2022 National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowship

Thursday, October 6, 2022
to Saturday, July 1, 2023
* Registration open until 9/1/22 at 5:00 PM (CST)
* Registration open until 9/1/22 at 5:00 PM (CST)
Meet Previous SHERF Fellows
Category: Fellowships

Understanding the fellowship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022-23 class of the National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships. (Meet last year's class)

AHCJ is once again collaborating with the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and the Society of Environmental Journalists to offer this development opportunity to early-career journalists.

The fellowships are designed to support early-career journalists who are pursuing — or have a strong interest in pursuing — careers in science, health or environmental reporting (or all three).

The program is primarily aimed at journalists in their first decade of professional work, who are interested in boosting their ability and confidence to tackle some of the most important stories of the 21st century.

The program allows fellows to maintain their regular employment while attending intensive training opportunities across the country, many of which will lead to stories for their employer or clients. Fellowship leaders and mentors will provide support and guidance through seminars, calls and e-mail consultations.

Curriculum will include basic science, interpreting medical studies, analyzing data, explaining evidence-based decisions, understanding climate science and more.

The program aspires to provide essential on-the-job training that might otherwise take years to accumulate.


Candidates should be early-career, U.S.-based working journalists — either staff or freelance — with at least two years of professional experience.

Fellows will be expected to attend a handful of training events during the program year. Program leaders will decide whether events will take place in person or virtually based on the latest public health considerations, with fellows’ safety always top of mind.

Each employer (or, for a freelancer, a news outlet that is a regular client) will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation for the applicant. Employers are also asked to pledge their support for the fellows’ participation in all training events.

Board members and staffers of the partner organizations are not eligible to apply.

CASW, AHCJ, and SEJ are fully committed to diversity and inclusion in their memberships, training programs, and the larger journalism field. We welcome applicants who support that commitment.

What's covered

The fellowship provides:

  • Customized seminars and workshops offered in conjunction with the annual conferences produced by AHCJ, SEJ, and CASW/NASW, including support for conference attendance, food, lodging, and travel within the United States;

  • A series of virtual events providing skill-building opportunities and updates on stories, resources and new developments across science, health, medicine, and environment, including private breakout discussions with experts and trainers;
  • Two years' membership (new or extended) in AHCJ, SEJ and NASW, assuming membership qualifications are met;

  • Registration to any virtual events held during the program year by AHCJ, SEJ or CASW;

  • Mentoring opportunities with a senior journalist in a topic area of choice;

  • Private online site for fellows to refer to training materials, share reporting efforts and network with one another;

  • For freelancers, a reporting project support stipend of $2,000 after successfully completing the program.

Anticipated schedule

Tentative dates and sites (including whether in-person or virtual), depending upon public health recommendations:

  • Kick-off seminar, Oct. 6-7, 2022 (to be held via Zoom)

  • ScienceWriters2022, Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 21-25, 2022

  • Health Journalism 2023, St. Louis, Mo., March 9-12, 2023

  • SEJ2023, Boise, Idaho, April 19-23, 2023

  • Custom webinar briefings held periodically through the year

  • Career development seminar and graduation (June or July 2023)

Application checklist 

  • Cover letter introducing yourself, your journalism background, efforts at career development, and explaining why you are seeking the fellowship.

  • A current resume or CV.

  • A letter of recommendation from your current employer that addresses the benefits of the fellowship to you and the news organization’s audience as well as the employer’s commitment to support your full participation in the fellowship. Freelance applicants should submit a letter of recommendation from a regular client or assigning editor who can speak to your abilities and the value you would derive from participating.

  • Two sample news or feature stories published or aired during the past 12 months.

The application deadline is Sept. 1, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. CT, 3 p.m. PT.

* Registration open until 9/1/22 at 5:00 PM (CST)
* Registration open until 9/1/22 at 5:00 PM (CST)
Meet Previous SHERF Fellows

The application deadline is Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. CT, 3 p.m. PT.

To apply, click the "Register Now" button.

Questions? Contact Susan Cunningham at susan@healthjournalism.org or 573-882-2203.