Skip to main content.

About the Fellowships

What We Do


The USC Annenberg Health Journalism Fellowships

Each year, we train competitively selected professional journalists from leading print, broadcast, ethnic and online media during three all-expenses-paid journalism institutes, one for California journalists and two for journalists  from across the nation. After the trainings, we partner with our Fellows and their news organizations to nurture ambitious journalism that impacts policy and spurs new community discussions. From time to time, we offer other specialized health journalism training opportunities as well. We have trained more than 900 journalists since 2005. Click here to read the hundreds of stories that our Fellows have produced, changing policy and winning journalism awards along the way.

The Fellowships are open to all journalists interested in health reporting, not just those on the health beat. We invite participation from print, broadcast, and multimedia journalists working for or contributing to mainstream and ethnic media outlets in the United States.

The program helps journalists to chronicle and illuminate the health and community challenges confronting an increasingly diverse and polyglot nation. With a historic health care expansion under assault in Washington, we also provide journalists with resources to report with sophistication and depth on one of the most important health policy challenges facing our nation. 

Our reporting Fellowships offer journalists a chance to step away from the newsroom to hone their health reporting skills, providing critical resources at a time of dramatic change in the media landscape. In workshops, field trips and discussions, Fellows learn from nationally renowned health experts, policy analysts and community health leaders, from top journalists in the field, and from each other. Participants "graduate" with a multitude of story ideas and sources, plus a thorough grounding in the principles and practice of good health journalism. We teach best journalistic practices and help journalists explore the root causes of ill health, including trauma during childhood, barriers to health care access, the built environment, unemployment, lack of education, exposure to community or domestic violence and lack of access to healthy food. The program is practical and inspiring, focusing on content as well as craft.  We emphasize solutions journalism, journalism with impact and community engagement approaches that help journalists to make a difference.

For up to six months afterwards, senior journalists guide Fellows as they complete ambitious explanatory or investigative Fellowship projects.

California Fellowship

Each year, we offer an all-expenses-paid Fellowship for California-based journalists and journalists based elsewhere who contribute primarily to California news outlets. The 2021 California Fellowship will be held April 12-16  through an online platform, given the travel restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fellowship will take an in-depth look at how community conditions influence individuals' prospects for health as well as the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on people of color. One day of the Fellowship will be devoted to domestic violence as a public health issue. Each Fellow will receive a $2,000 grant to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious Fellowship project on a California health issue, as well as six months of mentoring by a Senior Fellow. Larger grants of $2,500 to $10,000 will be awarded for exceptionally ambitious reporting proposals, including those that involve newsroomwide, multi-newsroom or mainstream-ethnic media collaborations. In addition, five California Fellows will receive Community Engagement Grants of $1,000 to $2,000, as well as six months of specialized mentoring on engaged journalism.  Click here for a list of the 2020 California Fellows and links to their profiles and reporting projects. The California Endowment and the Blue Shield of California Foundation support the California Fellowship. 

Data Fellowship

The annual all-expenses-paid Data Fellowship, usually held in the late fall, introduces journalists from both California and around the country to the wealth of health and child welfare and well-being datasets that can inform and elevate their reporting. Each Fellow receives a $2,000 grant to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious data-based Fellowship project, as well as six months of mentoring by a Senior Fellow, and one or two Fellows will be eligible for a $3,500 grant to assist with reporting a project focused on pregnant women or children 5 and under in Los Angeles County. This Fellowship is funded by generous grants from the The California Endowment, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation. The Community Engagement Fund will provide supplemental grants of up to $2,000 to several Data Fellows from California to underwrite innovative community engagement strategies. The2020 Data Fellowship was held November 30-December 4, 2020. Click here for a list of 2020 Data Fellows with links to their profiles and project summaries.

National Fellowship

The annual all-expenses-paid National Fellowship, held each July, is designed for journalists who want to do groundbreaking reporting on vulnerable children, youth and families and the community conditions that contribute to their well-being. Each Fellow returns home to spend the next six months working on a substantive community health, child welfare, youth wellbeing or health policy project, assisted with a reporting grant of $2,000-$10,000 and six months of mentoring by one of our Senior Fellows. The 2020 National Fellowship was held July 20-24, 2020 via Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a list of the 2020 National Fellows and links to their profiles. The 2020 National Fellowship was supported by generous grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. In conjunction with each National Fellowship, we administer two specialty reporting grant funds and a community engagement grant fund:

  • The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, a competitive grants program to underwrite substantive reporting on community health issues. Each Hunt grantee receives $2,500 to $10,000 to support research on a community health topic. To read a selection of projects produced with the support of the Hunt Fund, click here.
  • The Fund for Journalism on Child and Youth Well-Being, a competitive grants program to underwrite substantive reporting on vulnerable children, youth and families.  Each Child Well-being grantee receives $2,500 to $10,000 to support their reporting.
  • The Community Engagement Fund provides supplemental grants of $1,000 to $2,000 to underwrite innovative community engagement strategies. Each year, five National Fellows receive Community Engagement Grants, in addition to their reporting grants, as well as six months of mentoring from a community engagement specialist. Click here to learn more about our community engagement initiative, and click here for a FAQ on the engagement grants. Click here to read a blog post by Center Director Michelle Levander and watch a video about the goals of the grants.

Center for Health Journalism Impact Fund

The USC Center for Health Journalism’s  Impact Fund provides support to California journalists who think big and want to make a difference in their communities. We welcome applications from journalists or newsrooms that want to tackle ambitious investigative or explanatory projects – by themselves, as a newsroom-wide undertaking or as a collaboration with other media outlets in their communities.  The California Wellness Foundation provides support for the Impact Fund.

Which Program is Right for Me? »

Get updates on our Fellowships and follow our Fellows' work:


April 12, 2021
Our annual California Fellowship is open to professional journalists, including freelancers, from print, broadcast and online media outlets... more »


The pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of misinformation, lies and half-truths capable of proliferating faster than the virus itself. In our next webinar, we’ll delve into what one of our speakers has termed “the natural ecology of bullshit” — how to spot it, how it spreads, who is most impacted, and how to counter it. And we’ll discuss reporting examples, strategies and story ideas that incorporate these insights and effectively communicate to diverse audiences. Sign-up here!


Follow Us



CHJ Icon