Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholarship/Fellowships

Graduate and undergraduate students studying at American colleges and universities who aspire to become foreign correspondents are invited to apply for Overseas Press Club Foundation scholarship/fellowship awards. American students studying abroad are also eligible to apply.

In a typical year, the Foundation would award 17 scholarships/fellowships. The Foundation pays travel and living expenses for the fellowship winners to spend time in the foreign bureaus of such leading news organization as the Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg, GroundTruth Project, Wall Street Journal and Forbes and at foreign English-language media companies such as the South China Morning Post.  Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of fellowships available at news organizations may be fewer this year or the fellowship may be virtual. Students can still win a $3,000-$4,000 grant to pursue academic goals or funding their own overseas assignments.

The applications must include:

  1. COVER LETTER: The cover letter should be autobiographical in nature addressing such questions as how the applicant developed an interest in journalism and in a particular part of the world or how they would use the scholarship to further their career in journalism.
  2. RESUME: The judges like to see past experience and a commitment to journalism.  Language and media skills are very important.
  3. WORK SAMPLE.  The writing sample of approximately 500-600 words should concentrate on an area of the world or an international issue that is in keeping with the applicant’s interest and experience. Winners have written on such diverse topics as playing black jack on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the Indian diaspora in South Sudan and a Taiwanese book store in mainland China. As four of the 17 awards are reserved for international business or economic coverage, the judges encourage work samples that demonstrate a strong understanding of, or interest in, global economic topics such as trade, finance, emerging markets, immigration or climate and public health issues.

Other routes for submission include:

  • PHOTOJOURNALISM: Please send one PDF of photos or a link to a website or other location where judges can view the work online. Photojournalism applicants are also required to submit a writing sample of approximately 500-600 words that contextualize the photos, explaining how the images were captured or their significance.
  • VIDEO JOURNALISM:  An entry may be a feature, personality, or news journalism piece, and may be either narrated or rely completely on interviews and verité. Applicants must be transparent about their role in the production and give appropriate credit to all team members who participated. Each video story must have a beginning, middle and end. No entry should be shorter than two minutes or longer than seven minutes and should consist primarily of international reportage.  Please send a link where the judges can view the work online. Video journalism applicants are also required to submit a writing sample of approximately 500-600 words that describe the film and its significance.

ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THE APPLICATIONS:

The substance of the writing sample may have appeared in an individual’s previously published work but should be reformatted to meet the requirements of the application. Do not send a clip or URL for the writing sample.

Judges respond well to applications showing strong reporting skills, color, humor and a sense of perspective.  Applications that are exceedingly long may be disqualified. The applicant’s name and school should appear at the top of each page.

Winners will be contacted by mid-January. The Scholar Awards Luncheon will be held at the Yale Club in New York City in late February 2022 and will be part of a three-day series of events, including networking and career-building opportunities and situation awareness/risk management training. The winners are required to participate. In addition, winners become members of the Overseas Press Club. Given the uncertainty surrounding the future course of the pandemic, there is also the possibility the Awards Presentation will be virtual, as it was last year.  You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV9LSFSA-5c.

DEADLINE:  Wednesday, December 1, 2021

All applications with resume, cover letter and work samples should be emailed to  foundation@opcofamerica.org.

For more information, contact Jane Reilly, Executive Director, at foundation@opcofamerica.org or call 201-819-2639.  Or Katri Reilly, Associate Director, at katri@opcofamerica.org

Overseas Press Club Foundation Website: www.overseaspressclubfoundation.org

By Derek I. Webster
Derek I. Webster Senior Associate Director for Creative Careers Derek I. Webster