How to Apply
Complete applications are due by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on March 15.
Submit Letter of Reference
Two letters of reference are due by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on March 15.
About the Food Fellowship
Since 2013, the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism has offered ten $10,000 postgraduate Food and Farming Journalism Fellowships per year in a program established by Michael Pollan, the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley and Malia Wollan, the fellowship's director. The fellowships have given some 100 journalists an opportunity to report ambitious long form print and audio stories on the full range of subjects under the rubric of food systems: agricultural and nutritional policy, the food industry, food science, technology and culture, rural and urban farming, agriculture and the environment, food and climate change, global trade and supply chains, consolidation and securitization of the food system and public health as it relates to food and farming.
The fellowship has been generously supported by a grant from The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation.
The fellowship was funded for 10 years and we're incredibly proud of the work the fellows and editors have produced in that time. There will not be a fellowship offered in 2023 but we are exploring whether the fellowships might return in the future.
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Michael Pollan is Emeritus Professor at the graduate school at UC Berkeley and the author of nine books, including How To Change Your Mind and This is Your Mind on Plants. His previous books include Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, all of which were New York Times Bestsellers. The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the ten best books of the year by both The New York Times and The Washington Post. Pollan teaches journalism in the English department at Harvard University and at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Malia Wollan is director of the UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, KQED, New York Magazine, Fast Company, the Associated Press, PBS’s Frontline/World and elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. The fellowship is only open to those who are not currently enrolled in school. If you will have graduated and completed your program by June, you are eligible to apply. Current students cannot be fellows but we encourage you to consider applying after graduation.
No. We only have funding for ten fellows working on ten separate stories. Unfortunately we cannot split fellowships between multiple people.
At this time we are focusing on print and audio journalists. If you have multimedia skills, feel free to apply them but we are looking for strong audio and print pitches and our editors have audio and print expertise.
In the case of print submissions, clips should be published pieces of journalism reported and written by you. Since we are particularly looking to fund long form, in depth stories, you should include long form clips if you have them. In the case of audio, at least one clip should be a broadcast audio story reported by you, the others can be radio pieces or published print stories.
Yes. We got so many good applications for so few spots we had to pass on many good stories.
Yes, but we cannot assist with visas or residency. Also, stories must have a strong U.S. angle.
We don’t have an ironclad definition but the fellowship is aimed to buoy up journalists toward the start of their careers. That usually means fellows have not published multiple books or published books with major publishers; it usually means younger journalists. On average, our fellows are approximately 2-7 years into a career as a journalist; they have published or placed stories in national publications or broadcast outlets; they show great promise and talent but are not yet well known to national editors. They are still hustling to get pieces placed and could benefit from the structure and support of the fellowship.
Yes. But you should include in your pitch a short explanation of how you intend to fit the fellowship in around your job. Most people will need to take time off from their jobs to work on the fellowship story. If it is not realistic for you to keep your full time job and report a long form story, please do not apply. If you intend to report the fellowship story for whatever outlet or publication you work for, please explain how that would work and whether or not you have been granted permission to do that.
Unfortunately, we can only accept fellowship applications and published clips in English. If you are bilingual and can report in another language we encourage you to do that but as editors we only have the capacity to edit English language stories intended for English language publications.
No. We do not want to see book proposals. If you are writing a book and feel you have a chapter or section that works as a long form, narrative story, and you want to publish that story as an article, send us a pitch for that specific story.
Your references should be people who are familiar with your journalistic work, preferably editors or instructors you’ve worked with on stories.
No. As part of this fellowship you will be required to participate in two, 4-day , all day workshops at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Part of the benefit of the fellowship is developing a cohort of other young journalists who will continue to be part of your professional network going forward. You will be expected to read and edit one another’s stories and pitches and engage in editing workshops with your fellow Fellows.
Yes. This fellowship exists to serve you and the piece you’re working on. You have an opportunity to write something substantial and get some really good editors to look at it, comment on, and help you reshape it. You should take that opportunity, whether or not you’ve placed your story yet. Workshops work best when everyone brings work to the table. This is your chance to get your reporting down while it is still fresh and to establish a relationship with national editors.