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The Student Scheme application process – what does it entail?

The Simon Cumbers Media Fund is now seeking applications from third level students interested in reporting on development issues for a national media outlet. We’re teaming up with Newstalk and to offer two students 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. So, how can you apply and what does the application process entail?

First: Register. When you head over to the student scheme page and click ‘apply now’, you’ll be asked to set up an account to access the application system. You just need to provide your email address and set a password. When your account is set up you can start the application process and save your progress every step of the way so you can complete it over a few days if you wish.

Next: Complete the application form. In this you’ll be asked for your contact details, college/course details and a 500-word description of your proposed media project. The real challenge will be getting your idea across within the word count. The system will cut you off at 500 words. Remember: the developing country that you choose to focus on must be an Irish Aid key partner country. The following countries are eligible: Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia. 

Then: Upload a letter of recommendation. Your referee must be a member of the academic staff in your college but this doesn’t need to be a lengthy letter – just a few lines about why they feel you are a suitable applicant.

Next: Upload three samples of your work. These samples should demonstrate your journalistic capacity and your ability to undertake in-depth research.  Your work doesn’t have to have been published in any media outlet previously but should be in a media format – work that you have produced for your college course which is in media format is fine, as is work previously published or broadcast in media outlets (including college media outlets). Please keep samples of print/online articles to no more than 1,000 words each.  Samples of broadcast projects should not exceed five minutes each in duration.   

And that’s it! Click ‘submit’ when you’re happy with your application. You’ll receive confirmation that it has been received.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend for interview with the mentors and a representative from the Department of Foreign Affairs in April 2018 on the afternoon of Monday, 23rd April 2018.  

Don’t forget to read the application guidelines before you start. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday, 3rd April 2018. The Simon Cumbers Media Fund will be hosting information sessions around the country in the coming weeks – keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook platforms and the news section of our website for details. You can also contact the Fund on if you have any questions.