Media Advisory 07-029
NSF Invites Media to Apply for Antarctica Reporting Slots
October 2, 2007
The National Science Foundation (NSF), manager of the U.S. Antarctic Program, is accepting written requests from professional journalists to report from Antarctica during the 2007-2008 research season.
Selected journalists will deploy to Antarctica for approximately one working week between November 2007, and February 2008.
NSF annually selects a small group of journalists, representing a range of news organizations, to make individual visits to Antarctica to report on NSF's scientific program. As logistics permit, it may be possible to visit a limited number of additional field science projects. The reporting plan submitted below lists these requests in detail.
How to apply: Applicants must submit the equivalent of two printed pages detailing specifically what they plan to cover while in Antarctica. NSF public affairs officers can help applicants to craft a proposed reporting plan that has the best chance of meeting minimum criteria.
Competition is expected to be intense for a limited number of slots, and space on aircraft is severely constrained. Logistical limitations make it nearly impossible to modify reporting plans once in Antarctica. It is important to note that because of NSF-wide efforts to support education and outreach projects during the International Polar Year (IPY), the selection of media visitors is expected to be even more competitive than usual.
A committee of Antarctic program personnel and media officers from NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs reviews all proposals and selects finalists. The committee will look for proposals that indicate an understanding of the nature and challenges of NSF's scientific enterprise in Antarctica and the desire and ability to communicate that understanding to the public.
Application Deadline: Oct. 17, 2007. U.S. media receive preference in selection.
Application: Focused applications with thorough reporting plans that indicate solid working knowledge of the U.S. Antarctic program and its science goals stand the best chance of selection. Feature-film proposals and general reporting about Antarctica, travel or logistics are not given priority.
Expenses: Reporters or their employers pay for round-trip transportation to -- and accommodation in -- Christchurch, New Zealand. Reporters must visit NSF headquarters in Arlington, Va., at their own expense for pre-trip planning. NSF furnishes at no cost cold-weather clothing solely for use in the field as well as housing, transportation and food while in Antarctica.
Medical: Finalists must pass comprehensive physical and dental exams conducted at their own expense by their personal physicians and dentists and are subject to screening by the U.S. Antarctic program. Certain medical conditions may disqualify a candidate from visiting Antarctica, even if initially selected as a media visitor.
Related Program: NSF's Office of Polar Programs offers a separate program to support artists and writers in Antarctica whose primary form of expression is not journalistic. For information see: http://www.nsf.gov/od/opp/aawr.jsp, or contact: Kim Silverman, (703) 292-8033 / firstname.lastname@example.org
How To Apply: Contact NSF (by phone or by e-mail) as soon as possible to express intent and to discuss areas of professional interest. Freelancers must supply evidence of a firm commitment from a prospective employer to publish or air their work.
Send the letter and any supporting materials (such as a limited number of clips or videotaped segments) to:
National Science Foundation
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1245
Arlington, VA 22230
Attn: Peter West
(703) 292-7761 / email@example.com
Peter West, NSF, (703) 292-7761, firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Government Web Portal for the International Polar Year: http://www.ipy.gov
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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