Financial support for journalism students’ summer internships

For a half-century, the Virginia SPJ,SDX Educational Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter, has been awarding fellowships and scholarships to deserving college students.

The foundation provides fellowships for students at accredited Virginia colleges and universities to support their summer internships at print and electronic news organizations. Each fellowship includes a cash stipend of up to $1,500, which can be used for expenses incurred in performing a supervised, full-time summer internship of at least six weeks.

The top recipient in the foundation’s annual fellowship competition is called the George A. Bowles Jr. Fellow, named for the late Virginia broadcast journalist.

The application deadline for fellowships for Summer 2023 has passed. But you are welcome to apply next year. In early 2024, we will post information how to apply for fellowships for Summer 2024.

The amount of each stipend will be determined by the foundation trustees based on an applicant’s estimated out-of-pocket internship costs, such as living expenses, equipment, professional attire, travel costs, publications, subscriptions, supplies and so on. Stipends will be paid upon independent confirmation of an internship offer by the fellow’s host news organization. An evaluation provided by the fellow’s supervisor will be required upon completion of the internship.

Responsibility for securing summer news internships belongs entirely to each applicant. The foundation will not assist with finding or obtaining internship opportunities. (But you don’t have to have a summer internship lined up in order to apply for the fellowship. In your application, you can describe the internship you’re hoping to get.) Students whose internships are paid or unpaid may apply.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be sophomores, juniors or seniors enrolled at an accredited Virginia college or university.
  • Applicants need not be journalism majors but must demonstrate intent to pursue a journalism career in print, broadcast or online media. (The application requires a brief essay on why you are pursuing a journalism career.)
  • Applicants must provide a résumé or LinkedIn profile and three samples of journalistic work. They also must provide a letter of recommendation from a professor and/or journalism professional.

Questions may be sent to Jeff South, the foundation’s fellowship promotions chair, at

Here is a list of the fellowship and scholarship recipients over the past 50 years, including short bios of some of them.

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