NSF Invites Media to Apply for Antarctic Reporting Slots
Applications for the competitive program are due October 22, 2010
The National Science Foundation (NSF), manager of the U.S. Antarctic Program, is accepting written requests from professional journalists to report from Antarctica during the 2010-2011 research season.
Selected journalists will deploy to Antarctica for approximately one working week during late January/early February 2011.
NSF annually selects a small group of journalists, representing a range of news organizations, to make individual visits to Antarctica to report on NSF’s scientific program.
How to apply: Applicants must submit the equivalent of two printed pages detailing specifically what they plan to cover while in Antarctica. NSF public affairs officers can help applicants craft a proposed reporting plan that has the best chance of meeting minimum criteria.
Competition is expected to be intense for a limited number of slots. Logistical limitations make it nearly impossible to modify reporting plans once in Antarctica.
A committee of Antarctic program personnel and media officers from NSF’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs reviews all proposals and selects finalists. The committee will look for proposals that indicate an understanding of the nature and challenges of NSF’s scientific enterprise in Antarctica and the desire and ability to communicate that understanding to the public.
Application Deadline: All applications must be received by NSF no later than 5:00 pm ET October 22, 2010. U.S. media receive preference in selection.
Application: Focused applications with thorough reporting plans that indicate solid working knowledge of the U.S. Antarctic program and its science goals stand the best chance of selection. Feature-film proposals and general reporting about Antarctica, travel or logistics are not given priority, though film makers may apply to the Informal Science Education program administered by the Education & Human Resources directorate of NSF. Applications should also include the outlet(s) and media types (television, online, print, etc.) that the eventual reporting will appear in, and anticipated audiences reached through the reporting.
Expenses: Reporters or their employers pay for round-trip transportation to–and accommodation in–Christchurch, New Zealand. NSF furnishes at no cost cold-weather clothing solely for use in the field as well as housing, transportation and food while in Antarctica.
Medical: Finalists must pass comprehensive physical and dental exams conducted at their own expense by their personal physicians and dentists, and are subject to screening by the U.S. Antarctic program. Certain medical conditions may disqualify a candidate from visiting Antarctica, even if initially selected as a media visitor.
How To Apply: Contact NSF (by phone or by e-mail) as soon as possible to express intent and to discuss areas of professional interest. Freelancers must supply evidence of a firm commitment from a prospective employer to publish or air their work.
Send the letter and any supporting materials (such as a limited number of clips or videotaped segments) to:
National Science Foundation
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1245
Arlington, VA 22230
Attn: Dana Cruikshank
(703) 292-7738 / firstname.lastname@example.org