The Knight-Mozilla Fellowships: Program Details
The Knight-Mozilla Fellowships present a unique opportunity for people who love to code and who want to influence the future of journalism on the web. Our 2016 fellows are preparing to begin their work with our fellowship partner organizations, and the application for the 2017 cohort of fellows will open in mid-2016.
We’ve structured this program and its financial supports to be responsive to the needs of fellows in a variety of circumstances. The fellowship gives you the time and support you need to immerse yourself in the journalism-code community and work on some great projects.
What is the Knight-Mozilla Fellowship?
The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship places creative technologists in newsrooms to work on open-source tools and support reporting that strengthens the web and changes people’s lives. Knight-Mozilla Fellows spend 10 months working with newsroom technology teams to write open-source code, analyze and visualize data, and explore tough problems facing journalism.
What do fellows do?
Over the past four years, fellows have created open-source projects, traveled the world sharing their work, and built strong relationships with their cohort and the wider journalism-code community. We welcome the fellows at the start of their fellowship (get to know them) and support their work during and after the fellowship.
Fellows get to work in a way that is different from a lot of other roles. Not a newsroom employee, nor an intern, fellows operate more like independent researchers. They spend time working in and with their newsroom, but also have the flexibility to pursue learning and other projects of interest. Being a fellow means having the time for the experimenting, teaching, speaking, and learning that often gets forced into your evenings and weekends at a regular job.
Who can become a fellow?
It could be you. Anyone who loves to solve problems via code and has an interest in journalism. You do not have to have previous experience with journalism. You also do not have to have experience with any particular programming language. A lot of news app development happens in the front-end, especially mapping and visualization, and people with those skills are highly sought after. Statistics, data, and even hard math skills are also great.
And you can be from anywhere. We are an international program and welcome participants from around the world. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to participate in the program. We assist fellows with any necessary visa applications for working and traveling during the fellowship. We make our best effort to handle any visa needs a fellow may have, but it is possible that visa requirements may affect your ability to participate in the fellowship. If you are concerned that this may be the case for you, it is something we can investigate at the finalist stage of the application process.
Where do fellows work?
Fellows are based, unless special circumstances dictate, in the town of their host news organization.
Our fellowship locations for 2016 are:
- The Los Angeles Times Data Desk—Los Angeles, CA
- NPR—Washington, DC
- Vox Media—Austin, TX; New York, NY; or Washington, DC
- Frontline—Boston, MA
- Correct!v—Berlin, Germany
- The Coral Project—New York, NY (a partnership of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Mozilla, based out of the New York Times)
Each news organization described what they are looking for in a fellow and the types of projects they are excited to work on with a fellow.
When do the fellowships start?
2016 fellowships begin in calendar year 2016 and last for 10 months, and the same will be true for 2017. Each fellow’s start date is individualized for the needs of that fellow and the news organization, but most fellowships will begin in February or March of their fellowship year.
STIPEND AND FINANCIAL BENEFITS
The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship is designed to allow flexibility for both fellows and fellowship partners. The standard fellowship offers a stipend of $60,000, paid in 10 monthly installments. fellows are responsible for remitting all applicable taxes and other government payments as required.
Mozilla may, in consultation with fellows and fellowship partners, elect to vary the amount and duration to accommodate the needs and availability of individual fellows and newsrooms.
To help offset cost of living, the fellowship also provides supplements for child-care and health insurance, and helps pay for research/equipment and books. If you relocate for a fellowship, we will also supplement your housing and moving expenses. The fellowship also covers the costs of required travel for fellowship activities.
Supplements below listed as yearly maximums.
|Single, married or partnered fellow||$5,000|
|Fellow with 1 child||$7,000|
|Fellow with 2 children||$8,500|
|Fellow with 3 or more children||$10,000|
|1 child age 12* or younger||$5,600|
|2 children ages 12* or younger||$6,000|
|3 children ages 12* or younger||$6,400|
|4 or more children ages 12* or younger||$7,200|
|Additional allowance for child 3* years or younger||$6,400|
* Age defined on March 31 of application year.
Health Insurance Supplement
The fellowship pays a health insurance supplement for fellows and their families. Funds are provided by way of monthly reimbursement.
|Fellow with partner||$5,000|
|Fellow with 1 child||$5,500|
|Fellow with partner and 1 child||$6,000|
|Fellow with 2+ children||$6,500|
|Fellow with partner and 2+ children||$7,000|
Up to $2,000 for fellows moving between cities within their country of origin. Up to $4,000 for fellows moving outside their country of origin. The fellowship also offers a supplemental allowance for families with children of up to $2,000.
Research & Equipment
Up to $3,000 annually will be given towards the purchase of laptop computers, digital cameras, recorders, fees for continuing studies or other courses related to the fellowship, computer software, research fees or payments, and travel expenses for conferences or other research related to the fellow’s research or study.
Up to $250 to cover the server costs associated with deploying projects such as fees for Heroku, Amazon Web Services, and domain registration.
All approved fellowship trips–domestic and international–are covered. Additional travel required by the fellowship partners will be covered by them.
Mozilla will work directly with fellowship partners to secure temporary work visas on behalf of fellows who require them.