Fellowships for Professionals

APPLICATIONS FOR 2024 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIPS ARE NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED.

Recipients will be announced in March. Until then, read more below.

Expand your skills and invest in your career

Since the fellowship program’s inception in 2001, the Jack Webster Foundation has offered eligible B.C. journalists and journalism educators the opportunity to attend professional development courses or to create self-defined fellowships for research or skill enhancement.

There are many valuable on-line and in-person courses available in B.C., across Canada, and in the U.S. on topics including writing and editing, photography, documentary filmmaking, creative non-fiction, investigative journalism, newsroom leadership, and much more.

Over the decades, numerous B.C. journalists have received funding to enrol in courses offered through UBC’s Extended Learning, Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies, Royal Roads University, McGill University, Editors Canada, Investigative Editors and Reporters, and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. In order to allocate fellowship funding to the maximum number of journalists, applicants are encouraged to opt for the more affordable option of on-line courses.

Rather than take particular courses, some applicants have also proposed their own unique fellowship opportunities to help them acquire or upgrade special skills, such as those to meet rapidly-evolving technologies, or to enable the research needed to complete an approved special journalistic project.

Each year, one of the fellowships awarded will be presented in the name of the late Don Matheson, a former B.C. reporter. This fellowship is designed for a B.C.-born journalist.  However, other fellowships are available for non-B.C. born candidates.


ELIGIBILITY

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

· Full-time journalists with B.C. print, broadcast, or online news organizations;

· Freelance or self-employed journalists whose work has been aired or published in B.C. continuously over a three-year period;

· B.C. journalism educators.

ABOUT THE AWARDS

Choose to apply for either a short-term course to enhance your skills, or for a research-based/self directed fellowship under the section “How to Apply” below.

FELLOWSHIP FUNDING

The Jack Webster Foundation will pay for your course of choice to further your career. For those requesting funding for self-defined fellowship, please submit a detailed budget.

SELECTION

The Jack Webster Foundation announces the recipients in the spring of each year. Recipients will have until the end of February of the year following the announcement of their award to complete their fellowships, though recipients may request an extension.

HOW TO APPLY & APPLY NOW

Please read below how to prepare for and complete the following steps to apply for funding to take a short-term course for professional development or apply for a self-defined professional development program.

TO APPLY FOR A SHORT-TERM COURSE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIP:

Step 1
Fill out the online application form here

Step 2
Attach the following entry requirements in your application form:

 A current resume

 A letter from your employer supporting the application and confirming your availability to participate, or for freelancers, a letter of support from an editor at a news source that has published your work in the past year.

 A statement or essay of 250-500 words (maximum) describing the relevance of the course to your job, your goals for the course, how you will apply the training back in your newsroom and how much the cost is of the course, how much it costs (specify Canadian or US $) and when the course is to take place.

Step 3
Click submit form and wait for confirmation.

Note:

  • Please indicate on the application form if you are B.C.-born in order to be considered for the special fellowship for BC-born journalists.
  • Should the deadline for application or the actual date of the course you wish to take fall before the Foundation fellowships are announced in the spring (so courses with dates of Jan.,Feb. or March and April), and if you take the course/are accepted, you may still apply for a fellowship and if you are chosen, funds will be reimbursed to you, after the fact.

TO APPLY FOR A RESEARCH-BASED OR SELF-DEFINED FELLOWSHIP

Please complete the following steps:

Step 1
Fill out the online application form here and indicate if you are applying for a research-based or skills enhancement fellowship. Fill out the online application form.

Step 2
Attach the following entry requirements in your application form:

 A current resume

 A letter from your employer supporting the application and confirming your availability to participate, or for freelancers, a letter of support from an editor at a news source that has published your work in the past year.

 A project outline (up to four pages) which includes:

  • purpose, timing
  • details of the project or special courses/studies to be undertaken
  • output including future use of the material, benefits to applicant, media and community
  • budget, including a breakdown of your expenses such as travel, course fees, etc.

Step 3
Click submit form and wait for confirmation.

DEADLINES

The call for submissions for 2024 Professional Development Fellowships is now closed. Recipients will be announced in March.

FAQ

How is the successful applicant chosen?

The selection committee comprises members of the Board of the Jack Webster Foundation who will consider each application based upon its merits. For research-based/self-defined applications the committee considers the tangible outcomes, the timeliness of the subject matter, the degree to which public knowledge and understanding of issues is advanced and the efficient use of funds.

What kinds of projects will be considered as research-based/self-defined opportunities?

All projects will be considered. The fellowship allows B.C. journalists to create self-defined opportunities to upgrade or acquire new knowledge or skills. For example, you may apply to an educational institution and acquire knowledge in a specific area, such as law, health, business, or economics or may create a self-defined opportunity to learn more about a specific current issue. Alternatively, the journalist may upgrade his/her skills to meet rapidly evolving technologies or may request funding for an approved special project journalism story/feature.

How will the successful applicant receive the funds?

The Jack Webster Foundation will enter into an arrangement with the successful applicant to provide the funds in a manner consistent with the applicant’s project. So payment can either to direct to the recipient to reimburse for course/other costs, or institutions offering courses may be paid directly upon the recipients behalf.

Please note that a report of the successful applicant’s fellowship experience is required.

What organizations have recipients attended in order to take courses?

In the past, recipients have attended courses offered by the Missouri School of Journalism, UBC Extended Learning, SFU’s Continuing Studies, Royal Roads University, McGill University, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Editors Canada, Investigative Editors and Reporters seminars have been attended, as have courses at the Banff Centre. The Jack Webster Foundation welcomes applications to attend any organization offering short term professional development.

Why do I have to indicate where I was born?

The Jack Webster Foundation was fortunate to be the recipient of funds from the late Don Matheson, a B.C. reporter. The bequest stipulates that the recipient be B.C.-born.

This B.C.-born requirement applies to only one of the fellowships offered. If you are not B.C. born, you are still eligible to apply as other fellowships are available each year.

Who has received a JWF Fellowship?

To see which B.C. journalists have received Jack Webster Foundation fellowships over the past few years, see below.

Where can I receive answers to specific questions?

Contact:
Janet Mitchell
Executive Director
Jack Webster Foundation
T. 604-603-4218
[email protected]


2023 RECIPIENTS

To read more about the 2023 recipients, click here.

Tamara Baluja, of Vancouver B.C. First Person Producer CBC News

Ms. Baluja’s funding will help fund her Master’s in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia.

Alistair Taylor of Campbell River, B.C.
Editor, Campbell River Mirror

Mr. Taylor has enrolled in the Stylistic Editing course offered through Simon Fraser University.

Tallulah, of Vancouver B.C. Freelance Photojournalist / Documentary Photographer Presented by the Estate of Don Matheson

Tallulah is pursuing a self-defined fellowship that will assist her further studies of documentary filmmaking at UNBC.

2022 RECIPIENTS

Nora O’Malley of Ucluelet B.C.
Reporter, Photojournalist, The Westerly News

Ms. O’Malley will take part in the Poynter Institute’s course, Will Work for Impact:  Fundamentals of Investigative Journalism.


Shalu Mehta of Victoria, B.C.
Lead Reporter, The Discourse

Ms. Mehta’s Fellowship will afford her the opportunity to take part in the Poynter Institute’s course, Lead with Influence.
(Photo Credit:  Philp McLachlan)


Janis Cleugh, of Coquitlam B.C.
Reporter/Copy Editor/Paginator, Certified Professional Proofreader,
Tri-City News

Ms. Cleugh’s Fellowship will see her taking part in the Poynter Institute’s course, Writing Online Headlines: SEO and Beyond.


2021 RECIPIENTS

Francesca Fionda
Investigative Journalist

Ms. Fionda’s Fellowship affords her the opportunity to take part in the IRE (Investigative Reporters & Editors) Online Data Bootcamp for Educators.  Ms. Fionda’s Fellowship is in the name of the late B.C. reporter, Don Matheson, whose estate endowed professional development awards for B.C. born journalists.

Manusha Janakiram
Senior Producer
What on Earth, CBC Radio One

Ms. Janakiram’s Fellowship will contribute to the cost of her Graduate Certificate in Values Based Leadership from Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.

Jennifer Leask
Instructor, Langara & Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia

Ms. Leask’s Fellowship will also see her taking part in the IRE (Investigative Reporters & Editors) Online Data Bootcamp for Educators.

Ethan Morneau
Reporter
Vista Radio

Mr. Morneau will take part in the Poynter Institute for Media Studies online seminar Will Work for Impact:  Fundamentals of Investigative Journalism.

Moira Wyton, Health Reporter, The Tyee
Moira Wyton
Health Reporter
The Tyee

Ms. Wyton will take part in McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences course Epidemiology 101 for Journalists.

2020 RECIPIENTS

Mike Hager
Mike Hager
Reporter
The Globe and Mail

Mr. Hager will attend the prestigious Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg Florida where he will take the course, Summit for Reporters and Editors.

Stefan Labbé
Digital Reporter
Tri-City News

Mr. Labbé will also attend the Poynter Institute to take the course Summit for Reporters and Editors. Mr. Labbe’s fellowship is in the name of the late B.C. reporter, Don Matheson, whose estate endowed professional development awards for B.C. born journalists.

Clare Hennig
Freelance Journalist

Ms. Hennig is the recipient of a self-defined fellowship in order to further study video journalism.

SUPPORT THE WEBSTER AWARDS

Your support today makes a big difference and will help us continue the Jack Webster Foundation and celebrate excellence in journalism to protect the public interest for British Columbians.

Your donations go to support Student Journalism Awards, Professional Development Fellowships, free Masterclasses for journalists, journalism educators and students, and to support the costs of funding the annual Webster Awards.

As the Jack Webster Foundation is a registered Canadian charity, tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more. Should you wish to make your donation by cheque, please contact us by sending an email at [email protected].