The NPR Kroc Fellowship is a yearlong program designed to identify and develop the next generation of extraordinary public media journalists. It was established in 2003 through a bequest from the estate of philanthropist Joan Kroc.
The Kroc Fellowships were made possible by a 2003 bequest to NPR from Joan Kroc, noted philanthropist and widow of McDonald’s Corp. founder Ray A. Kroc.Twyla Cecil/Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
Three fellows are selected each year and receive hands-on training in audio and digital journalism, including writing, reporting, producing and editing. Applicants must be recent graduates, but previous journalism experience is not required. Now in its 17th year, the program has produced nearly 50 fellows, many of whom continue to work at NPR and Member stations across the country.
Throughout the experience Kroc Fellows can expect to:
- Develop audio production and writing skills by working on an NPR program or podcast. Past fellows have worked at Weekend Edition, Goats & Soda, and Alt.Latino.
- Become better reporters, writers and storytellers by working under the guidance of skilled editors, producers and the NPR Training team.
- Gain firsthand broadcast journalism experience by working at an NPR Member station.
The fellowship offers hands-on journalism experience at various units within NPR and at an NPR Member station. Fellows work alongside some of the nation’s most respected reporters, producers and editors. They also receive regular instruction in writing for radio and digital audiences.
The fellowship begins each year around September and lasts 12 months. Fellows receive a stipend of more than $50,000 and benefits, including paid vacation.
Who is eligible
While the ideal Kroc Fellow aspires to work in public media, previous journalism or public radio experience is not required. Fellows must be able to demonstrate exceptional potential and drive. Applicants must be close to completing an undergraduate or graduate degree or have earned a degree no more than one year prior to December 31.
How to apply
Apply Now. Applications are accepted only between August 31 and November 15 each year. After the hiring team reviews applications, 10 finalists are selected for a round of virtual interviews at NPR in late January. Selections are made shortly thereafter.
(See the frequently asked questions page for more detail about the fellowship selection timeline.)
Each completed application must include:
- Cover letter explaining why you should be selected, addressed to the Kroc Fellowship Committee
- Answers to the following questions: 1.) What do you want to do in journalism? 2.) Tell us about a news story you’ve been following. Why has it held your interest? 3.) Tell us about a piece of journalism you’ve enjoyed. What did you like about it?
- Sample work reflecting remarkable initiative or accomplishment. This might be in the form of a writing sample (1,000 words or less), a link to an excerpt (five minutes or so) from an audio story, video production, musical composition, etc., or some other piece of creative work
- Two reference letters from people who can speak to your work ethic and commitment to curiosity, including names and contact information. The letters should be addressed to the Kroc Fellowship Committee and must be emailed to email@example.com as a Microsoft Word or PDF file with APPLICANT LAST NAME, FIRST NAME – KROC FELLOW APPLICANT in the subject line. The deadline is November 15.
- Academic transcript(s) — unofficial transcripts will be accepted