Journalist in Residence Program

About the Program

Our institute offers a paid stay for experienced journalists who focus on natural science, mathematics, or computer science. The “Journalist in Residence” can stay anywhere from three to six months to engage with our scientists and gain insight into our research. The application phase for the program takes place once every two years. In each round, HITS selects two journalists who will be offered a paid stay in one of the two subsequent years.


Our goal is to offer journalists the opportunity to familiarize themselves with several areas of research – depending on their interests – and to deepen their technical knowledge without the pressure of daily business. We also aim to encourage these journalists to learn more about the methods and possibilities of so-called “data-driven science.” Another objective of the program is to encourage dialogue between journalists and researchers. The daily contact with the researchers enables journalists to gain a better understanding of the way research works and of the researchers’ ways of thinking.

Target group and duration

The program is targeted at freelance and staff journalists who focus on scientific journalism and have several years of work experience. Print and online-media journalists as well as radio and TV journalists are welcome to apply. The duration of the stay is three to six months.

Activities and remuneration

During their stay, the journalists pursue the following activities:

  • Mutual exchange with the researchers at HITS
  • A public talk about science journalism/communication
  • An internal seminar about science journalism/communication
  • Research for potential projects/publications

We do not expect the journalists to publish anything related to HITS in return. Instead, the program supports free and independent journalism.
The “HITS Journalist in Residence” program is endowed with EUR 5,000 per month. Upon prior agreement, travel expenses to and from Heidelberg for the stay as the “Journalist in Residence” may be reimbursed. All other travel expenses are covered by the monthly pay. HITS further offers a workplace at its institute during the time of the stay, including a computer, if needed.

Application requirements

Applications should include the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Proof of journalistic work in the area of science and technology: Maximum of 5 work samples (PDF format, no links). If none of the texts is in German or English, please attach a translation of at least one work sample in German or English. If you wish to send sound and/or video files, please use Dropbox or WeTransfer.
  • Letter of motivation: How will your time at HITS be spent? Which research groups or projects are particularly interesting to you and why? What projects would you like to work on during you time of the stay?
  • For staff journalists: A letter of recommendation from the chief editor or a head of section is required.

The application should be sent as one PDF file. The file should not be larger than 10 MB (excluding video and/or sound files).
Good knowledge of written and spoken English is expected. At least basic knowledge of German is recommended, but not mandatory.
Members of the jury are science journalists as well as HITS researchers and other academics from various scientific institutions.

Call for applications

The call for applications for 2020 and 2021 is closed.


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