Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, International Center for Journalists

Publish Date: Feb 27, 2022

The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, the ICFJ's longest-running program, allows brilliant young journalists from the United States, Germany, and Canada to live and work in one another's countries. Thanks to this highly tailored and practical initiative, every country has improved news coverage quality, strengthening the transatlantic relationship.

At least half of the mid-career journalists covering international affairs in Germany now are Burns graduates. Many alumni in the United States have progressed from small neighborhood news organizations to positions of greater importance and breadth.

More than 90% of alumni respondents thought the program benefited their careers in a survey of the program. Over 80 percent of Burns graduates have been promoted or transferred to senior roles in other firms. More than 40 Burns graduates serve as foreign correspondents for well-known news organizations like CNN, The Washington Post, Reuters, ARD, Deutsche Welle, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung in more than 20 countries.

The Fellowship's greater relevance lies in its contribution to the number and quality of German, American, and Canadian news coverage. Each class of fellows generates over  225 tales during their time spent across the Atlantic. The Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, and two others are among the media outlets represented by fellows: the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, ZDF, and Der Spiegel. They come from worldwide and span a wide range of musical styles. They have a wide and varied impact on readers, viewers, and listeners.

About the Fellowship

Fellows create stories and produce broadcast programs for host and home audiences as they gain firsthand knowledge of their host country and media source. After the Fellowship, their experience and deep understanding of the field allow them to share these newly acquired skills with their colleagues and maintain their freshly shaped approach towards a working environment in different events. 

All members attend a one-week orientation in Washington, D.C., before beginning their separate fellowships during the last week of July. Fellows interact with essential media members and government officials to address professional issues. The orientation develops a sense of belonging among the participants while also providing a framework for understanding transatlantic ties.

Fellows will work as temporary employees at host newspapers, periodicals, and radio and television stations for the next two months. They will also report on events for their employers back home and cover local news, all while discovering more about their host country and its media culture. Following their orientation in Washington, North American fellows attend a two-week intensive language program at institutes in their host cities, whereas German fellows go straight to their host media.

Eligibility and requirements

This competitive program is open to journalists in the United States, Canada, and Germany aged between 21 and 40 who work for a newspaper, news magazine, broadcast station, news agency, or freelance and/or online. Applicants must have a significant interest in North American-European affairs and have exhibited journalistic ability. Applicants must have two years of full-time professional journalism experience. The ability to communicate in German is not essential; however, it will be considered an advantage.

During the 9-week Fellowship in Germany, each North American Fellow receives a $4,000 stipend to cover living expenses. Participants also get $1,200 in travel expenses or a travel voucher and living expenses while attending the orientation in Washington, D.C.

If you wish to proceed to the application, please visit the link. (

Fellowship history 

The Internationale Journalisten-Programme founded the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program in 1988 in Germany. Initially, it was designed for young German journalists. The Fellowship was broadened to include American journalists in 1990, allowing it to become a complete exchange program. It expanded to include Canadian journalists in 2013. The program, named for the late former U.S. ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, promotes better knowledge of German-US/Canadian ties among future news media leaders. 

The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program is entirely sponsored by donations from individuals, private-sector corporations, and foundations in the United States. Fundraising and other program operations are overseen by a board of trustees, now led by the former Executive Editor of The Washington Post, Marcus Brauchli. Grants from German enterprises, government agencies, and foreign foundations cover the costs of the German participants.

Each year, the Arthur F. Burns journalism prize of €2,000 is awarded to one current or past German Fellow and one current or former North American Fellow for the most acceptable published print or broadcast piece. The George F. Kennan Award for best commentary on transatlantic relations is also given out every year, with a prize of €2,000.

For additional information, please be sure to visit the fellowship website. (

Fellowship types

Applicants must have a significant interest in North American-European affairs and have exhibited journalistic ability. The ability to communicate in German is not essential; however, it will be an advantage.

 There are two options for the Fellowship:

Option 1

After completing an orientation program in Washington, north American fellows attend a two-week intensive language program at Goethe Institutes in their host cities. Language training expenses will be covered, and information will be released shortly after selecting fellows (around the end of April). Fellows operate as short-term staff members at host newspapers, magazines, radio, and television stations throughout August and September while reporting for their news organization back home.

Option 2

A new format was introduced to the program at the beginning of 2015, allowing North American journalists to work in Germany for five to six weeks during August and September. Journalists who prefer this model will be connected with Burns program alumni who will coach them throughout their stay abroad rather than being technically "sponsored" by a German newsroom. Fellows will focus on implementing a significant story or initiative they have previously proposed for their home media. Upon application, an editor from a media outlet must endorse the article or project, assured publication. They are not going to participate in the two-week language course.

Final thoughts 

Mid-career learning opportunities such as the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship grants you numerous opportunities to enrich your professional background. They make you more profound in your field, broaden your networking circle, and are an experience to remember for a lifetime. 

For further information, please click the "LINK TO ORIGINAL" button below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

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Eligible Countries



United States

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United States