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HMS Media Fellowship

Application Deadline 2/28/2014

January 16, 2014

Dear Colleague:

Harvard Medical School’s media fellowship program is entering its seventeenth season. This spring’s two fellowship programs are The Eyes (and Ears) Have It: Sensory biology and its promise for patients (March 31 – April 4) and Trauma: Mending cells, bodies and minds (May 5 – 9). Descriptions of each program can be found below.

Reporters are invited to choose one of these programs and apply. Three applicants will be chosen for each program.

For a one-week period, three fellows will visit researchers at the medical school and at its affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutes, meeting with a broad spectrum of faculty and other stakeholders. Although reporters will attend as a group, prior to arrival we will work with each fellow to cater to any individual interests and the interests of their media outlet and tailor the experience within the broader theme.

The application process is simple: just email me three to five relevant clips and two to three paragraphs detailing what you want to take away from the fellowship. In addition, please state that you have license from your editor, or usual freelance clients, to cover the topic generically in the future. (You are not obligated to cover Harvard’s work in the area, just the field as a whole.)

Applications are due Friday, February 28, 2014. We plan to notify successful applicants very soon afterward. Harvard Medical School will pay for participants’ lodging and meals (but not travel to and from Boston). These fellowships are offered as educational opportunities on a background basis. We do not monitor or “gate-keep” fellows’ contact with faculty throughout the program.

I look forward to hearing from you or from someone you think would enjoy this experience. You can email me at david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu. If I can answer any questions about the fellowship, please call me at 617-432-0441.

Sincerely,

David Cameron
Director of Science Communications
Harvard Medical School

 

Seventeenth Annual Harvard Medical School Media Fellowship

Spring 2014

 

Fellowship Background:

The Harvard Medical School media fellowship program is now entering its seventeenth season and has hosted 96 reporters from across print, radio and television. Reporters work with our staff to design a program around the fellowship theme tailored to their particular interests and then spend a week meeting with roughly 20 faculty and other relevant stakeholders. Fellows have often formed lasting relationships with these subject matter experts, and the school does not play gatekeeper in those relationships.

This spring’s fellowship themes are The Eyes (and Ears) Have It: Sensory biology and its promise for patients and Trauma: Mending cells, bodies and minds. See program descriptions and application information below.

 

Applications for this spring’s fellowship are due Friday, February 28, 2014.

 

Spring 2014 Fellowship Themes:

The Eyes (and Ears) Have It: Sensory biology and its promise for patients

March 31 – April 4  

Although “hear no evil, see no evil” might make a great proverb, it is modern medicine’s goal that we all have a choice in the matter, despite genetics or disease. But while visual and audio impairments challenge physicians and scientists, breakthroughs in our understanding of the basic neural wiring of sight and sound are leading to profound clinical advances.

For this fellowship, reporters will meet with experts throughout Harvard Medical School and its affiliated teaching hospitals whose research reaches from basic neurology—how the brain constructs images and processes sound—to the engineering of new medical devices. Fellows will learn about retinal biology and disease, as well as efforts to use gene therapy to treat several forms of retinal degeneration. They will meet with researchers finding, and fixing, genes related to blindness. They will also have the opportunity to witness ERG testing of patients at risk for retinal disorders, and perhaps experience the test themselves. Fellows will meet with researchers studying the development of the inner ear, the effects of “hidden hearing loss,” and whether embryologically acquired deafness can be reversed in infants using novel tools of genetic engineering. And finally, not to exclude the nose, they will meet a clinician-researcher who breaches the blood-brain barrier using the patient’s own nasal lining, providing a new approach for neurodegenerative and central nervous system diseases.

This program will include interviews with experts and hands-on demonstrations of laboratory and clinical technologies.

In addition to meeting with Harvard Medical School faculty, fellows also may attend roundtable discussions, research seminars and grand rounds.

 

Trauma: Mending cells, bodies and minds

May 5 – 9

The tragic event of last year’s marathon bombing underscored the power of emergency medicine. From initial injury to subsequent rehabilitation, effectively addressing trauma comprises cellular healing, musculoskeletal repair and psychological support.

For this fellowship, reporters will meet with experts throughout Harvard Medical School and its affiliated teaching hospitals who study all facets of healing, from cellular regeneration to tissue inflammation to the latest rehabilitative technologies. Whether the trauma is the result of fire, explosion, or any other manner of insult, fellows will meet with physicians and scientists who are using engineering and biological principles to generate tools to complete the healing process. Fellows will meet with scientists who are developing advanced micromechanical wound-healing devices, such as organs on chips; improving methods for detecting and treating traumas to the brain, such as near infra-red brain stimulation; and leveraging new imaging tools and biomarkers to track patient-progress in clinical trials.  

Fellows will also meet with clinicians who work with military veterans and other victims of trauma who are at risk for PTSD, exploring the latest approaches to treating psychological injury.

In addition to meeting with Harvard Medical School faculty, fellows also may visit laboratories and attend roundtable discussions, research seminars and grand rounds.

 

 

Easy Application

Applying to the program is easy. Simply send an email to david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu and in it include information about you and your beat. Please also indicate that your editor/producer will allow you a week away and that there is general interest in covering the topic in some fashion down the road (this is generic interest, not necessarily interest in covering Harvard).

Harvard Medical School will pay for lodging and the program includes reimbursement for meals.

LENGTH OF FELLOWSHIP: Five workdays.

NUMBER OF FELLOWS: Three per theme.

APPLICATION DUE DATE: Friday, February 28, 2014

CONTACT:   
David Cameron
Director of Science Communications
Harvard Medical School
107 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Suite 111
Boston, MA 02115
617-432-0441 or david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu

 

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