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Public Voices Fellowship

Northwestern University is partnering with OpEd Project to present the Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowship Program. This year-long 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. Follow the media successes of the 2018-19 Fellows on their program page.

Program Application

The Public Voices Fellowship Program is open to all active, full-time Northwestern University faculty who have not already participated in a program either at Northwestern or elsewhere. Faculty must have a full‐time active academic appointment, and cannot have any planned leaves for the year.

Applications for the 2018-2019 Public Voices Fellowship Program are closed. All questions and inquiries on the Public Voices Thought Leadership Program should be sent to

Program Details

Over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year, the Northwestern Faculty Fellows will participate in:

Quarterly Thought Leadership Seminars

Quarterly Thought Leadership Seminars are designed to expand thinking and amplify expertise. One or more of these seminars will feature conversations (in person or via teleconference) with top media thought leaders and gatekeepers including the New York Times, CNN, and Wikipedia, and brief media coaching for video. In addition, a short video may be created to highlight the participants’ successes, and to showcase them as expert sources for future media. Visit the 2016-2017 Program page to see an example of this video.

The schedule for the 2018-19 Quarterly Seminars is as follows:

Dedicated Coaching/Editing

In between each seminar, two or more dedicated OpEd Project Mentor-Editors will provide individual coaching and feedback by phone and email, and hold regular (non-obligatory; akin to office hours) check‐in chat sessions and conference calls. The Mentor-Editors will edit, support, cajole, look for news hooks, provide individual feedback and encouragement, and otherwise support participants in any way s/he appropriately can, to ensure participants to succeed.

Media Gatekeeper Calls

Each month we will hold in-person or call‐in conversations with top media gatekeepers from outlets such as: The New York Times (how to become an expert source to a journalist); CNN (how scholars get booked on TV); Wikipedia (how to contribute to and shape encyclopedic knowledge online); MSNBC (how academics can become major media commentators); and possibly with organizers or gatekeepers from major thought leadership conferences such as TED, Davos or PopTech. These calls also serve to foster cross-pollination of scholars across disciplines and across universities.

Ongoing, High-Level Mentoring

Finally, throughout the program year and for one year beyond, the Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellows will have access to the OpEd Project’s national network of Mentor-Editors: eighty extremely high‐level media thought leaders (among them: Pulitzer Prize winners, genius grant winners, former New York Times editorial board members, war correspondents, and nationally syndicated columnists) who each volunteer to mentor one Fellow a month. Fellows can use this resource any time they would like individual feedback on an idea or argument they are advancing in the form of an op‐ed—as often as they like and as many times as they like throughout the program year and one year beyond.

Public Voices at Other Universities

Yale University

Cornell University

Columbia University

The University of Texas at Austin

More About the Op-Ed 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.