Wellcome Trust offers grants to science journalism post grads

The Wellcome Trust has announced plans to offer financial support to students taking a postgraduate qualification in science journalism at City University London.

Support will be provided to two students per year for the next three years for the MA, which has been running since 2009 with UK, EU and international students.

Graduates from City University have gone on work in science journalism or communications for organisations including the BBC, CERN, the Science Media Centre, Physics World, and the British Science Association.

The MA gives students a ‘thorough grounding in the best practices in health, science and environmental journalism, while teaching them to be critical consumers of scientific information”.

In a release the university said:

The Wellcome Trust is providing financial support for one student from the UK or Republic of Ireland and one student from low- or middle-income countries with a particular connection to the Trust (India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, South Africa, Malawi or Kenya). The bursaries will cover tuition fees and living expenses, as well as a return flight for the international students. Each studentship will last one academic year.

Clare Matterson, director of medical humanities and engagement at the Wellcome Trust, said:

For the majority of people, engagement with science takes place principally through the media. We are fortunate that the UK has some of the best science journalists in the world, who are able to convey both the complexities and the excitement of science and medicine. This is no simple task. We hope that these studentships will attract the brightest and best journalists to follow in their footsteps to take advantage of the excellent training by City University.

Of course, accurate and compelling science journalism is equally important in countries that do not yet have a well-developed science media. We are therefore providing additional support to aid a journalist from one of the low- or middle-income countries in which the Wellcome Trust has a major presence, to enable them to benefit from the excellent tuition at City.

Professor George Brock, head of journalism at City University, added:

The Science Journalism MA is one of the newest in our suite of Journalism Masters, but has established its reputation rapidly around our core principle of producing journalists fit to investigate, interpret, contextualise and reveal important information to the public. Students on the MA have proven themselves to be particularly innovative in their approach to reporting science and health, and their work is showcased regularly on their multimedia site Elements.

“We are hugely grateful to the Wellcome Trust for giving the opportunity to take the MA to two additional students. These generous studentships will undoubtedly open the door to a long and rewarding career in the field to some talented individuals.”

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