Genetics and Behavior Journalism Fellowships

The Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia is offering five $7,500 Genetics and Behavior Journalism Fellowships aimed at early- and mid-career journalists. The fellowship supports ambitious, long-form stories on the broad theme of genetics and behavior. The fellowship was established by Eric Turkheimer, Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia, and Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Beak of the Finch and Maxwell M. Geffen Professor of Medical and Scientific Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.

Online applications for the next fellowship cycle will be due September 15, 2017. The application consists of a one-page pitch with a story idea rather than just a topic. The pitch should reflect preliminary research, and propose a narrative and reporting strategy. The application also requires a CV, three published clips, and up to two optional letters of reference. The fellowship is open to anyone, although competitive applicants will have some experience in science journalism. (See detailed application instructions below.)

Winners will be announced on October 23rd, 2017, and the one-year fellowship period will begin December 1st, 2017. The project should be completed within this one-year timeframe.

The fellowship is a part of the Genetics and Human Agency Initiative, which is supported with funding from the John Templeton Foundation. All applicants will maintain editorial independence before, during, and after the project. Recipients will retain full rights to any media produced before, during, and after the project. Recipients will be selected by an independent committee led by Jonathan Weiner.


  • All applications must be received by September 15, 2017.  Applications that are late, incomplete, or do not follow the guidelines will be not be considered. The GHA Journalism Fellowship is for individuals, not teams.
  • Please submit your application to
  • The application, except optional letters of reference, should be sent to the email address above as a single pdf file, with your name in the file title.
  • Guidelines:
    • Cover sheet should be one page long and include the following information:
      • Title of story pitch
      • Your name, email, and phone number
      • List of writing three published clips with titles, publication date, publication venue, and a link. Please also append the full text of each clip at the end of your application pdf. Please do not include co-written articles.
      • List of letter writers, if applicable, including their emails and phone numbers
    • Story pitch should be one page long (12-point font and 1-inch margins). No budget necessary.
    • Please include a CV.
    • Optional letters of reference should be one page long. Letter writers should be familiar with your work and be able to speak to your ability to carry out an ambitious story.
  • Optional letters of reference should be sent directly to the email address above by the letter writer.

The Genetics and Behavior Fellowship will only be offered twice, with five awards in the 2017-18 application cycle, and five additional awards in the 2018-19 application cycle.


Please direct any questions to:

Administrative Coordinator

GHA Journalism Fellowship