Digital Societies Fellowship

About the Digital Societies Fellowship:

Digital technologies are rapidly transforming traditional economies and challenging the legal and policy frameworks that ensure citizens’ privacy and civil liberties. Yet, digitalization is also the key to future innovation, offering promising new approaches for green technologies, creating new sectors of the global economy, facilitating democratic exchange and transparency, and rapidly increasing the pace of scientific discovery. Journalists interested in the Digital Societies Media Fellowships should aim to contribute to a nuanced transatlantic dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of the digital age for democratic societies and for the transatlantic partnership. Examples of possible topics include data security, surveillance, the sharing economy, smart cities, or new technologies to facilitate democratic transparency and engagement.

What we offer:

  • Travel and accommodation costs within reason for five days of research in the EU or the U.S., subject to final approval of individual travel plans. Fellows may choose their dates of travel anytime between April 1 – May 20, 2016.
  • an honorarium of $1,000

Who can apply:

We seek journalists working in any medium who offer new perspectives on transatlantic policy debates and who may not otherwise have the opportunity to conduct transatlantic research.

Eligible journalists should:

  • be from the United States, based in the U.S., and seek to contribute to transatlantic policy debates by reporting about European practices and experiences in their area of research. 
  • be from an EU country, based in the EU, and seek to contribute to transatlantic policy debates by reporting about U.S. practices and experiences in their area of research. 

Note: we do not require fellows to be citizens of either the US or the EU, however fellows are responsible for securing their own visas, if necessary. We can provide an offer letter to support the visa application process.

We will give special consideration to journalists from regional or local media outlets who can demonstrate that transatlantic reporting is a new and important perspective for their audience and that their story ideas would be informative for regional or local policy debates. We also strongly encourage journalists from diverse backgrounds who can offer lesser-heard perspectives.

What's expected:

A minimum of three stories: each fellow is expected to publish at least three stories, in any medium, within two months of completing travel. Fellows must be able either to guarantee the publication of their pieces or to demonstrate a strong track record of publications. Fellows (and/or their employers) will retain full editorial control over the reporting. The Heinrich Böll Foundation will feature the final pieces on the HBS North America website following their publication.

Active social media engagement: while traveling and developing their stories, fellows are expected to actively engage with HBS North America over Facebook and Twitter and/or Instagram.

Application Instructions:

Please read the application instructions carefully before submitting your application. We will not consider incomplete applications.

A complete application consists of:

1. Resume: Please use U.S. format. This means no picture, date of birth, marital or familial status, etc.

2. Cover Letter. 

3. Proposal: Please include the following three sections:

  • Story proposals: please include a short description of each story you plan to cover (about 200 words each). You do not need to have interviews confirmed, but you should indicate whom you plan to contact. Please also specify the language of publication, medium (radio, print, etc.), audience, plans for publication, and your ability to translate stories into English or German if this is not the language of publication.
  • Travel Itinerary: please outline your dates of travel, destinations, and possible interviews in each location. You may travel for 5 days anytime between April 1 and May 20, 2016. Fellows may extend travel for a maximum of an additional 5 days, but these additional days will not be covered by the fellowship.
  • Social Media Engagement: briefly explain how you plan to engage with HBS North America in the course of your fellowship.

4. Work samples

  • Please submit two work samples.
  • If your previous work is not in English, German, Spanish, or French, please provide a brief summary of each of your work samples.

For questions, please contact Hannah Winnick, Program Director, Transatlantic Dialogue on Democracy and Social Policy, at hannah.winnick@us.boell.org.

We are no longer accepting applications for the Spring 2016 fellowship. Please check back for more information about future application deadlines.  

#hbsDigital on Twitter

2016 Digital Societies Fellows

Sonja Álvarez Sobreviela

Journalist, Der Tagesspiegel

Giorgio Ghiglione

Freelance Journalist

Jay Cassano

Freelance journalist, New York

Lena Schnabl

Freelance Journalist