The fellowship is open only to journalists who work in rural areas. Journalists are eligible for a fellowship if they work outside of a metropolitan area (with a core urban population of 50,000 or more), for a newspaper with a circulation of less than 40,000, a television station outside of the top 100 Nielsen markets, or a radio or online news organization with a record of covering rural areas. Freelancers should submit a letter from such an outlet testifying to their working relationship with that outlet.
The fellowship includes a one-year IRE membership, registration fee for the selected boot camp and up to $500 in reimbursement for travel expenses. It does not cover food or incidentals. It is financed by the Fund for Rural Computer-Assisted Reporting, established by IRE member Daniel Gilbert to give rural reporters skills that will help them uncover stories that otherwise would not come to light. The fellowship is offered in conjunction with the University of Kentucky's Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, publisher of The Rural Blog.
Required application materials include a resume, three clips showcasing investigative work, a letter of support from your news organization, and a statement of interest (preference is given to applicants who outline a project that includes the need to analyze databases). To apply, click here.