Complex Systems Summer School Journalism Fellowship

The nonprofit Santa Fe Institute (SFI) offers a new journalism fellowship for accomplished reporters. National and international journalists with a demonstrated interest in and record of reporting about matters related to complex systems are considered and selected for a paid, residential fellowship in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The premise of the fellowship is to offer journalists an opportunity to explore complex systems science more deeply by attending SFI’s iconic four-week Complex Systems Summer School (CSSS). During their residency in Santa Fe, two selected journalists will learn alongside graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, and professionals through an intensive series of lectures and labs taught by world-renowned faculty. The Fellows will have the opportunity to interact with top scientists collaborating across disciplines at the Santa Fe Institute and will be encouraged to contribute to a group project at the Complex Systems Summer School. Armed with a new appreciation for the history of and trends in complex systems science, and the state and limitations of current scientific theory, the Fellows then return to their day-to-day reporting better prepared to convey the interrelatedness of solutions to the complex problems we face.

The Fellowship term is five weeks, which provides an immersive opportunity for the selected fellows to participate in SFI’s Complex Systems Summer School (June 14-July 10, 2020) and to spend additional reflective time at the Santa Fe Institute on either end of the school.

A monthly-equivalent stipend of $5,000 is provided; as students of the Complex Systems Summer School, Fellows will be housed at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. The stipend may enhance the Fellow’s existing salary, or the journalist’s employer may offset his or her ongoing salary with the stipend. Enrollment in SFI’s Complex Systems Summer School is provided free of charge. Travel reimbursement is also provided. SFI benefits are not included in this offer.

To ensure immersion in complex systems science, selected fellows are expected to refrain from routine reporting in their normal news media outlets during the Fellowship. (However, maintaining the continuity of ongoing blogging and social media activity by selected fellows is accepted and encouraged.) No specific reporting outcome or product is expected or required of selected fellows.


Selection process

Candidate journalists are self-identified or are recommended by Santa Fe Institute faculty, staff, or trustees or by their employers or colleagues. Selected top candidates are expected to visit the Institute once for in-person interviews. Final decisions will be made by the Institute’s leadership.

Application submission requirements

1.     Resume or CV

2.     Five past examples of professional work that demonstrate substantive past coverage of complex systems-related science or science applied to complex systems issues (accepted file formats include pdf, scan, or active url)

3.     Fellowship proposal letter detailing how the journalist intends to use the fellowship to further his or her own journalistic experience and perspective

4.     Two letters of recommendation from editors or other individuals familiar with the applicant’s work, submitted directly to with both the applicant's name and "CSSS Journalism Fellowship" in the subject line


Eligibility requirements

The Fellowship seeks accomplished, actively reporting full-time journalists.

1.     Applicants are considered whose reporting in the national and international news media and demonstrates an interest in science or in problems that interdisciplinary science can help address.

2.     Each applicant must be able to demonstrate his or her status as a full-time working journalist (any beat) consecutively for at least the previous seven years. Freelance journalists must be able to demonstrate routine reporting for the past seven years.

3.     Applicants may be reporters, writers, editors, producers, or program hosts. They may work in newspapers, magazines, news websites, television, or radio.

4.     Journalists from all countries will compete equally; top priority will be afforded journalists working primarily in the English language.

5.     There are no educational prerequisites.

6.     Professionals now working primarily in public information, public relations, the trade press, government, or academia without all of the above credentials are not eligible.



Selected applicants must agree to the following requirements:

1.     To reside full-time in the Santa Fe area for the full term of the fellowship

2.     To refrain from professional reporting during the fellowship (continuity of existing blogging and social media activities are permitted and encouraged)

3.     To participate in the Complex Systems Summer School

4.     To give at least one informal talk (seminar or colloquia, see website) during the Fellowship (topic TBD)

5.     For international selectees, to obtain required travel credentials including an appropriate visa with a status allowing direct payment and receipt of U.S. payments


To Apply

Follow application submission requirements and send to by the below deadline. Please note in your subject line that you are responding to the “Complex Systems Summer School Journalism Fellowship Ad." While e-mail submission is preferred, you may mail these materials for receipt by the deadline to the address below.

Human Resources
RE: Complex Systems Summer School Journalism Fellowship Ad
Santa Fe Institute
1399 Hyde Park Rd
Santa Fe, NM 87501


The Santa Fe Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We actively seek and encourage applications from minorities, women, and people with disabilities.


No phone calls, please. The application deadline is February 28, 2020.