The RESP Fellowship
The Religion & Environment Story Project (RESP) trains journalists, editors, and public-facing scholars interested in the intersection of the environment and religion. Our goal is to bridge the divide between the religion and science beats, and promote new thinking and new narratives that will inform and educate the public, especially on the climate crisis. RESP is based at Boston University and funded by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
About the Fellowship
The Religion & Environment Story Project Fellowship supports journalists, editors, and public-facing academics who are producing – or want to learn how to produce – stories at the intersection of religion and the environment. A cohort of ten fellows will gather twice over the course of six months for practical, on-the-job training designed to develop new ways of thinking about the climate crisis and the role played by religious individuals and institutions in addressing (and ignoring) it. Participants will meet with working journalists and scholars in a collaborative seminar environment that will include wide ranging discussions on religion, spirituality, the environment, climate change, and journalism. We hope this format will inspire and inform the participants while offering peer learning and support from other journalists. It should also provide expert sources and story leads that will help fellows identify and create stories that other journalists are missing.
RESP will cover travel, food, and lodging for our two workshops. We will also pay for a year’s membership for the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) or the Religion News Association (RNA), plus registration fees for either the SEJ and RNA annual conferences. Fellows will also receive a stipend of $1,000 after completing the program and committing to produce at least one story for a general audience.
Learn more about our 2022-2023 Fellows here!
“The RESP fellowship helped connect me with brilliant journalists and writers working in the religion and environment space, who showed me there can be a viable path forward in covering these topics and provided much-needed support over the course of our year together. It’s amazing to know that there are others working in this field who are always there to swap ideas, feedback and inspiration.” – Diana Kruzman (RESP Fellow ’21-’22)
“As a religion writer interested in expanding into the environmental storytelling field, the RESP Fellowship gave me the boost of confidence, training, and generative conversations needed to change directions and expand my audience. I learned so much from the experts who presented, the environmental journalism conference, and especially from the other fellows and fellowship organizers. I will carry the relationships and ideas nurtured throughout this fellowship into my work for years to come.” – Liuan Huska (RESP Fellow ’21-’22)
“If you’re a religion and/or environment reporter I *highly* recommend applying to the RESP fellowship! I met brilliant people, had rich and vulnerable discussions, learned a lot, and was deeply inspired.” – Sarah Ventre (RESP Fellow ’21-’22)
Candidates should be U.S.-based journalists or editors (freelance or staff, in all media) who are interested in working on stories where religious and spiritual commitments overlap with environmental action (or inaction). Also invited to apply are U.S.-based college and university faculty members who actively write for general audiences. RESP is committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in journalism. We encourage applications from people of all backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, and religions, as well as the non-religious. The RESP Fellowship is open to both emerging and established journalists.
Fellows will convene for two in-person workshops and two virtual workshops over the course of six months. These workshops will offer fellows educational and networking opportunities, as well as a chance to become part of a close cohort of working journalists. Additional gatherings will take place online. Workshops will be moderated by RESP co-directors Meera Subramanian, an award-winning environmental journalist, and Stephen Prothero, a best-selling author and Religious Studies professor at Boston University. At our workshops, fellows will meet with seasoned journalists and leading scholars working in religion and/or the environment. Weekend workshops will take place over the course of three days, starting with an opening dinner and followed by one-and-a-half days of programming, with abundant free time for informal conversations and cohort-building. Fellows will also receive training and resource materials in both Religious Studies and Environmental Studies. In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we will meet immediately after the annual meetings of one of our partner organizations, the Religion News Association (RNA).
- October 15-17, 2022: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
March 26-28, 2023; NEW DATES: March 19-21, 2023: Annapolis, Maryland (following RNA Annual Meeting)
- Online events TBA
Applicants should make sure that they will be able to attend both in-person workshops.
Candidates should send the following materials together in one PDF to: firstname.lastname@example.org:
- A cover letter (2 pages maximum) introducing yourself and your career and explaining why you are applying for the fellowship.
- A resume or CV of no more than 2 pages.
- Two samples of published, public-facing work.
- One letter of recommendation (sent separately from the recommender to (email@example.com). For staff, this should be from a supervisor. For freelancers, it should be from an editor. Recommenders should explain what you will contribute to and derive from this program. Supervisors’ letters should explicitly state their support of the applicant’s participation in the program, including both workshops. Recommenders’ email subject line should include your full name.
August 25, 2022, at 11:59 pm, ET. Fellowship recipients will be announced in early September.