Marquette University O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism 2021-2022 (Stipend of $70,000)

Marquette University O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism 2021-2022 (Stipend of $70,000)

Deadline: January 23, 2021

Applications are open for the Marquette University O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism 2021-2022. The O’Brien Fellows spend nine months reporting stories with the power to compel change. They complete an in-depth reporting project of their choosing on a topic of state, regional, national or international interest over two academic semesters.

Backed by Marquette University, the O’Brien Fellowship helps news professionals dig deep while mentoring student journalists. The program honors Marquette alumni Alicia and Perry O’Brien. Their daughter, Patricia Frechette, and her husband, Peter, donated $8.3 million in 2012 to create the fellowship. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a co-founder and partner.


  • A stipend of $70,000 for nine months for your salary, paid to your sponsoring organization, or directly to the fellow in the case of independent journalists.
  • A residency allowance based on family requirements for fellows moving to the Milwaukee metropolitan area for the duration of the fellowship: up to $4,000 for a single, married or partnered fellow, up to $6,000 for a fellow with one child, up to $7,000 for a fellow with two children, up to $8,000 for a fellow with three or more children. Fellows submit rent receipts from the rental property owner. The allowance is paid in equal monthly installments over the course of the fellowship.
  • A moving allowance based on family size and distance. The allowance, covering the move to and from Milwaukee, ranges from $2,000 to $4,000 in total. (Fellows from the Milwaukee metropolitan area are not eligible for a moving allowance.)
  • A travel and research allowance up to $8,000. This covers project-related travel as well as technology, data and document costs and equipment needs.
  • Employee benefits continue to be paid by the fellow’s employer, where applicable. Please contact us if you have questions on this.
  • Fellows and their spouses are eligible during the fellowship for tuition remission (up to seven credits) for courses offered by Marquette University.


  • Applications from international journalists are welcome.
  • Staff-employed or independent journalists welcome.
  • Applicants should have at least five years of professional experience and produce journalism regularly as an employee or freelancer.
  • Applicants may be connected to print operations, radio, television, websites, podcasts, online publications, wire services, or magazines of general public interest.
  • There are no academic prerequisites.

Selection Criteria

  • A proposal to produce a rigorous, multimedia public service journalism project with the potential to have major impact, lead to significant reform, and investigate and explain how individuals and groups can identify creative solutions to social problems.
  • The ability to complete the project during the fellowship.
  • The ability to integrate Marquette students as part of a reporting team.
  • The capacity to ensure the greatest possible exposure for the reporting once completed.


The application period for the 2021-22 academic-year O’Brien fellowships is now open and will end on January 23, 2021.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit O’Brien Fellowship.