Each fellow pursues a custom-made programme that is organized around a specific project defined by the applicant: an individual journalistic research project, the results of which will later be published. The objective of studies in Berlin is to broaden professional knowledge and specialized expertise while building upon previous journalistic experience. Fellows are free to take advantage of course offerings at the Berlin Universities, and to participate in events organized by other scholarly and cultural institutions in the German capital.
At the same time, journalists have an opportunity to meet colleagues from Eastern and Western Europe and the United States.
The European Journalism-Fellowships were modelled after well-established and highly regarded fellowship programs for American journalists, such as the Nieman Fellowships at Harvard University, as well as those at Stanford (John S. Knight-Fellowship Program), Columbia University , Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). All of these programs distinguish themselves by offering participants the greatest possible autonomy in designing their study and research plans. In Europe, the “sabbatical” offered in the framework of the EJF, with its European and transatlantic focus, represents a hitherto unique opportunity for journalists.