AMS-AAAS Mass Media Fellowship, USA

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The American Mathematical Society (AMS) sponsors a Mass Media Fellow each summer through the Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship program organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). It is a highly competitive program designed to improve public understanding of science and technology by placing advanced science, mathematics and engineering students in newsrooms nationwide. Fellows work with media professionals to improve their communication skills and increase their understanding of the editorial process by which events and ideas become news.

The program is available to college or university students (in their senior year, or in any graduate or post graduate level) in the natural, physical, health, engineering, computer or social sciences or mathematics with outstanding written and oral communication skills and a strong interest in learning about the media. The program has supported over 500 fellows.

Fellows receive a weekly stipend of US$450, plus travel expenses, to work for ten weeks during the summer months as reporters, researchers, and production assistants in media organizations. They observe and participate in the process by which events and ideas become news, improve their ability to communicate about complex technical subjects in a manner understandable to the public, and increase their understanding of editorial decision making and of how information is effectively disseminated.

Increasing public understanding of science and technology is a principal goal of AAAS, so it only makes sense that it recognizes the need for scientists who are well versed in communicating complex ideas to a general audience. Enter the AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows program, which has thrived in this endeavor for more than 30 years.

The 10-week summer program places graduate and post-graduate level science, engineering and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide. Fellows have worked as reporters, editors, researchers and production assistants at such media outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Sacramento Bee, and Scientific American. Participants come in knowing the importance of translating their work for the public, but they leave with the tools and the know-how to accomplish this important goal.

A complete application packet consists of:

  1. The application form
  2. A copy of your resume (please include any honors, awards, and relevant activities)
  3. Brief sample of your writing (no more than 2 – 3 pages total) on any subject written in terms appropriate for the general public – no technical papers please
  4. Journal news story coverage (See application)
  5. Three letters of recommendation (to be mailed directly to the program). Two of these letters should be from faculty members.
  6. Transcripts of your undergraduate and graduate work (to be mailed directly to the program)

Applicants are responsible for obtaining the necessary transcripts and letters of recommendation and seeing that all materials are sent directly to the program. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicants are evaluated by a selection committee composed of experts in the sciences, education, and media. The committee makes recommendations to the AAAS staff, who are responsible for the final decisions and for negotiations between the candidates and the media hosts. Telephone interviews are conducted with semi-finalists sometime in March each year. Candidates receive final notification of the status of their applications in April.

Mail completed forms to:
AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellows Program
1200 New York Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Telephone: (202) 326-6441

Eligible candidates should review information on the application procedures and submit their application by the January 15, 2012 deadline.

For more information, please visit official website:


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