Do you have an interest in documentary film, creative nonfiction, long-form journalism or science communications? Then you’re invited to apply for an OSU Science Media Fellowship, a hands-on, paid learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students from across Oregon State University.

This OSU Science Media Fellowship connects student storytellers with researchers, labs and programs across campus on a two-term project to create short documentaries about important research, science and natural resource topics. Applicants receive a $1,000 fellowship contribution to their student account, access to filmmaking equipment and mentoring as they take twenty weeks to craft science into stories. Final films will be screened at an end-of-year event.

This program is ideal for students in the sciences interested in developing communication skills or writers and filmmakers seeking strong topics and hands-on projects with video storytelling, or anyone with a knack for narrative and a strong interest in documentary film.

This year, student fellows will have the exciting opportunity of working with OSU alum, photojournalist and former National Geographic Magazine editor Chris Johns, who will share a workshop on story selection, provide feedback on student project pitches and review rough cuts.

Each fellow will also be assigned a mentor with film production experience throughout the duration of the program.

Prior documentary filmmaking experience is helpful but not required. We will choose from both experienced and first-time filmmakers and aim to form a diverse cohort. 

The fellowships are open to undergraduate and graduate students from all colleges and Oregon State University locations in Corvallis, Bend, Newport and Portland.

Fellowship recipients receive a $1,000 scholarship and hands-on mentoring throughout the production process by a media professional.

How it works:

  1. Complete the application (closed for 2021)
  2. Receive notification winter term
  3. Meet your mentor 
  4. Participate in a filmmaking bootcamp and story selection workshop in February.
  5. Check out the filmmaking gear
  6. Meet with your mentor twice monthly
  7. Winter Term: conduct research, schedule and film interviews
  8. Spring Term: find archival material, select music, edit the film a mix audio and render
  9. Premiere your film at a year-end event

How it started

This fellowship program began with the production of the film Saving Atlantis, a feature documentary from staff, faculty and students at Oregon State University. The project was licensed with help from the Office of Commercialization and Corporate Development, and proceeds were placed in a fund via the OSU Foundation, providing the resources for the fellowship awards. 

Our goal is to encourage future science storytellers in a time of unprecedented anthropogenic change, and to provide our fellows with a real-world documentary film experience.