Tips for Applying to the OWM Fellowship

The deadline is fast approaching to apply for the annual OWM Fellowship. But you still have some time. We’ve put together some tips to help you send us a strong application. Good luck!


  • Tell us about your access

As part of your Fellowship proposal, we ask that you have contacts and contributors who have confirmed their willingness to be part of your story. Even if you don’t know the exact person you’ll feature, we expect you to have a very good idea of the story you’re going to tell, who would be a good fit to tell this story and how you are going to find these people. Tell us about your existing connections and who we could expect to hear from in your piece.


  • Think about the “story” more than the “issue”

There are many problems and underreported issues in the world. A good media piece tackles an important issue through a strong story – through characters doing things, actions unfolding on screen or in text, with a beginning, a middle and an end. Tell us what will be covered in your story and how you will cover it rather than going into too much detail of why it’s important to tell this story.


  • Consider safety and logistics

All media projects involve a certain level of risk, even if it doesn’t involve hostile or challenging environments. We want to make sure that you have considered all the risks – physical, psychological and digital – before embarking on this project, and that you have thought about how to mitigate them. Instead of telling us “there are no safety concerns”, outline your practical arrangements and tell us how you plan to address potential risks.


  • Make sure your proposal is realistic

We support projects that can be delivered within a year – for films this is under 30 mins. We prioritise proposals where the majority of the budget is in place or achievable in a short time-frame. Make sure your proposal is realistic, in its scope, budget and timeline – and that you’re ready to start reporting if you’re selected.


  • Manage your time – don’t leave things until the last minute

The application form has different sections, including some documents to upload. Make sure to go through the requirements in advance and make a list of what you need: this could include links to previous work samples, an up-to-date CV or a reference letter from an industry contact. Make sure your samples and documents are in English or have English subtitles/transcriptions attached. Technology can be tricky and sometimes, life just gets in the way, so don’t wait until the deadline!


If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] 

Want to learn more about crafting a compelling story, and reporting it safely and effectively? Check out our free online course International Reporting: The Essential Toolkit

Want to see some inspiring examples of previous Fellows’ work? Spend some time on OWM Presents and read 5 reasons to apply to the Fellowship