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Student Scheme 2018 now open for applications

Are you a third level student based in the Republic of Ireland, over 18 years of age, and interested in reporting on development issues for a national media outlet? Then you may be interested in the Simon Cumbers Media Fund Student Scheme 2018, which is now accepting applications.

Supported by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Student Scheme aims to enhance students’ understanding of the developing world. The Student Scheme is teaming up with Newstalk and to offer two students from any faculty the opportunity to work with experienced journalists to develop their story proposals and then to report from one of Irish Aid’s key partner countries (Ethiopia; Malawi; Mozambique; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Uganda; Vietnam and Zambia).

Previous recipients have reported on topics such as family planning and sexual health in Ethiopia and the fight against leprosy in Tanzania.

Commenting, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon TD said: “This fantastic initiative has provided invaluable experience to student journalists. Successful applicants not only get to travel on assignment to report on wide-ranging topics, but they also get to develop their skills through mentorship from accomplished journalists. The students offer a fresh perspective on development issues and the Scheme brings a range of interesting stories to a broad audience through our partnership with Newstalk and”

Student Scheme judge and former RTÉ broadcaster, Rodney Rice said: “The Student Scheme presents students with a real-world experience of reporting on assignment from one of Irish Aid’s partner countries. The initiative facilitates personal development in addition to journalistic development. For some, it will represent an important first step in their career as a journalist and for others it will provide the opportunity to explore journalistically a topic in which they are interested.

“Applicants do not need to be studying a media related course, however, a strong applicant will display journalistic flair in their sample work and will have identified a unique angle to pursue in their project, one that recognises and understands development issues as distinctly human issues.”

Application guidelines for the Student Scheme are available here. Applications must be submitted online through our website by 5pm on Wednesday, 28th March 2018. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend for interview with the mentors and a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs on the afternoon of Monday, 23rd April 2018.