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East-West Center Jefferson Fellowship Program 2018

Deadline: March 6, 2018

The East West Center is now accepting applications for the 2018 Jefferson Fellowships program. The Jefferson Fellowships offer print and broadcast journalists from the United States, Asia and the Pacific Islands the unique opportunity to gain on-the-ground perspectives and build international networks to enhance their reporting through an intensive one-week education and dialogue seminar at the East-West Center in Honolulu followed by a two week reporting tour in the Asia Pacific-U.S. region.

The Jefferson Fellowships is the East-West Center’s most widely-recognized and established seminar program, with an illustrious alumni network of more than 600 Jefferson Fellows across the Asia Pacific region and the United States. The broad goal of the program is to enhance public understanding through the news media of cultures, issues and trends in the Asia Pacific region.


  • Participation in the Jefferson Fellowships provides journalists with an opportunity to report from cities across the Asia Pacific on key issues and developments taking place, sharing with audiences’ first-hand perspectives and new insights.

  • The program provides a unique combination of study-dialogue at the East-West Center with a reporting trip taken with colleagues from countries across the region.

  • This provides journalists with enhanced knowledge of the most important regional issues, reporting imbued with perspectives from journalists from 10 different countries, valuable professional contacts, and life-long friendships with their colleagues in the program.

  • They also gain access to the EWC’s international network of more than 1,000 media professionals and 50,000 alumni.

The program is made possible through a generous grant from The Freeman Foundation of Stowe Vermont and supplemented by contributions from news organizations, US Embassies in Asia Pacific, other foundations and the East-West Center.


The Jefferson Fellowships are funded by the Freeman Foundation and the East-West Center. These funds provide for 10-12 full or partial scholarships, including approximately 4-5 for qualified American journalists and 7-8 for Asia Pacific journalists. A full scholarship for the Jefferson Fellowships is valued at approximately $8500 and includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare to and from participant’s home country and throughout the study tour

  • Lodging in each of the cities

  • Program meals and a modest per diem to cover meals not provided

  • Ground transportation and airport transfers

  • Cultural activities and networking opportunities

  • Interpretation as needed

  • Pro-rated speaker honorariums, cooperating organization costs, and meeting rooms

  • Participant Resource Binder and pre-arrival background readings

  • Thumb drive of fellowship documents, speaker PowerPoint presentations and photos

  • Experienced escorts and professionally organized program of meetings and visits, often with unique access to speakers and communities.


  •  The Jefferson Fellowships are open to working print, broadcast, and online journalists in the United States, the Pacific Islands, and Asia.

  • A minimum five years of professional experience is preferred.

  • Applicants must have the ability to communicate in English in a professional, multi-cultural environment.

  • Preference will be given to journalists who clearly articulate the relevance of the theme to their areas of coverage and how they intend to use the knowledge gained to enhance the perspectives of viewers, readers, and listeners.

  • Journalists are strongly encourage to generate media content during and after the program in the form of formal print and broadcast stories, blogs, tweets, Instagram and other social media communications.


All applicants must fill out the Jefferson Fellowships application form. In addition to the application form, applicants must also provide all of the following:

  • Letter of Interest (maximum three pages, double-spaced) including:

  • A brief description of your news organization and your role;

  • Topics you propose to address in your paper and presentation at the East-West Center (please see program announcement for more information about this requirement of the program). This should be a perspective from your own country on an issue or issues related to the theme of the program.

  • What you expect to accomplish and what issues you want to explore/write about during the program. Please share specific story ideas or details of how this will enhance your work as reporter/editor/producer, etc.

*NOTE* The strongest applicants will make a case for why this theme is relevant to their beat and/or their country, how their reporting will stand to benefit from this opportunity, and will offer specific, relevant story ideas (in their role as an editor, producer, reporter, columnist, etc).

  • The “Employer’s Statement of Support” form completed by your employer (also can be downloaded from the website). Freelancers must also submit the Employer Statement of Support form. Please write “Freelancer” for employer name.

  • Letter of recommendation on official letterhead from your supervisor describing your suitability for the Fellowship and the benefit the organization hopes to derive from your participation in the program. If your media organization is not paying your program fee or providing financial support, supervisors should indicate why not. Freelance journalists are welcome to apply; please send a letter on official letterhead from a media organization that regularly accepts and publishes or airs your work.

  • Names, addresses, phone/fax numbers and e-mail of three people who may be contacted by the Center as references.

Submit complete applications by Tuesday, March 6, 2018 via: E-mail: [email protected] OR Fax: 808-944-7600. Extra pages submitted over the maximum limits, will NOT be copied for and read by the Selection Committee. Late applications will also not considered.

NOTE: Please indicate “Jefferson Fellowships Application” in the subject heading of your e-mail or fax. We will confirm receipt of the application within 5 working days. If you do not hear back, please follow up.

Complete the application form.

For more information, visit Jefferson Fellowships.