UCL Global


ABSW Media Fellowship

UCL scientists, clinicians and engineers collaborating internationally can gain first-hand experience of reporting at a media outlet through the ABSW scheme, supported by UCL Global Engagement.

Applications for the ABSW scheme 2024 are now closed. 

UCL Global Engagement is delighted to be supporting the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) Media Fellowship scheme. The scheme is an opportunity for a member of staff at UCL to gain first-hand experience of reporting at a UK-based media outlet during Summer 2024. 

The ABSW Media Fellowships

The ABSW Media Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for practising scientists, clinicians and engineers to spend two to six weeks working at the heart of a media outlet such as the Guardian, BBC Breakfast or WIRED.

The ABSW Media Fellowships:

  • Engage – give scientists the confidence to engage with the media
  • Foster Trust – tackle mistrust and misrepresentation
  • Bridge the Gap – between journalists and scientists
  • Build Understanding – between science and society

How the scheme works

UCL scientists, clinicians and engineers, who are collaborating internationally, are identified and shortlisted by UCL Global Engagement, who will fund two Fellowships. The ABSW identifies media hosts and then carries out the final selection process to match the successful applicants to the hosts.

The Fellows will receive training from the ABSW prior to taking up their placement and will be supported by the ABSW throughout their placement and beyond. Placements normally take place for 2-6 weeks during the summer to fit with university teaching commitments.

Previous Fellows include Dr Niall Jeffrey (UCL Physics & Astronomy), Oksana Pyzik (UCL School of Pharmacy) and Professor Monica Lakhanpaul (UCL GOS Institute of Child Health). 

About her experience as an ABSW Fellow, Oksana Pyzik said:

I enjoyed the dynamic and fast-paced environment of the Guardian's science and environment desk as an  ABSW Media Fellow. As an academic I was challenged to meet tight deadlines with often just a few hours to turnaround copy before publication (a real thrill in contrast to waiting months for a research paper to be published). I also learned to write in the news reporter style and had fascinating conversations and interviews with scientists and policy leaders on wide-ranging and exciting breaking news topics. It gave me a window in science subjects beyond my own area of expertise and how newspapers shape stories for the public. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from editors and journalists who are the best in their field and would highly recommend this experience to all academics. Even in a period of just a few weeks I was able to sharpen my writing skills, speed and deepen my appreciation and passion for the craft of science communication."

Dr Niall Jeffrey said: 

The ABSW Media Fellowship gave me real experience to understand the relationship between scientists, journalists, and the public. The placement at The Times was such a unique experience. It has made me a better writer and a better scientist."

How to apply for the Fellowship

Who is eligible? UCL scientists, clinicians and engineers collaborating internationally. Before applying, please read the: 

Ready to apply? Download and fill out the application form below then email your completed form to Sophie Vinter, Senior Global Engagement Communications Manager (s.vinter@ucl.ac.uk).

Applications for the ABSW scheme 2024 are now closed. 

The ABSW are committed to transforming the diversity and inclusivity of science. They will work with Media Fellows to ensure they have a positive experience on the scheme, and can accommodate requests for part-time, remote, or flexible working for people who would otherwise find it difficult to take part. They particularly encourage applications from researchers who are typically underrepresented by the scheme, including those who:

  • have a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on someone’s ability to do normal daily activities (Equalities Act 2010)
  • do not have an academic family background (e.g. parents did not go to university)

Please note, diversity statistics are anonymised, and are collected separately from the main application form. If you would like to make us aware that you belong to one or more of the above groups, please mention it in your form and we will take this into account when assessing your application.

More information