Fellowship: BuzzFeed Open Lab for Journalism, Technology, and the Arts

March 31, 2016
San Francisco, CA
Job Type


Open Lab for Journalism, Technology, and the Arts is a workshop in BuzzFeed’s San Francisco bureau. We offer fellowships to artists, programmers, and storytellers to spend a year making new work in a collaborative environment. Read more about the lab.

We seek applications for 2016-2017 fellows. We are particularly interested in proposals that incorporate augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Open Lab Fellowships are year-long appointments based in San Francisco. Fellows receive full benefits and a salary of $100,000 during the fellowship year. Fellows have access to a well equipped lab, an inspiring advisory group, and to BuzzFeed’s award winning team of reporters and editors.

One fellowship spot will be reserved for an Eyebeam/OpenLab Fellow, who will also hold residency in Eyebeam’s world-renowned program of support for emerging practitioners in art and technology.

Our world class network of advisers includes engineer and artist Natalie Jeremijenko, entrepreneur and investor Chris Dixon, BuzzFeed Publisher Dao Nguyen, 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson, GE Research’s Greg Petroff, Eyebeam Director Roderick Schrock, and BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti.

The lab is equipped with two 3d printers and a basic shop. We’ll make sure you have the tools you need to prototype new hardware and ramp up software projects.

The next class of fellows will start in October 2016.

Apply now: applications are due no later than May 1, 2016.

Do you have a creative idea for a technical project that explores new ways to gather information and tell stories? Tell us what you want to make!

Open Lab invites both hardware and software proposals. We’re open to any technology development project with the potential to advance journalistic goals, give reporters new tools, or provide news consumers with better information. Develop new ways to incorporate drones or robots in journalism or use sensors to collect data in creative ways. Bring machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, or data science into the newsroom to help identify hidden stories and tell them better.

Fellows come from many different backgrounds and experiences — hackers, artists, activists, reporters, and technologists — who are interested in creating innovative, open source tools that advance journalism and reporting. We release our work under open source licenses and document our process so that others can replicate our projects.

The Open Lab is a hands-on lab. We’re open to proposals that include some training or self-study to hone your skills, but you should have experience programming in the tools you plan to use.

Application Procedure:

Current and former BuzzFeed employees may apply but will not be given special preference. Applications will be considered by BuzzFeed’s editorial and tech staff, as well as the Open Lab advisory board.

Click Here to Apply

Application Deadline: May 1, 2016

Application Materials:

-- Resume or CV with at least three references, one of whom may write your letter of recommendation.
-- A cover letter that includes a concise description of your project. If you are interested in being considered for the Eyebeam fellowship, please indicate that in your cover letter.
-- A Project Proposal which should detail, in separate sections:
-- A description of the project you plan to complete during a fellowship year. The description should explain why this project is important, why you are the right person to complete it and what opportunities exist for the project to scale.
-- A timeline for that project that that clearly articulates your capacity to complete it in a year.
-- A budget for your project: some projects will just need a bit of hosting, some will need miles of highly specialized 3D printer filament and a dozen industrial knitting machine needles. What will it cost to build this?
-- Details of three to five past projects that you feel are representative of your best work.
One Letter of Recommendation: Please have your recommender email the letter directly to us at openlabfellowship@buzzfeed.com using the subject line “[Candidate’s Last Name] Reference.” The letter should attest to your knowledge of your subject matter, your professional abilities, and your ability to create and innovate shareable technology.

About BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is the social news, and entertainment company. BuzzFeed is redefining online advertising with its social, content-driven publishing technology. BuzzFeed provides the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment and video across the social web to its global audience of 200M.


I’ve gotten a fair number of questions about the fellowship expectations and application process. So I’ve started a list of frequently asked questions. If your questions aren’t answered there, don’t hesitate to ask!

Related Jobs

May 24, 2024
Legal Fellow - NPR, Ishiyama Transparency in Government   Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C. new
May 24, 2024
May 24, 2024
First Amendment Fellow - Center for Investigative Reporting   San Francisco/Remote, United States
December 10, 2023
Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society   Cambridge, MA, United States
December 10, 2023
Comments are closed.