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Fellowship term: November 19, 2018 – June 28, 2019
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: JUNE 1, 2018 at havelfellowship@rferl.org

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 - 2019 Václav Havel Journalism Fellowship. The purpose of the Fellowship is to support aspiring journalists from countries lacking media freedom and independence to pursue their profession in support of pluralism. It is inspired by former Czech President Václav Havel's belief in the transformational role of journalism in challenging tyranny and oppression.

The Fellowship is a joint initiative of RFE/RL and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic that reflects a shared commitment to strengthening media freedom in Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation. It is generously supported by the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE97.

The program will help prepare selected Fellows to be standard-bearers of their profession and leaders in their communities, on-line, on air, and in the world.


Fellowships are for a term of eight months. Fellows will spend six months at RFE/RL’s headquarters in Prague, where they will be placed with an appropriate language service to receive daily, on-the-job training and mentoring while working alongside RFE/RL’s seasoned professionals. For two weeks before the term in Prague, Fellows will be assigned to an appropriate RFE/RL bureau, where they will be introduced to RFE/RL’s local role and meet bureau staff. Fellows will return to the bureau for the final four weeks of the program.

A monthly stipend at the bureau and in Prague, housing, insurance, and travel arrangements to and from Prague shall be provided.

The main elements of the program are:

1. Professional mentoring alongside RFE/RL’s seasoned professionals.

2. Training and development of journalistic skills on traditional, multi-media, and digital platforms.

3. Participation in the daily editorial discussions that inform a professional and independent press.

4. Independent work on a personal project.

5. Understanding of the mission and practice of a professional, free, and independent media.


The Fellowship also features workshops on journalistic practices and tools; discussions with government officials, civic leaders and regional analysts; visits to local media and news agencies in Prague; and professional development opportunities in the Czech Republic and abroad.

Fellows will be expected to represent themselves and the Fellowship, in English, in public events and discussions relating to media freedom in their country.

The Fellowship accepts applications from journalists in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation. 2


Application Instructions

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis. Eligible applicants will be from an Eastern Partnership country or the Russian Federation; have a minimum of two years’ experience working as a journalist in their native language; have a demonstrated commitment to journalism as a profession and RFE/RL’s mission; and be proficient in English.

A complete application includes the following materials:


Personal statement, 3 Work samples, 2 letters of recommendation, Curriculum Vitae, including current contact information , Letter to Václav Havel


In addition, please let us know how you learned about the Fellowship (e.g., RFE/RL’s website, Facebook, a professional or academic reference, etc.).

Application materials must be submitted in English.

Candidates may be contacted and asked to participate in a telephone, Skype or in-person interview as part of the application process.


Your personal statement is a very important part of your application, and will be thoroughly read and considered in the selection process. It should be written in English and not exceed 750 words. In your personal statement, please address your journalistic experience, including your reasons for pursuing journalism; the values and convictions that guide your work; experiences that have influenced your journalism; and what you hope to accomplish as a journalist. In addition, please explain your reasons for applying for the Václav Havel Journalism Fellowship, including how it relates to your professional development and what you hope to gain from it.


Please attach 3 work samples, on any platform, demonstrating your best professional work. Two of the samples must have been published within the year of the Fellowship deadline. All samples must include a date and, if not in English, they must be accompanied by an English translation. In the case of video submissions, an English-language summary is sufficient. If translations are not your own, please state otherwise.


Two letters of recommendation are required with your application. One of your letters should be from a current supervisor or colleague who practices journalism and knows you professionally. The writers should explain their relationship to you and describe your qualifications, potential for professional growth and development, and reasons that make you an excellent candidate for the Fellowship. Letters must be submitted in English. 3



Please attach your updated curriculum vitae. This shall include your name, email address, social media profile, phone number, present address and permanent address; a detailed work history since completing your formal education; and educational background. Please also list any noteworthy distinctions or awards, and current or recent memberships in professional, political, or other groups. Please also state if you have received any type of certification (and at what level) of English language proficiency.


Havel wrote his “Letters to Olga” during his nearly four-year imprisonment in communist Czechoslovakia in the late 1970's. In your submission, please write a short Letter to President Havel, not to exceed 300 words. What would you like to share about journalism in your country, freedom, democracy, and human rights? What would you like him to know about you? What would you ask?


BY FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2018.



Please notify havelfellowship@rferl.org with any questions and a coordinator will respond to you promptly.