Data Fellow

  • Any City, Any State, United States
  • Employees can work remotely
  • Full-time

Company Description

Grist is a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future. Since 1999, we have used the power of journalism to engage the public about the perils of the most existential threat we face. Now that three-quarters of Americans recognize that climate change is happening, we’ve shifted our focus to show that a just and sustainable future is within reach. Grist’s editorial team leads the conversation on climate change and climate action, producing daily news and analysis pieces, as well as video and longform stories, on humanity’s attempt to grapple with the most critical issue it faces.

Grist is seeking a Data Fellow to join our Editorial team. This fellowship will run for six months, beginning January 31, 2022. The fellow will report to Grist’s data reporter.

With the mentorship and support of Grist’s editorial staff, the data fellow will be expected to report and write stories informed by datasets, and create data visualizations to support both their own and others’ reporting. With an eye toward environmental and climate justice, the fellow will help chronicle the progress being made to tackle the climate crisis, whether it’s coming from communities, scientific laboratories, the halls of Congress, or companies and corporations. 

While the Grist data fellowship is designed to help aspiring data journalists develop their skills, we believe candidates will benefit most from this opportunity if they are already somewhat familiar with scripting and data visualization languages. If you are excited by this role but unsure whether or not you are qualified, we encourage you to apply regardless and tell us more about your skills in your cover letter.


As a data fellow at Grist, you will be a part of our larger fellowship program, which aims to provide a formative experience in a geographically distributed but tight-knit newsroom and professional development for early-career journalists. We will encourage full participation in staff discussions and meetings and seek input on issues large and small. 

Fellows can be based anywhere in the United States. Global health conditions permitting, at a future date there may be opportunities to work out of Grist’s Seattle office or New York hub. All fellows who work remotely will be encouraged to report on stories in their region.

Job Description


  • Identify and pitch ideas for stories that identify key issues in climate change and environmental justice — including explainers, data-driven analyses, and quicker news hits/social graphics

  • Create static and dynamic data visualizations for integration into Grist’s reporting (including your own) 

  • Other duties, like research and fact-checking, may be assigned from time to time

  • Pitch and write one enterprise/feature story in the second half of your fellowship

  • Contribute to larger editorial projects as needed


  • Four-year degree, or equivalent professional experience

  • Strong understanding of Grist’s brand

  • Ability to make a full-time, six-month commitment

  • Interest in climate and environmental science and policy

  • Demonstrated familiarity with data reporting, data science, and/or applied statistics 

  • Familiarity with at least one scripting language, such as R or Python is a plus

  • Familiarity with at least one data visualization language, library, or suite, such as D3.js, ggplot2, or Tableau is a plus

  • Nice to have: front-end experience (HTML/CSS/JavaScript), web-scraping (BeautifulSoup, Selenium, etc.), version control (git/GitHub), finishing software (e.g. Adobe Illustrator), geographic analysis (QGIS, ArcGIS, etc.), amCharts.js, GSAP, Observable, tabula-java (any binding)

Additional Information


  • This fellowship is a paid, six-month opportunity ($3334/month) for early-career journalists

  • Fellows are eligible for Grist health benefits coverage, including medical, vision, and dental

  • Fellows come away with six months of solid newsroom experience, a body of clips, and fluency in climate, science, and environmental policy issues

  • Fellows across Grist meet regularly as a cohort with members of the editorial staff to develop skills and content knowledge specific to climate journalism

  • Through our Newsroom Training Series, fellows are also trained on a range of journalistic skills, from filing FOIA requests to audio/video script-writing

  • Fellows benefit from full integration into the workings of a busy and exciting nonprofit media organization


Applicants must submit the following application materials. Applications without all three items below will not be considered.  

  1. Resume

  2. Cover letter, including links to two writing samples. Writing samples can be newspaper or magazine clips, blog posts, or unpublished pieces. We will gladly accept links to multimedia samples (video, illustration, infographic, podcast, etc.) but cannot review original files. If you have a GitHub account you’d like to show us, please provide a link to your profile.

  3. A short data post. Identify something that’s happening on the climate and environment beat and write a brief data-informed analysis for Grist. Please include any relevant links to news sources and background info. The brief should be about 400 words. Please include one original data visualization. 


Cover letters must be uploaded as a separate attachment via Smart Recruiter. Please include “Data Fellow” in the document title. Incomplete applications will not be considered. For fellowships that begin January 31 2022, please submit applications by November 15, 2021. 

No phone calls, please.


 Cultivating an inclusive staff is central to Grist’s focus on advancing equity. We’re interested in hearing from people who can work with diverse colleagues of varied experience. Candidates of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Grist is an equal-opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.