2020 NPR’s Kroc Fellowship for Public Media Journalists

Deadline: December 31, 2019.

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 13th year, the program has produced nearly 40 fellows, many of whom continue to work at NPR and Member stations across the country.


1. While the ideal Kroc Fellow aspires to work in public media, previous journalism or public radio experience is not required.

2. Fellows must be able to demonstrate exceptional potential and drive.

3. Applicants must be close to completing an undergraduate or graduate degree or have earned a degree no more than one year prior to Dec. 31.


1. 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.

2. They also receive regular instruction in writing for radio and digital audiences.

3. The fellowship begins each year in late August/early September and lasts 12 months.

4. Fellows receive a stipend of more than $45,000 and benefits, including paid vacation.


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 kroc@npr.org as a Microsoft Word or PDF file with APPLICANT LAST NAME, FIRST NAME – KROC FELLOW APPLICANT in the subject line. The deadline is Dec. 31.
  • Resume
  • Academic transcript(s) — unofficial transcripts will be accepted



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