The 2014 pplication deadline for CASW's Taylor/Blakeslee University Fellowships was March 21. CASW accelerated the review cycle for these fellowships in order to be able to inform students of their awards before they make decisions in the spring.
"Recently I learned from a program director that excellent applicants sometimes decline admission to a science-writing program because of a shortage of resources," said Rosalind Reid, CASW executive director. "They have to make this decision in mid-April. By accelerating our fellowship application cycle, we can give our Fellows vital information that will help with their decision process—possibly enabling an especially qualified student to say 'yes' rather than 'no.'"
Traditionally CASW has taken applications until July 1 and notified fellowship winners in late summer. Setting a March 21 application deadline allows notification to be made by April 15. CASW has also instituted an online submission process to make it simpler to apply for the awards.
Each year, CASW offers fellowships of $5,000 to both professional journalists and students of outstanding ability who have been accepted for enrollment in graduate-level programs in science writing. (The photo shows 2009 Fellow Ariel Bleicher and her classmates in NYU's SHERP program.) These are the only national awards offered specifically to students in U.S. science-writing graduate programs.
Journalists with at least two years of mass-media experience are particularly invited to apply. This can include work on a college newspaper, or other journalistic experience involving reporting in any field. CASW welcomes all applicants who can show good writing skills and interest in science journalism.
Students must have an undergraduate degree and must convince the CASW selection committee of their ability to pursue a career in writing about science for the general public.
Fellows may attend school either full-time or part-time. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or long-time residents.
Science writing includes writing about science, medicine, health, technology and the environment for the general public. Fellowships are not available to those intending to pursue careers in technical writing.
The fellowships are underwritten by a grant from the Brinson Foundation, a Chicago-based philanthropic organization devoted to supporting educational, public health and scientific research programs, and by funds derived from a special bequest to CASW from the American Tentative Society, which, for three decades, played an important role in promoting public understanding of science and the scientific process. The fellowships honor the late Rennie Taylor, a science writer for the Associated Press, whose estate provided funds for the establishment of ATS, and Alton Blakeslee, former AP science editor, who served as its longtime president. Since these fellowships were established in 1996, 72 Fellows have received support. The forerunner to the current program, the Nate Haseltine Graduate Fellowships, was established in 1981 and supported another 66 students.
Further information and a link to the mail application may be found on this page.