Scholarship & Fellowship FAQs

Do I need to be a journalism, communications, or media major to apply?

No, just pursuing a career in electronic journalism or broadcast media.

Do I need to be an RTDNA member to apply?

No, but we'd love for you to join today anyway! Students do get a discounted rate!

Do I need to be a US citizen to apply?

No, but if you are a non-citizen, you must have a US Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

What language may I use on my application?

Please submit all application materials in English. If your work samples are not in English, please include a translation.

I will be attending a new school in the fall, or I don’t have a faculty advisor or know my dean very well. Can I get a recommendation from someone else?

You may get a recommendation from another faculty member or mentor. Choose someone who is familiar with your academics and your experience in broadcast journalism, especially someone who has played a role in the work samples you’ll be submitting.

How do I submit my letter of recommendation?

The recommender should submit the letter as a PDF or Word document directly to you to upload to our online application portal.

How do I submit my cover letter and resume?

All supplemental documents are uploaded directly to our online application portal. We recommend uploading your supplemental documents as PDF files. You may also upload Word documents. Hyperlinks in documents do not always download properly. If you include hyperlinks (such as to your Twitter account or website), please also include the complete URL in the text of the document.

What is the judging process?

Please review our judging criteria.

When will the scholarship be awarded?

The scholarships will be awarded in the summer for the academic year beginning in September.

My pieces are all written work online, not on television or radio clips. Do I qualify?

Yes! Digital as well as broadcast pieces are eligible work samples.

I am a past scholarship or fellowship winner. Can I apply for another one?

No, you may not win again. However, past scholarship winners may be eligible to apply for a fellowship opportunity.

What may I use the fellowship money for?

Fellowship awards may be used for continuing education, professional development, reporting equipment, or other professional costs.

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Are you pursuing a career in electronic or broadcast journalism? Will you be enrolled full-time as a sophomore or higher in a college or university for the coming academic year? Do you fit the additional qualifications for the scholarship you’ve chosen to apply for? If you can answer yes to each of these questions, you are encouraged to apply!

I am a senior graduating in May, am I eligible for a scholarship?

No, but consider an RTDNF fellowship opportunity!

Am I eligible for a fellowship?

Are you a professional electronic or broadcast journalist? Have you been a professional journalist for 10 years or fewer? Do you fit the additional qualifications for the fellowship you’ve chosen to apply for? If you can answer yes to each of these questions, you are encouraged to apply!

Judging Criteria

Judges will base their decisions on the applicants’ adherence to the stated qualifications and on the application package including resume, cover letter, work samples and letter of recommendation. Awards for reporting, producing and videography are judged by the quality of the tape and script. Judging off-camera talent such as producing is aided by descriptions of the applicant’s role in preparing the stories, to include writing, shooting or editing skills. In general, the most successful applications should include very strong work samples and a compelling personal narrative conveyed in the cover letter.

The group of judges is drawn from the RTDNF Trustees or their designates. Award benefactors may have a role in the final selection process of their award winner. For these awards, the RTDNF judges will screen the applicants and select a pool of 3-5 finalists from which the benefactor will determine the winner.

At least two judges view each complete application and come to consensus. A judge must recuse himself or herself if he or she is personally or professionally acquainted with the applicant. Entries may be pre-screened and narrowed to a minimum of three finalists by a single judge, with the winner selected by the judging committee or at least two members of that committee.

Any applicant who fails to adhere to the written instructions or submit a complete application package may be disqualified.

Former scholarship winners may not apply for a second scholarship and former fellowship winners may not apply for a second fellowship. However, a former scholarship winner may qualify for a fellowship award.

The decisions of the judges may be reviewed in consultation with the RTDNF officers, benefactors and Executive Director. Their decisions are final.