Neil Isaacs and Frank Wright '50 Fellowship in Investigative Journalism

Purpose: The Neil Isaacs and Frank Wright '50 Fellowship in Investigative Journalism was established in 2006 by Ian Isaacs '77 and Cliff Wright '78 to give Carleton students unparalleled experience in the world of investigative journalism. The paid summer fellowship is awarded to one sophomore, junior, or senior with demonstrated journalistic talent.

The recipient of the Isaacs Wright Fellowship will work full-time as a Reporting Intern for ProPublica in New York for 10 weeks over the summer, and will be part of a team that focuses on writing smart and tough pieces riffing off the news. 

Follow the links for a few examples of the kind of explainers and hard-hitting pieces that ProPublica does. And here’s an article from Nieman Lab about their approach.   

Interns at ProPublica have gone on to work at The New York Times, Bloomberg, NPR, Center for Public Integrity, and the Chicago Tribune.

Funding: Selected fellow will be awarded $700 per week for 10 weeks over the summer. Transportation to and housing in New York are the responsibility of the fellow.

To Apply:

Send an email to and attach pdf or word documents of :

* your resume and a

* letter (addressed "To Members of the Search Committee") explaining why you’d be a good fit. Also, include

* two clips (in pdf or word format - no links) and an

* explainer-type sample post. This should help guide readers through some accountability topic in the news.

Here are a few examples provided by ProPublica:

"Our Guide to Obama's Floundering Foreclosure Programs"

"Our Reading Guide on Congressional Dysfunction"

"FAQ on U.S. Aid to Egypt: Where does the Money Go--and Who Decides How It's Spent?"

"What is the Keystone XL Pipeline, and Why Is It So Controversial?"

If you’ve already done a piece along these lines feel free to include that.

DEADLINE:  5 PM on January 30, 2015

Faculty adviser: George Shuffelton, Associate Dean of the College, x4300


  • Fellowship is intended for sophomores, juniors, or seniors
  • Prior journalism experience desirable
  • Students studying in any discipline can apply
  • Superior writing and research skills are a must

Previous Recipients

2014 Prize Recipient: Claire Anne Kelloway '16

2013 Prize Recipient: Jonathan Lin '13  Read his summary here

2012 Prize Recipient: Nora Cassidy '13

2011 Prize Recipient: Emily Hartley '12

2010 Prize Recipient: Alex Brewer '12

2009 Prize Recipient: Benjamin Blink '10

2008 Prize Recipient: Daniella DeFranco '09

2007 Prize Recipient: Benjamin Lurie '09

First Carleton Intern: Taylor Valore '06 contributed reporting to the 2006 FRONTLINE documentary The Enemy Within and authored an upcoming story featured on the PBS website. Taylor is happy to take questions on the fellowship and can be reached at He writes of the experience, Working for Lowell Bergman was an incredible experience that Ill never forget. Every day was an adventure, and my opinions were respected as though I had be working there forever. I was trusted with conducting interviews with former U.S. Attorneys, national policy experts and anyone else I had the guts to call. I even got to see them interview a former FBI agent quite an experience! My boss worked with me to develop ideas for an article that would eventually become the summers main project. Aside from that, I was usually fact checking, summarizing analysis and reviewing interview questions. It was a fantastic summer, and I recommend it to anybody interested in an incredible exposure to journalism.