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16 January 2014updated 28 Jun 2021 4:44am

The Wellcome Trust Scholarship at the New Statesman

The New Statesman wants to help create a more diverse media, so we're hosting an eight-week paid placement for aspiring science writers from an ethnic minority background.

By New Statesman

Update, 28 February 2014: The first Wellcome Trust scholars have been announced: Ajit Niranjan and Fiona Rutherford. Congratulations to them both – you’ll be seeing more of them on the NS site this summer. 


Britain needs more great science writers – and particularly more science writers from backgrounds which have been traditionally under-represented in the media.

To address this, the New Statesman and Wellcome Trust have come together to offer a summer placement to a student or graduate from an ethnic minority background*.

Over the course of the eight-week placement, the successful applicant(s) will:

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  • Work alongside the New Statesman web and magazine team, learning about the editorial and production process, and how articles are conceived, written, edited and laid out
  • Undertake a data-driven journalism research project on a scientific topic, which will be published on the New Statesman website
  • Visit Parliament and learn about how science-based legislation is developed and debated in the select committee system
  • Have an opportunity to interview leading Wellcome Trust scientists and policy-makers
  • Write a regular bylined science blog on the New Statesman website
  • Receive regular feedback and editing from the editorial team
  • Meet journalists at other titles in the sector, including New Scientist and Wired

For the course of the eight-week placement, you will be paid London living wage (£8.55/hour). The placements will take place between June and September, at a time agreed between the NS and you.

To apply, please write an 800-word blogpost on a recent or upcoming scientific development which you feel has the potential to change lives significantly, explaining clearly and concisely what stage the research is at, and how it is likely to proceed.

Please also write up to 200 words on why you are right for this placement and what you would hope to get out of it.

Send your application by email to Helen Lewis (Helen[at]newstatesman[dot]co[dot]uk) with the subject line “Wellcome Trust Scholarship 2014”. You do not need to write a long covering letter; just a quick introduction will be fine.

Applications close on 15 February 2014. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 1 March 2014, with any interviews taking place in that month.

*This is a positive action scheme under the Race Relations Act.