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Public Voices Program

Northwestern University is partnering with OpEd Project to present the Public Voices Program in Fall 2020. This three-month program provides a select group of Northwestern scholars across all disciplines with the resources, support and skills needed in order to dramatically increase their visibility and influence as thought leaders in academia and the world at large. The application deadline is February 1, 2020.

Public Voices: 3 Month Program Fall 2020

Program Details
  1. If you are accepted into the program, you MUST be able to attend all three monthly seminars. Attendance is mandatory, as this is an intensive summer program. There are NO exceptions.   
    The program meeting dates are as follows:
    • Thursday, September 24 (9am‐4pm) and Friday, September 25, 2020 (9am‐2pm)
    • Friday, October 23, 2020 (9am‐4pm)
    • Friday, November 20, 2020 (9am‐4pm)
  2. If you are accepted into the program, you must commit to write (with the support of the program) a minimum of two op‐ed essays. (Note: we expect all participants to make every effort to publish a minimum of two op‐eds, and hopefully many more.)
Dedicated Coaching/Editing and Ongoing Mentoring

In between each seminar, two or more dedicated OpEd Project Mentor-Editors will provide individual coaching and feedback by phone and email. The Mentor-Editors will edit, support, cajole, look for news hooks, provide individual feedback and encouragement, and otherwise support participants. Public Voices fellows will also have access to the OpEd Project’s national network of Mentor-Editors for three months following the program.

  1. You must have a fulltime active academic appointment for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  2. Have not already completed a Public Voices program, either at Northwestern or elsewhere.

Application Materials

Please submit your application using the on-line submission form

The application requires answers to a series of questions and a curriculum vitae (including academic, non‐academic publications and TV appearances) of no more than 5 pages:

  1. In 300 words or less, describe your research or scholarship.
  2. In 300 words or less, describe why your research or scholarship is of public value and can inform the important conversations of our day beyond academia.
  3. In 300 words or less, tell us why you want to have a public voice.
  4. In 300 words or less, tell us how you or your ideas are underrepresented in our public conversations.

More About the OpEd Project

The OpEd Project is a social venture founded to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas we hear in the world, starting with more women. We envision a world where the best ideas—regardless of where or whom they come from—will have a chance to be heard and to shape society and the world. We have successfully piloted programs to advance minority and women’s voices with major organizations and universities nation-wide, with stunning results: nearly 5,000 women and men have come through The OpEd Project, and have assumed thought leadership positions (via op-eds and much more) in virtually every major media outlet, conservatively reaching hundreds of millions of readers. As a direct result participants have gone on to speak on national TV and radio, advance their research and teaching careers, earn book contracts (or generate larger/more popular audiences for existing academic books), consult on national policy issues, take new leadership roles at their institutions, brief Congress, and become nationally recognized for their ideas. 

Northwestern University has partnered with the OpEd Project since 2012. Meet our outstanding Public Voices Fellowship alums and learn more about their work.

Additional Information

Questions can be directed to Joan Marie Johnson, Director for Faculty,