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How to Apply for a Tyee Fellowship

Thank you for your interest in applying for a Tyee Fellowship.

The 2012 application deadline is Dec. 15.

We are currently accepting applications for two different fellowships. Each has a common goal to educate and engage citizens in thinking through our shared future:

The Tyee Investigative Fellowship funds investigative research and reporting focused on B.C.

While the reporting must relate directly to B.C., there are no restrictions on subject matter, which may include education, the environment, discrimination, workplace rights and safety, poverty, ethics, business, science, etc.

The Tyee Solutions Fellowship funds research and reporting on promising attempts at solving problems facing B.C.

These may include an emerging body of knowledge, small scale experiments or wider initiatives yielding tangible, positive results, and may include reporting outside the province if the fi ndings are applicable here.

While the reporting must relate directly to B.C., there are no restrictions on subject matter, which may include education, the environment, human rights, economics, worker safety, health, addiction, gender and sexuality, poverty, government, consumer ethics, etc.

Recipients are chosen in confidence by an expert independent advisory board, at arms length from The Tyee staff and editorial team.

Fellowship winners receive $5,000 each to produce a series of three or more articles, each running at least 1,000 words.

Series will be published first on The Tyee, and then will be available to be published by other publications upon request.


By Dec. 15, 2012, you must deliver three copies of your application to The Tyee (see application contents below). If using the postal system, the application package must be postmarked by Dec. 15. If delivering by courier, the application package must arrive during office hours (9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday to Friday) on or before Dec. 15.


All applicants are encouraged to download this application checklist. Applications that do not meet these basic criteria may be disqualified.

Your application should consist of a detailed two- to five-page summary of your research, reporting and writing project, including any findings you’re produced already. The summary should include the following in paragraph form, with bolded headers indicating each section:

1. Cover page. Include your full name, project title, contact information, phone number, email address, and mailing address. The cover page should indicate whether you are applying for a Solutions or Investigative Fellowship, and an estimated project completion date.

2. Project summary. Detail in 2-3 introductory paragraphs the series of articles you plan to investigate and write. Describe why the issue is important to British Columbians and what readers will gain from your reporting. Also discuss what you think your research will accomplish, the goal(s) you have for this series, the specific issues your articles will cover, and in what order they’ll be addressed.

3. Anticipated shape of the series. Indicate the anticipated number of stories and, in bullet points, list the four or five articles you plan to write and a brief description of each. If your series will include multi-media components (video, audio, photography), detail that here.

4. Importance to British Columbians. A one-paragraph explanation of why this series is important to British Columbians.

5. Why this project is unique or innovative. What does your series accomplish that other reporting on the issue (assuming there is any) has missed? How do you build on what’s already out there, or break new ground entirely?

6. Anticipated scope. One or two paragraphs about what you’ll need to accomplish your goals. Will travel be necessary? Who will you interview and how (phone, in-person, by email...)? What documents or resources will you use to acquire the information you need? If you have already conducted interviews, began research or secured sources, include that information here.

7. An itemized estimate of the expenses likely involved.

8. A brief resume or bio detailing your journalism experience, with at least one reference (including their email address or phone number).

9. Please attach one or more writing samples demonstrating your ability to do this kind of reporting. If you’re submitting newspaper or magazine clippings as your writing examples, please photocopy them.


All submissions are directed to the independent advisory board for the Funds. No Tyee editor or staff person reads them at any point. Members of the advisory board sign a pledge not to share any information from the submissions outside the board.

Fellows are chosen by consensus of the advisory board, through a competitive process, after careful consideration. Members of the advisory board read all submissions, confer, and select fellows based on these criteria:

  • originality and timeliness of the idea
  • relevance to British Columbians
  • potential to enhance public discussion
  • previous track record of journalist
  • feasibility of the project based on available resources

No partisan political applications will be chosen.


Who owns the publishing rights to Fellows' work? Who owns the research?

The Tyee Fellowship Funds are charitable funds separate from The Tyee (which is not a charity).

The funds are held at and managed by Tides Canada Foundation -- a national public foundation.

The independent advisory board that vets all the applications will choose five fellows. Tides Canada, the charity, disburses fellowship grants from the two funds. Tides Canada owns the reports and publishing rights that result from the fellows' research, which are intended for broad public education; therefore, the widest possible public dissemination.

The Tyee is afforded first publication rights to those reports, and then, on Tides Canada's behalf, responds to requests for republication.

The fellow, or author, owns the ideas, data etc. gathered during the research and writing of the reports. After the terms of the fellowship grant have been fulfilled, and the resulting reports have been published, the fellow is free to produce new and different content (articles, books, films, etc.) from that research and to sell that content to whomever he or she wishes and keep all rights and proceeds.

When will fellowship grants be made?

Fellowships are disbursed in parts: half at the beginning of the project, half upon completion of the project. The project is deemed completed when the draft articles have been edited into final form by a Tyee editor and approved by the fellow.

Can two journalists apply together for one project?

Yes, if the shared workload is clearly laid out in the application. The fellowship must be shared equally between the two journalists. When making a joint-application, be sure to reflect this clearly in all sections of the application where it may be relevant (cover page, biographies, writing samples, etc.).

Can I apply online or submit my application electronically?

Unfortunately, no. Call us old-fashioned, but the review panel must work on paper and we therefore require all applications be printed, compiled and submitted via Canada Post or courier. Further details, including mailing instructions, in this application checklist.

Do I need to be a professional journalist to apply?

You don't have to be a trained or practicing journalist to receive a Tyee Fellowship, but you do need to demonstrate you can do rigorous, in-depth journalism. Solid writing and reporting skills are a must and should be evident in the quality of your application and relevant experience. If you don't have a published writing sample to submit, consider a yet-to-be published work or writing something new.

Download the 2012 Fellowship Application Checklist here.