Apply for a mental health journalism fellowship in the UAE

Programme seeks to develop a cohort of journalists who can improve the quality and accuracy of mental health reporting in the media

Amandeep Bhangu and Anam Rizvi are the current Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellows in the UAE. Two new fellows will be appointed later this year.

If you are a reporter, editor or content producer in the UAE, you can now apply for a 2022-23 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism.

Run by the Carter Centre in the US and administered by The National in the UAE, the fellowship provides training, mentorship and grants to successful candidates, to support their reporting of mental health.

The fellowship programme seeks to develop a diverse cohort of journalists who can increase and improve the quality and accuracy of mental health reporting in the media.

The Carter Centre, a non-governmental organisation, has awarded annual mental health journalism fellowships around the world since 1996. This year's fellows will be appointed in the US, Latin America and the Middle East.

The programme is named after Rosalynn Carter, co-founder of the Carter Centre, who has been an influential voice in the field of mental health for decades.

All candidate applications for the UAE programme should be submitted before 10pm (GST) on June 24, 2022.

Full details of how to apply can be found below:

What is a mental health journalism fellowship?

Successful candidates will receive a grant, training and mentorship for 12 months, beginning in September 2022, to support their reporting work and journalism in the field of mental health.

UAE fellows for 2022-23 will be advised by experts in the US throughout their year with the programme and assisted by a local advisory board.

Once appointed, fellows will discuss their intended reporting work with a community of journalists and mental health experts during an online or in-person meeting convened by the Carter Centre in Atlanta, US, in September.

They will return to the same forum in September 2023 and will receive training and support on both occasions.

Throughout the year they will have access to mental health experts in the UAE and support from advisers in the US.

How many fellowships will be awarded this year?

This 2022-23 recruitment drive will appoint two journalism fellows in the UAE.

What kind of reporting work have previous UAE journalism fellows undertaken?

Amandeep Bhangu and Anam Rizvi, the current UAE mental health journalism fellows, have been working on their reporting projects since being appointed last year.

Bhangu has been developing a podcast series on the role culture plays in mental health within the diverse communities living in the UAE, while Rizvi has reported on the impact pandemic-related school closures have had on young people.

Former UAE fellows have built up a diverse body of work.

Raya Al Jadir reported on how stay-at-home orders affected the mental health of people living with disabilities.

Deena Kamel has examined the upheaval experienced by the aviation sector during the pandemic and its impact on the mental health of people working in the industry.

Omar Al Owais documented the societal pressures experienced by university students during his fellowship year and Nick Webster reported on a range of mental health subjects, including the need for better healthcare support for displaced people.

Am I eligible to apply?

Applicants must be citizens or residents of the UAE, or demonstrate a strong connection to the country by work or employment. You should have experience as a writer, reporter, editor or producer and show a keen interest in mental health reporting.

How do I apply for a fellowship?

Applicants should submit a copy of their CV, together with a covering letter of no more than 500 words that outlines the mental health reporting project the candidate seeks to undertake during their fellowship year.

The project proposal could be for a single reported piece, a podcast series, collection of features, video clips or any other form of publishable content. The letter should discuss the significance and timeliness of the intended topic.

The applicant should provide details of where she/he hopes to publish their work and in what format (ie, digital, print, broadcast, multimedia, social media). It is not a requirement of the scheme that the reporting project is published in or by The National.

Any application should be supported by sample(s) of your work — no less than one, no more than three. These do not have to be previous samples of mental health reporting. Rather, they should be examples of the candidate's best work.

In addition, the applicant should supply a letter of recommendation from someone familiar with their work. That person, ideally a reporter, editor or publisher, should comment on the applicant's ability and potential as a journalist.

Where do I send my documents?

Applicants should send a CV, covering letter, sample(s) of their work and letter of recommendation to Nick March, Assistant Editor-in-Chief at The National and UAE Programme Administrator for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

Send your documents to

Please mark the subject line as “Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (UAE programme application)".

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application within 72 hours of submission.

When do I need to submit my application?

Interested candidates have until 10pm (GST) on June 24, 2022 to submit their applications.

What happens next?

All applications are reviewed by a panel of editors at The National and the local advisory board in the UAE. Shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed by the local advisory board and programme administrator. After the interviews are completed, the board will select the top two candidates and they will be appointed as 2022-23 fellows.

When will interviews take place?

Interviews will be conducted in August 2022, either in-person in Abu Dhabi or via Zoom.

Who is on the local advisory board?

UAE-appointed Rosalynn Carter fellows are supported by a local advisory board who provide mentorship and expert insight to appointees. Members of the UAE board are:

Dr Saliha Afridi, a clinical psychologist and founder and managing director of The LightHouse Arabia, as well as a frequent guest on radio shows and print media contributor.

Iman Ben Chaibah is the founder of Sail Magazine in Dubai, vice president of the Emirates Publishers Association and a former Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow.

Leonard Stall is an adviser to the communications agency Touchline and active in the philanthropy and charity sectors. He is also a consultant to the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Dr Justin Thomas is an associate professor of psychology at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and a chartered health psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

Updated: May 12, 2022, 12:48 PM