ABSW has many institutions wishing to fund ABSW Media Fellowships for their scientists, clinicians or engineers. Now, the ABSW is looking for media outlets willing to host the Fellows. 

What are the ABSW Media Fellowships?   

In a nutshell, they provide a unique opportunity for practising scientists, clinicians, and engineers to spend two to six weeks working at the heart of a media outlet such as the Guardian, BBC Science Unit or New Scientist. 

The Fellowships are extremely popular with scientists and their institutions (who fund their Fellowships), so ABSW is looking for new media hosts to expand the number of placements available.  Placements can be at any media outlet type, in any part of the UK, they can be entirely remote if your outlet operates like that, they can be office-based, or a mixture of the two, flexibility is key to making the scheme work. 

Placements generally take place in July/August/September/October to fit in with the teaching commitments of most academics. Placements can be anything from 2 to 6 weeks, full or part-time, all these details are negotiated between the media host and the Fellow once we have made the right match. 

What are the benefits for the media host? 

Nothing better than letting previous media hosts share the benefits. Richard Gray, Editor of BBC Future, says: 

“We’ve welcomed a number of Fellows over the years, and it has always been hugely rewarding for our team. Not only do they bring their own expertise but also an outside perspective that breathes fresh ideas into our commissioning. As they develop a better understanding of how the media works through their placement, those conversations also provide an opportunity to examine why we do things in a certain way and consider if something else might also work. We’ve been lucky enough to maintain a relationship with our Fellows after their fellowship ends, and some still write for us today.” 

Rob Reddick, Science Editor of WIRED adds: 

“You get to work with someone who is an expert in their field and can give you insight into a topic that, as a journalist, you and your colleagues probably don't have. Because you're working with a scientist, you often have someone familiar with scientific processes and concepts. Academics almost always know far more about — and are more comfortable discussing and evaluating — things like probability, statistical significance, uncertainty when compared to your average journalist.” 

Do you have questions about this programme? 

  1. How much does it cost the media host?
    Nothing. The Fellowship is funded by the Fellow’s employer or institution. 
  2. Do I get to choose the Fellow?
    Yes, detailed information on the Fellows is sent to all Media Hosts so you can rank your preferred Fellow. We always try hard to ensure we have a good match. 
  3. We don’t have offices and work entirely remotely – does that mean we can’t host?
    Not at all over the past couple of years we have had entirely remote placements and they have worked extremely well. 
  4. Do you train the Fellows?
    Yes, we run a journalism 101 course before the Fellows take up their placements.
  5. Do the Fellows produce real published work?
    Yes, just look at the brilliant work produced by last year’s Fellows.  

Get in touch with Sallie Robins, by emailing [email protected] or 07733 33034, if you would like to know more and potentially become a media host in 2024. 

Visit the ABSW Media Fellows page  

The Association of British Science Writers is registered in England and Wales under company number 07376343 at 76 Glebe Lane, Barming, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 9BD.
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