ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP

The Without Borders Media Fellowship aims to encourage cross-border and hyper-local reporting. It leverages scientific storytelling to draw attention to emerging crises in public health and humanitarian aid. Fellows work on their field-intensive projects by engaging closely with mentors, who are experts and thought leaders in journalism and public health, as well as medical and operations specialists from the MSF movement.

Stories from the heart of crises give a voice to the vulnerable, support medical and humanitarian advocacy, and encourage dialogue on humanitarian values. MSF is looking for journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and newsrooms to work together, build communities of practice, and support humanitarian actors to better understand crises and contexts, while working with compassion.

Call for applications for the Without Borders Fellowship 2023 is now closed.

There are two grant categories available for applicants to choose from: the General Grant, which allows applicants to choose from a range of themes, or the MSF-DNDi Grant on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Last date to apply:

15th June 2023

Fellowship duration:

3 months(July - September 2023)

MSF welcomes applications from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives and Pakistan.

The Without Borders Media Fellowship aims to promote continuous reporting and outreach on the intersection of factors affecting public health and humanitarian crises, including planetary health, social class, crime and violence, urban development, access to health resources, diagnosis, and treatment, transportation, city planning, and disparities in healthcare access.

The Without Borders Media Fellowship aims to:

    • Encourage cross-border and hyper-local reporting on health and humanitarian crises.
    • Leverage multimedia storytelling to build public awareness and sensitization.
    • Engage a community of actors interested in emergency response and medical action.
    • Document and highlight critical practice or policy issues in healthcare delivery.

The Fellowship award aims to support media professionals by providing the following:

    • Reporting costs
    • Access to MSF projects
    • Knowledge sharing on MSF’s model of care
    • Mentorship
    • Training/sensitization
    • Resources to produce in-depth, insightful reporting.

Media Fellows who are selected in the MSF program are provided with comprehensive support throughout their journey. This includes mentorship, subject matter sensitization, and training, as well as access to MSF projects and experts. They also receive funding for reporting costs for field visits, based on reasonable and detailed budgets. Most awards range between INR 50,000 to INR 2,00,000, and amounts may vary depending on individual circumstances.

The Fellowship award covers a duration of three months for the project, with some projects requiring further consideration depending on the application and reporting proposal. Fellows are expected to publish their work within three months of receiving the Award.

The Fellowship accepts applications and reporting proposals on various thematic areas, including but not limited to General Grant (applicants can choose from a range of themes) or the MSF-DNDi (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative) Grant for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Maternal and Child HealthHIV / Advanced HIVEmergency Response
DiabetesRefugee HealthClimate Emergency
Occupational HealthFood InsecurityAccess to drugs
Mental HealthDrug-Resistant TuberculosisNeglected Tropical Diseases

The Fellowship welcomes applications and reporting proposals that:

  • Advance public understanding of health policy and human-interest stories focusing on health inequity and challenges to accessing healthcare.
  • Explore health disparities, their causes, and local, indigenous, or novel solutions.
  • Investigate socio-economic and cultural barriers that may restrict public health and well-being.

Fellows will work closely with the MSF South Asia Communications Team and mentors to finalize their deliverables. They must ensure that the presentation or representation of any facts, anecdotes, and lived experiences, both medical and non-medical, that may affect patient privacy, rights, and access to healthcare, are closely reviewed.

Print/Digital News: Fellows must publish a minimum of three article series (800 words, feature, or analysis) or one long-form story (2500-3000 words) on a notable news platform. If the journalist is already working in a news organization, the organization must be willing to publish the story.

Or

Multimedia: Fellows must publish one news feature (5-10mins) photo essay or illustrations supported with text (600 words).

As part of their application, candidates must include letters of commitment from news outlets, national or international, to publish or broadcast their work.

Fellows will be encouraged to participate in a webinar/Facebook Live session, ideally in association with another organization/MSF/media platform where the stories are published, where each fellow will speak about their work and highlight the cause.

PUBLICATION OF WORK

In addition to the award, MSF expects news organizations to pay journalists for their work. In exceptional cases, we may consider stipends to cover a reporter’s time. If you are applying on behalf of a newsroom, please note that we do not allow overhead or indirect expenses in our budgets. For multimedia journalists, especially those producing news feature stories, MSF South Asia will feature their work on its website (www.msfsouthasia.org) as well.

As the selection for the Without Borders Media Fellowship is competitive, we ask applicants to provide:

  • Story pitch: Description of the story you seek to pursue during your Fellowship. MSF expects a concrete story pitch.
  • Pre-reporting by the applicant on the subject will be of advantage to the application.
  • A compelling, well-researched pitch (with references to add context) with a reporting plan will help stand out among dozens of applicants. (500-750 words).
  • Travel and dissemination plan: Applicants must share a travel plan that lists out the preferred start and end dates of the fellowship, field visit dates, locations, risks involved (legal and physical), stakeholders involved, etc.
  • Three examples (links) of your most relevant stories (to the pitch) published in the last one year.
  • A letter of commitment or interest from a media organization(s) that would publish your story(ies) Names and contacts of two professional references.
  • CV or Resume.

In addition to the Fellowship award, MSF expects news organizations to pay journalists for their work. However, in exceptional cases, we may consider stipends to cover a reporter’s time. If you are applying on behalf of a newsroom, please note that we do not allow overhead or indirect expenses in our budgets. For multimedia journalists, especially those producing news feature stories, MSF South Asia will feature their work on its website (www.msfsouthasia.org).

FELLOWS

MSF introduced a fellowship for media in India in 2016 as part of its larger vision to close engage with the media. Following its success, in 2018, MSF India extended an invitation to collaborate with MSF South Africa to make it an international media fellowship. In 2022, MSF South Asia, formerly MSF India, under its new scope and mandate, is expanding the scope of the fellowship and re-branding it as the Without Borders Media Fellowship.

The Fellowship hosts a reporting grant in MSF South Asia, which is co-owned with internal and external partners, to support media professionals with grants towards in-depth and high impact reporting on health and humanitarian aid issues.

Past Fellows and their work:

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Dr Anant Bhan

Dr Anant Bhan is trained as a medical doctor with a Master’s degree in Bioethics from the University of Toronto. He is an Adjunct Visiting Professor, Yenepoya (deemed to be University) in Karnataka,India. He is the Immediate Past President of the International Association of Bioethics. His work is focused on ethics and equity in health, mental health, digital health, public health ethics, research ethics, community engagement, ethics of innovative technologies and ethics training for professionals. He also serves as guest faculty in various educational institutions in India and abroad and has been a reviewer for multiple journals, conference scientific committees and international grant competitions. He serves as the Bhopal (India) hub lead and mentor for Sangath which is a not-for-profit organisation that works on making mental health services accessible and affordable.

Dr Chandrakant Lahariya

Dr Chandrakant Lahariya is one of India’s leading doctors, infectious diseases and preventive medicine specialist. He is also an expert in child health and vaccines. He has worked for the World Health Organisation for over 14 years at all three levels – country office in India, regional office in Brazzaville, Africa and Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He has received several prestigious awards including Indian Council of Medical Research’s ‘Dr BC Shrivastava Foundation Award’ in 2012. In 2020 and 2021, he was listed among the top 2% global researchers in the field of Pediatrics and Public Health by a Stanford University research. He is the Founding Director of Foundation for People-centric Health Systems, which is a not for profit organization in Delhi (India) which works towards reducing the burden of diseases and preventable mortalities. He is also the lead author of the bestselling book ‘Till We Win: India’s Fight Against The COVID-19 Pandemic.

Dr Bhishmaraj Shrivastava

A physician by qualification, Dr Bhishmaraj started off his public health career at MSF in 2014 while working with Operational Centre Amsterdam (MSF-OCA). Subsequently he pursued his Masters in Public Health and Business Administration in a dual degree program (MPH/MBA) at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore-USA. Through Hopkins, he had the opportunity to work in Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Philippines among others while collaborating with organizations like Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)- India, National Institute of Health (NIH) – USA , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)- USA among others. His areas of interest include program management and exploring the role of innovation for healthcare systems in resource limited settings. He is currently serving in the Strategic Medical Lead position at MSF-South Asia Executive Branch Office and the Editorial Lead for Asia Scientific Days event.

Dr Tareq Salahuddin

Dr Tareq Salahuddin is an award-winning journalist, writer and public health professional from Bangladesh. He is currently working as Editor of the Health section in ‘The Daily Star’, the leading English daily of Bangladesh. He is the founding Editor and Special Correspondent of ‘News Hour’, an online news agency. Dr. Tareq is a J2J Fellow on HIV/AIDS and a member of the International AIDS Society. He is an active advocate on health rights of women, girls and children. He was honored by ‘Women Deliver’ for consistent and game-changing coverage of maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues at the global and national level. He is a member of the Public Health Association of Bangladesh (PHAB). He is also a former member of the Governing Council and the Policy Committee of World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).

Leena Menghaney

Leena Menghaney is a lawyer and has worked on the rights-based approach to public health, starting her career with the AIDS treatment movement to more recently contributing to efforts to increase access to COVID therapeutics and vaccines in India. She is currently the Regional Head (South Asia) and Global IP(Intellectual Property) Advisor with the Access Campaign in Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders. She works to build partnerships between MSF medical/pharmaceutical experts and legal aid lawyers, the people’s health movement, feminist organisations and patient groups in the global south to increase access to affordable vaccines, medicines, and tests in low and middle-income countries for diseases like HIV, drug-resistant TB, Hepatitis, cancer, and COVID-19 for vulnerable and excluded populations. She has contributed to health journalism by regularly contributing opinions and articles to independent media.

Neelika Malavige

Neelika Malavige is the Head of Dengue Global Programme and Scientific Affairs, South Asia at Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and is a well-recognised leader in the field of dengue. She is also a Professor at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka. She is an MBBS graduate with first class honours from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She also holds a MRCP (UK) and a D.Phil. from University of Oxford. She has been an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, UK, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, UK, and more recently a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka. She is also a member of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) committee. She is an academic visitor at the University of Oxford and has ongoing collaborations on dengue. She has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, several books, newspaper articles, and public lectures to her credit. She is also active in media and public interviews.

Sauman Singh

Sauman Singh is an accomplished public health expert, currently serving as the Senior Scientific Co-ordinator for the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) at the University of Oxford. With a background in biotechnology engineering and an MPH in epidemiology from École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique (EHESP) in Paris, he further pursued a master’s degree in economic policy with a specialization in pharmaceutical markets from the University of Sorbonne Paris Cité. He completed a PhD in economics at the Aix-Marseille School of Economics, focusing on analyzing market entry and operation strategies of Indian pharmaceutical firms to improve access to essential medicines in Africa. He has successfully conducted fieldwork in India and Africa, working in diverse and multicultural environments. His expertise has been sought after by esteemed organizations including the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), World Health Organization (WHO), University of Paris 13, and the Norwegian Embassy in Delhi. His notable achievements include being selected for the prestigious Clinical Research and Development Fellowship awarded by the WHO’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR).

RECOGNITION AND IMPACT

MSF Fellow Mahima Jain’s story ‘The Silent Pandemic of Violence Against India’s Women’ was a finalist at the Editorial Excellence Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Awards 2022. It was selected under the Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues (Regional) category. She was also selected as one of the top three finalists for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award 2021. The story ‘The Silent Pandemic’ was a part of her submission.

MSF Fellow Rupsa Chakraborty’s story ‘Failing them again’ on the neglect faced by one-stop centres under the Nirbhaya Fund prompted the Maharashtra Commission for Women into action, demanding a comprehensive government report on these vital facilities.