receive an email with instructions to submit their letter. What should I do?

All recommenders will be sent an automatically-generated email with instructions to submit their letters online after you have completed the application. Please encourage your recommenders to check their spam or junk email folders to ensure that they do not miss the email regarding the submission of their letter.

You can also log into your application to resend your recommendation request. If you do not receive emails confirming receipt of your application or recommendation letters or your recommender does not receive the request, please contact carterfellows@cartercenter.org. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is completed. Applications with missing criteria will not be considered.

What is the difference between the recommendation letters and the letter of support?

The recommendation letters speak to the quality of your work and commitment to your project and/or mental health reporting. The letter of support indicates that the media organization for which you work or the media organization for which you freelance is committed to affording you the time and editorial support to work on your project and to running your project once complete.

Who should write my letters of support and/or recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should come from someone who has managed and/or is familiar with your work. They should be able to speak to your journalistic abilities and commitment. 

The letter of support should come from a leader in the supporting news organization who has decision-making authority related to the project—such as affording you time and editorial support to work on the project and running your project once complete. The letter of support also may be written by a recommender. Letters from friends or relatives are strongly discouraged.

Get more details on letters of recommendation and letter of support.

Once an applicant completes the online application, recommenders will receive an email with instructions for submitting recommendation letters and the letter of support. Applicants will receive an email when each letter of recommendation and the letter of support is submitted.

Please encourage your recommenders to check their spam or junk email folders to ensure that they do not miss the email regarding the submission of their letter. If you do not receive emails confirming receipt of your application or recommendation letters or your recommender does not receive your recommendation request, please contact carterfellows@cartercenter.org. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application is completed. Applications with missing criteria will not be considered.

How are recommendation letters and letter of support uploaded?

Following instructions in the email that each recommender and/or supporter receives, recommendations and your letter of support should be uploaded directly to your application.

Can the same person write the recommendation letter and letter of support?

The same person can complete these letters as long as they can speak to the strength of your work and your commitment to your project and/or mental health reporting as well as their willingness to support or publish the work directly related to your fellowship project. 

How can I tell if my recommendation letters and letter of support were uploaded?

You’ll receive an email when each letter of recommendation and the letter of support has been successfully uploaded. You may log into your application to check the status of each letter. If you do not receive one of the emails when expected, please email carterfellows@cartercenter.org.