College of Communication > About > Centers & Initiatives > Center for Communication Engagement > The Voice Project > The OpEd Project > Program Details & Application for The OpEd Project

Program Details & Application for The OpEd Project

Applications are now closed for the 2020-21 academic year.

2020-21 Public Voices Fellowship Details

The 2020-21 program will include:

  • Three interactive Thought Leadership Seminars designed to expand thinking and amplify expertise
  • Weekly dedicated editorial support between seminars from a designated OpEd Project mentor and editor
  • Monthly conference calls with media experts and insiders drawn from the New York Times, CNN, Huffington Post, MSNBC, and other outlets

More details on program features:

Public Voices Fellows will convene quarterly for a total of three seminars throughout the year: an initial 1.5-day seminar (“Foundations of Thought Leadership”) that begins the fellowship and explores how ideas and individuals become influential through high stakes scenarios and Socratic dialogue; and two mid-year, one-day seminars which are designed to stimulate cross-pollination of ideas, find connections between participants’ areas of focus and current news hooks, and generate concrete results (in the form of published op-eds/blog posts, TV and radio appearances; speaking opportunities, expert citations in the media, and more).

In between each seminar, dedicated OpEd Project editors will be assigned to oversee the group, providing individual coaching and feedback by phone and e-mail, and holding regular check-in conference calls designed to encourage and support participants in reaching their thought leadership goals. They will edit, support, look for news hooks, provide individual feedback and encouragement, and otherwise help participants succeed. DePaul has had four successful cohorts come through the OpEd Project Public Voices Fellowship program so far, with fellows publishing on average two to three op-eds each, in addition to other media appearances.

Program Dates

The Thought Leadership Seminars will meet on the following dates:

  • Thursday, December 3, 2020: 10a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Friday, December 4, 2020: 10a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Friday, January 22, 2021: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Friday, March 5, 2021: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

2020-21 Public Voices Fellowship Application

Please answer the following brief application questions and e-mail your responses to Applications are now closed for the 2020-21 academic year.

If you have questions, please contact Carolyn Bronstein, professor of communication and founding faculty director at, or Craig Klugman, professor of health sciences and faculty director of the OpEd Project Public Voices Fellowship Program at

Application Questions

Please include the following with your application:

Personal Information

  • Full name
  • Department and college affiliation
  • DePaul faculty appointment including appointment status (e.g. associate professor of biology, with tenure; or senior lecturer, communication, media and cinema studies)
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Please provide a 200-word (or less) professional bio that describes your area of research or scholarship, and any major publications or recognitions.


  • In 300 words or less, please describe why your research or scholarship is of public value and how it might inform the important conversations of our day. Why do you seek a public voice? What do you hope to achieve or communicate?
  • If you are accepted into the program, can you attend all four virtual program gatherings (dates appear above)? We expect all participants to attend all four gatherings.
  • If you are accepted into the program, do you commit to write (with the support of the program) two op-ed essays? We hope that all participants will submit these op-eds for publication, with significant OpEd Project support.

Application Review

Each application is reviewed by a committee of DePaul Public Voices alumni who represent a range of colleges at DePaul. Applicants are reviewed first in terms of their relative strength in their respective college pools, e.g. compared to other applicants from their own colleges. Later, they are reviewed with the composition of the larger cohort in mind, taking into account the need to balance membership across departments and colleges, and to ensure the potential for effective “cross-pollination.” That is, we look for fellows across colleges who are working on similar types of issues, or whose knowledge and/or expertise reveal interdisciplinary connections and potential for collaboration.

Some factors that contribute positively to a successful candidate profile include, but are not limited to:

  • Individuals who identify as female or nonbinary must make up more than 50 percent of the fellows per OpEd Project national guidelines.
  • Potential to contribute diversity to the pool, which includes such demographic characteristics as race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as ideological diversity.
  • Senior status, e.g. full professors and associate professors and long-term instructors receive some preference, but all full-time faculty are eligible and can be selected.
  • Significant weight is placed on the applicant’s admission statement and the ability to state clearly, without using academic jargon and language inaccessible to a general reader, why she, he or they want to have a public voice. An applicant’s ability to link research expertise to concrete, current social issues and to explain why a perspective is valuable in clear language is an important indicator of readiness to begin the program, and will be weighted heavily in the admissions process. As stated above, the potential for “cross-pollination” in the composition of the cohort as a whole is also a determining factor in fellow selection.

This process is a qualitative and holistic one, and demand for participation in the OpEd Project typically exceeds capacity. Not all qualified applicants will be selected to participate during the 2020-21 year. However, applicants not selected this year are encouraged to apply in subsequent program years.