Career Development Awards

Each year, the Northwest Science Writers Association offers two Career Development Awards of up to $1,000 for science communicators in the region seeking to take their skills and opportunities to the next level. The awards are open to print, broadcast, or online science communicators who have a primary residence in the states of Washington, Oregon, or Idaho.

These grants are meant to defray the expenses of attending a training, conference, or class related to the professional development of science communicators, and are not intended to cover the costs of reporting.  Applicants must be members of NSWA at the time of application.


“I applied for NSWA’s career development award when I was launching my career as a freelance climate journalist and looking to establish more contacts with editors and publishers. The award enabled me to attend the Society for Environmental Journalists conference in 2019. I left that conference with new relationships with editors and colleagues who have connected me with work opportunities and given me valuable career advice many times. I would not have been able to sustain my freelance business without help from the people I met at that conference, and I would not have been able to attend that conference without NSWA’s support.” — Jen Monnier, 2019 Recipient

“The NSWA Career Development Award allowed me to go to the National Association of Science Writers meeting in Pennsylvania, where I met other science writing freelancers and attended sessions geared toward how to cultivate a freelance client base and find stories. Those connections helped me to successfully make the career transition from researcher to communicator, and to eventually find the job I have today! If you’re looking for ways to build and improve your science writing career, definitely apply!” — Meredith Fore, 2019 Recipient

2024 Career Awards

The 2024 NSWA Career Development Awards are currently not yet recruiting. Recruitment typically opens mid-to-late summer each year. Please check back soon. Thank you!

Blog Posts

2021 Career Development Awards for Northwest Science Communicators

Apply for a 2021 NSWA Career Development Award Applications are due Sunday, August 1, 2021   Want to attend a conference or class to advance your science communication career but lack the budget to cover the costs? The Northwest Science Writers Association is...

Northwest Science Writers 2020 Career Development Awards

Apply for a 2020 NSWA Career Development Award Applications are due Tuesday, 1 September 2020   The Northwest Science Writers Association is now accepting applications for our annual Career Development Awards. NSWA invites proposals from individuals or groups for...

Announcing Winners of NSWA’s 2019 Career Development Awards

Meredith Fore (left) and Jen Monnier (right) The Northwest Science Writers Association will help send two of its members to national conferences this year to advance their careers in science communication. Freelance writers Meredith Fore and Jen Monnier will each...

Past Awardees

2023: Freelance journalists Rachel Tompa and Diya Dwarakanath both elected to use the grant to attend the ScienceWriters2023 conference in Boulder, Colorado.

2022: Seattle Times mental health reporter Hannah Furfaro used the award to attend the 2022 Science Writers conference. Independent science journalist Starre Vartan plans to attend a creative nonfiction workshop at the Madeline Island School of the Arts.

2021: Freelance journalist Britany Robinson attended the Society of Environmental Journalists conference and independent journalist Robin Donovan attended the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop.

2020: Awards postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019: Freelance science writer Meredith Fore attended the Science Writers conference and freelance environmental journalist Jen Monnier attended the Society of Environmental Journalists conference.

2018: Freelance environmental journalist Janice Cantieri attended the Solutions Journalism Summit and freelance science writer Rebecca Heisman attended the Science Writers 2019 Meeting.

2017: University of Washington PhD student Ian Haydon and Christianity Today science editor Rebecca Randall attended the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists. Read highlights of their experiences.

2016: Independent journalist Wudan Yan attended the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) Conference and freelance journalist Chris Solomon attended the Latest in Longform: Berkeley Narrative Journalism Conference. Read highlights of their experiences.

2015: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration science writer Ashley Braun attended Courage Camp: A master class on the business of freelancing.

2014: Freelance journalist Madeline Ostrander attended Courage Camp: A master class on the business of freelancing. Read highlights of Ostrander’s experience.

2012: InvestigateWest co-founder Robert McClure and freelance journalist Michelle Martin attended the Society of Environmental Journalists conference.