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Media Fellowship Application Guidelines

Applications Due: May 28, 2024 by 11:59 pm EDT
Media Fellowship Term: Fall 2024 – Fall 2025 
Submit applications via email to mediafellowships@novainstituteforhealth.org
Complete applications include:
(PDFs only) Proposal, Resumé, and Work Samples 

Proposal: In no more than 1,500 words (in a document approximately three pages in 12-point font with one-inch margins), please provide the information requested below via email.

  1. Project Synopsis: Please describe the primary issue(s) your project will address, the importance of the issue(s), the proposed methods for exploring the issue(s), and how you expect the project to enlighten audiences, provoke conversations, and offer solutions. Explain how your work will examine the entire lived experience and how it might connect the dots among the many factors that influence the health of people, places, and our planet. 
  2. Story Treatment: Please outline your approach to the issue(s), expected final products or deliverables (e.g., a list of the tentative themes of the stories you plan to write or produce), and how the stories or series will be structured (e.g., potential subjects, planned locations, possible conclusions). Note: We will ask Media Fellowship finalists to provide a detailed timeline for their proposed project activities. 
  3. Communications / Outreach Plan: Please describe the specific audiences you aim to reach and the rationale for prioritizing them, how you intend to reach those audiences, where and how you expect your work to be published and/or disseminated, and what you expect or hope to achieve through the audience’s attention and engagement. 
  4. Relevant Experiences, Aptitude, and Values: Please explain how your personal and professional experiences, aptitude, and values best position you to expertly, creatively, and enthusiastically undertake this project.
  5. Outside Commitments: Please describe any non-fellowship work (e.g., freelance work, consulting, hourly project-based work) or educational commitments that you have during the fellowship, including the approximate time to be devoted to these commitments.

Resumé: This document should be no more than five pages and include a list of relevant published and broadcast work. It should include the story titles, publications, or outlets where the pieces appeared and the dates of publication or broadcast. 

Work Samples: Please include three relevant samples of your previous work (these should not be book chapters). Broadcast journalists should submit samples that collectively run no longer than 30 minutes and provide a written synopsis for each sample and a description of their involvement in each piece.

Note: Proposals may cover international issues, but in 2024 we are accepting applications from U.S.-based journalists only.

Download a PDF of the application guidelines

Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.

  • Persistence: “People did not simply progress through this sequence and experience healing. The healing journey was a recursive, back and forth process. They found helpers, used the skills/resources that those helpers provided, found other helpers that provided more resources and used those skills and resources. As this process continued, people experienced a gradual amelioration of their suffering. Although many despaired at times, all demonstrated the quality of persistence—they refused to give up.”
  • Safety & Trust: “To connect to helpers, it was essential for people to feel safe in those relationships and able to trust that the person would be a helper and not a barrier to healing. Persons whose wounds included a violation of trust were especially careful about testing the safety of new relationships.”

Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”

  • Reframing: “A particularly important skill was the ability to reframe—that is to look at suffering through a different lens.” This does NOT mean minimizing trauma or pain, but rather it often means the opposite: understanding what happened was wrong, unfair, or uncontrollable and that we are not to blame for it.
  • Responsibility: While we don’t have control over what happened to us, we are the only ones who can help ourselves heal. “A third essential resource that people acquired or refined was the ability to take an appropriate amount of responsibility for their healing journeys. They participated actively in the process of healing. Once again, some participants already had developed this skill, and some acquired or refined it from their helpers.”
  • Positivity: “Another resource that people acquired or refined during their healing journey was choose to be positive—that is to have some optimism about their situation.” People have varying predispositions to positivity. In the study, positivity was important in helping people heal. This doesn’t mean a toxic positivity, but rather simply finding some good in life and feeling hopeful about our situations.

“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad. 

When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.) 

“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”

  • “Moving from being wounded, through suffering to healing, is possible. It is facilitated by developing safe, trusting relationships and by positive reframing that moves through the weight of responsibility to the ability to respond.”
  • “Relationships with health professionals were among these but were not necessarily any more important to the healing journey than other kinds of helpers, which included family members, friends, spirituality and their God, pets, support groups, administrators, case workers and supervisors.”

Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.” 

Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”

 In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.” 

  • Helping Others: We find meaning in helping others. “Understanding that suffering gives the strength and experience to help others in similar situations.”
  • Hope: We begin to have hope that we will not always feel this bad. A Crohn’s patient said, “I think gradually I realized that I was going to feel better. I did have days when I actually didn’t vomit, when I did feel better. And I think gradually I came to believe that maybe I could have a normal life again.”
  • Self-Acceptance: We see our inherent value and understand that we are not to blame for our suffering. A participant living with HIV said, “I’m really proud of myself. I think that now I still want to live. I don’t want to die, and I really love myself a lot. I have a lot of comfort in myself.”

Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding. 

There is some debate about whether people always experience suffering on the path to healing.

Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors. 

“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”

Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.

Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.

Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.