The East-West Center is delighted to announce the 2015 Jefferson Fellowships for journalists
Theme: The South China Sea: Trade, Resources and Conflict
Destinations: Honolulu, Hawaii; Beijing and Hainan Island, China; Manila and Masinloc, Philippines; and Singapore
Dates: May 2-23, 2015
Who Can Apply: Working print, broadcast, and on-line journalists in the United States, Asia* and the Pacific Islands. Five years of experience preferred. English fluency required. *Please note that scholarship funding applies only to Asian countries in this list.
Deadline: January 27, 2015
The seas are vitally important to the Asia Pacific region. Countries in the region are heavily dependent on international trade and imported energy, the bulk of which travel by sea. They are the source of much of the protein in the diets of many countries in the region, a demand that is increasing as middle classes grow. They have potentially valuable energy and mineral resources. The South China Sea is one of the world’s most heavily used transit corridors and is the key route for trade as well as the imported energy fueling regional economies. It is estimated that roughly half a billion people live within 100 miles of the coasts of the South China Sea and the seas are rich in fishing and hydrocarbon resources. There have long been disputes over sovereignty, overlapping exclusive economic zones and competing claims, but increased demand for resources and shifting geopolitics have heightened these tensions, creating conflict and an urgent need for regional coordination in the seas. These tensions can hinder needed cooperation on other critical challenges of sustainable management of sea-based resources, protecting the environment, combating criminal activities such as poaching and piracy, and ensuring the stable and efficient freedom of navigation that plays a key role in Asia’s growth and prosperity.
The 2015 Jefferson Fellowships will provide journalists with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of these complex issues including the role that oceans play in the prosperity and security of Asia Pacific countries, the legal frameworks that govern the use of the seas, the roles of various countries and organizations in enforcing these rules, the disputes over ownership of maritime territory in the South China Sea and the prospects for the way forward. In Honolulu journalists will learn about these issues and the role of the United States from regional experts, US military officials, and presentations by one another. Travel to China and the Philippines will provide first hand perspectives from two of the key claimants in South China Sea disputes who are at the center of the first case brought for international arbitration under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas. Visits to the capital cities as well as local communities bordering the South China Sea will explore the importance of the seas to both countries—one a continental rising global power and the other a developing island nation. In Singapore, participants will explore the business of trade by sea in a city-state highly dependent on maritime transshipment for its prosperity and one of the gateways to the Malacca Strait, through which almost 50,000 ships carrying half the world’s trade and one-third of global oil pass each year. Singapore also offers an opportunity to explore strategies and scenarios for regional cooperation in managing territorial disputes as well as efforts to mitigate piracy and manage congestion in these vital shipping lanes.
The Jefferson Fellowships are supported by a grant from The Freeman Foundation and by the East-West Center.
These funds provide for 10-13 full or partial scholarships, including approximately 4-5 for qualified American journalists and 7-8 for Asia Pacific journalists.
All participants, regardless of amount of scholarship, must pay an $800 programming fee to cover costs not provided by the scholarship funds. Participants are also responsible for all applicable visa fees, any additional visa-related expenses, health insurance and baggage fees.
The direct costs for participation in this intensive educational, dialogue, and reporting program are valued at approximately* $9000 and include:
- Roundtrip airfare to and from your home country and throughout the study tour
- Lodging in each of the fellowship cities
- Provided program meals and a modest per diem to cover meals not provided
- Ground transportation and airport transfers
- Cultural activities and networking opportunities
- Interpretation in China and the Philippines
- Pro-rated program costs such as 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 with knowledge of regional issues and the 2015 theme
We encourage media organizations to cost share programs costs and/or airfare. Cost sharing is seen as an indication of the commitment of media organizations to the value of the program and their willingness to invest in the participating journalist. It is an important consideration of the Selection Committee. The “Employer’s Statement of Support” indicating cost sharing is required for all applicants.
Journalists also are welcome to offer cost sharing on their own or identify other sponsors to cost share participation, such as local foundations. Please complete a second copy of the Employer Statement of Support form and indicate who is providing the cost sharing.
*airfares will be different from different countries
For full program information please download the 2015_Jefferson_Fellowships_Announcement.pdf
Please also see this list of Frequently Asked Questions about eligibility, funding and the application process.
How To Apply: All applicants must fill out the Jefferson Fellowships application form. You may download PDF or MS Word versions below.
Jefferson Fellowships Application Form (PDF) NOTE: You must save a copy of the form to your computer before filling out the form.
Jefferson Fellowships Application Form (MS Word)
In addition to the application form, applicants must also provide all of the following:
• A letter outlining the following (maximum three pages, double-spaced, please):
–what you expect to accomplish if an award is granted 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.;
–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 the full 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.
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).
• A 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. 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. If your media organization is not paying your program fee or providing financial support, supervisors should indicate why not.
• The “Employer’s Statement of Support” form completed by your employer (third page of application form). Freelancers must also submit the Employer Statement of Support form. Please write “Freelancer” for employer name.
• Names, addresses, phone/fax numbers and e-mail of three people who may be contacted by the Center as references. Two of these references should be people outside your news organization.
For a printed copy of these instructions, please download the 2015 Jefferson Fellowships Announcement (instructions on page 4)
Complete applications must be submitted by Friday, January 27 by:
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax: 808-944-7600
For inquiries about the application process, please call: 808-944-7727
Questions about the Fellowships program should be directed to: Ann Hartman, Coordinator, email@example.com; 808-944-7384
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 from us, please follow up.