The Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship is a year-long media skills, communication and leadership program designed for standout development professionals from the developing world. Candidates for the Fellowship are expected to have both a record of significant professional achievement and a desire to share their perspectives on global development with a broader international audience. The Fellowship is open by nomination only.
While the fellowship is non-resident and not full-time, it does require a significant and sustained time commitment as fellows write opinion articles, participate in interviews with local and international media, and speak at international conferences. All expenses related to the fellowship are paid, including certain media-related travel costs.
Please note, this is not a fellowship for journalists or others trained and working in communications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the New Voices Fellowship only open to people from African countries?
A: No! We welcome candidates from any developing country.
Q: Will I get paid as a New Voices Fellow?
A: No, but we pay all expenses for the fellowship, and often provide funds for Fellows to participate in media-related activities and conferences.
Q: How much time will I spend on the Fellowship?
A: We hold two major meetings during the fellowship year, where you�ll be expected to travel and take part in intensive media training. These are usually each about 5 days long. In addition, most fellows estimate spending about 5 hours per week working on fellowship-related activities, including meeting with their mentors, taking part in interviews, and writing opinion pieces.
Q: Can I nominate myself for the Fellowship?
A: We ask that you find a mentor, supervisor or professor to nominate you, if possible.
Q: If I get many people to nominate me, am I more likely to be chosen as a New Voices Fellow
A: No. It�s fine if more than one person nominates you, but this is not a popularity contest. You only need one good nomination.
Q: Can I miss one of your meetings if chosen as a fellow?
A: Unfortunately, these meetings are one of the core components of this Fellowship, and are mandatory.
Q: I�m a journalist/PR professional/communications expert. Can I participate in this Fellowship?
A: We love communications people, but this fellowship is really for development experts, not journalists/PR professionals/communications experts. There are many excellent fellowship programs for journalists, and we encourage you to apply for them!
Q: What do you look for in a New Voices Fellow?
A: For some examples of what we�re looking for, check out the bios of our previous classes of Fellows. We like people with big ideas, who have a proven track record of implementing them. We also like people with strong personal stories and the ability to think critically about development as it relates to their own experiences. Finally, we�re looking for people who aren�t shy about sharing their opinions, and have strong potential in writing and public speaking.
Q: Is there an age limit for this Fellowship?
A: No. In fact, we like people who have some experience, and recognize that often this comes with age.
How to Apply
Ask someone to nominate you. This person could be a mentor, supervisor or professor. We ask that this person know you and your work well.
We will review your nomination. If you pass through the first round, we’ll be in touch with you directly, asking you to submit an application. This application involves two essays and a series of questions.
Once the New Voices team has reviewed applications, we will ask a small group of finalists to participate in an interview via Skype or phone. From this group, we will choose the final class of Fellows.