The Nieman Fellowship is an award given to mid-career journalists by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. This award allows winners time to reflect on their careers and focus on honing their skills.
According to the foundation site:
Nieman Fellowships are awarded to reporters, editors, photographers, producers, editorial writers and cartoonists, and Internet specialists with at least five years of full-time, professional experience in the news media.
At Harvard, Nieman Fellows experience discovery and enrichment, learning and reflection in classrooms, in Nieman seminars and from the close friendships that emerge during the Nieman year. The fellowship home is at the Lippmann House in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Each fellow is free to design an individual course of study. Some pursue classes in a reporting specialty. Others explore the breadth of Harvard's schools and departments. For many Niemans, it is a year of transformation, enabling them to return to their news organizations with renewed journalistic purpose.
Between 25 and 30 fellowships are awarded annually, half to Americans and half to non-Americans.
There are several categories of Nieman Fellowships for mid-career journalists.
Annually, up to 12 U.S. citizens are selected as Nieman fellows. As part of each class, three specialized fellowships are also selected:Reynolds Fellowship in Community Journalism
Reynolds Fellowship in Business Journalism
Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation
Additionally, "during years in which a watchdog journalist or investigative reporter from the United States is selected for a fellowship from the general application pool, the Nieman Foundation may offer the Murrey Marder Fellowship in Watchdog Reporting."
Annually, up to 12 international fellowships are awarded to citizens of nations other than the United States.
This joint fellowship, awarded for the first time in 2012, is a joint fellowship between the Nieman Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society that is awarded to candidates with project proposals related to innovation in journalism.
Short-term Visiting Fellowships to The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard are available "to individuals interested in working on special research projects designed to advance journalism." Applicants "need not be practicing journalists, but must demonstrate the ways in which their work at Harvard and the Nieman Foundation may improve the prospects for journalism’s future. This may be related to research, programming, design, financial strategies or another topic. U.S. and international applicants are welcome." The website further explains: "Those who should consider applying include publishers, programmers, Web designers, media analysts, academics, journalists and others interested in enhancing quality, building new business models or designing programs to improve journalism. The proposed project may be completed during the time spent at Harvard or be part of a larger undertaking."
Similar fellowships are offered at Stanford University under the name of the John S. Knight Fellowships, the University of Michigan under the name of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships, and at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism under the name Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Program.