ThinkLab Graduate Fellowship
Advanced Creative Multimedia Storytelling + Solutions-Oriented Projects

How are people reinventing home and their midstory in this time of flux, particularly in the spaces of struggling middle American cities?

Fellowships open: intern coordinator, editorial fellow, data fellow, media fellow

Midstory’s ThinkLab Graduate Fellowship is an advanced program for recent college graduates and current graduate students interested in shaping the post-industrial story. Our fellows engage in multimedia, interdisciplinary storytelling about demography, the environment, culture, arts, education and more. They also participate and take leadership roles in research projects on topics ranging from water safety to local journalism. In addition to finding and sharing hidden stories of the Midwest, fellows also have the opportunity to collaborate with students in the college and high school programs, other fellows and Midstory’s core team.

We are seeking multiple fellow positions to support our upcoming summer ThinkLab internship program and editorial operations. These positions give graduate students the opportunity to hone in on their editing and writing skills, to work with college students from across the country (including students from schools like Harvard, Northwestern, UChicago and more), to learn the ins and outs of nonprofit work and to just spend a season with a vibrant and young team doing work for the communities we love. The summer fellowship alongside our undergraduate program runs from late May to early August. All fellowships are full-time, in-person and carry a stipend.

The Midstory team is seeking graduate students with good writing and people skills, who are looking for a meaningful way to spend their summer. Having training or a background in journalism training is helpful but not necessary.

This fellowship is for you if you:

  • Are a storyteller.
  • Are a strong writer or researcher.
  • Want to make a difference in underserved and often-ignored communities.
  • Want to develop your multimedia storytelling abilities.
  • Are a creative thinker and idea generator.
  • Can articulate ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Are a creative problem solver.
  • Believe in creating powerful research and content that is true and authentic.
  • Aspire to be a journalist, social architect, policy-maker, cultural influencer, designer, filmmaker or writer.
  • Apply Now:

    Please provide a resume, cover letter and any relevant work samples. Please email your application materials as PDFs (or multimedia files if relevant) to

    Summer 2024 Application Deadline:

    Sunday, March 24, 2024 11:59pm (ET)


    • Research & team brainstorming
    • Transcribe interviews
    • Storyboard, write & produce content
    • Assist with interviews, video & audio shoots
    • Advise interns & edit intern work
    • Take leadership roles on research projects


    • Strong writing, research & editing skills
    • Ability to take direction and work in a dynamic environment
    • A self-motivated, team-oriented attitude
    • Leadership & interpersonal skills
    Card Back Card Front
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    20/20 Vision: The Ambition & Execution of “Comprehensive Planning” in Toledo

    Written by Stefan Binion

    "Master plans," "comprehensive plans," "city plans"—it seems like every few years there's another, and both their vision and execution are key to reshaping our city toward a post-industrial future. But where to start? The many plans of old, as well as their successes and failures, give us some clarity for the road ahead.

    Stefan Binion

    Despite their exotic reputation, several species of carnivorous plants actually grow wild in the Midwest. One state natural area in Wisconsin is home to a large population of carnivorous pitcher plants, which thrive under conditions that are inhospitable to other flora.

    Maya Shimizu-Harris

    The Carnivorous Pitcher Plants of Wisconsin’s Berlin Fen

    Written by Maya Shimizu-Harris

    Tomato Juice: An Ode to Ohio’s (Controversial) State Beverage

    Written by Julia Conti

    In a (somewhat) open-minded journey, a self-proclaimed tomato hater explores the story of tomatoes and tomato juice in Ohio, and along the way finds a rich history and bright future.

    Julia Conti

    Generations of Ukrainian immigrants have called Chicago’s Ukrainian Village home. An explosion of avant garde creativity in the area in the ‘60s and ‘70s gave birth to an art museum whose mission seems prescient today. Now, the art that hangs in the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art's galleries serves as a small but mighty protest against Russia’s attempts to erase Ukrainian culture.

    Elizabeth Vanderau

    Safeguarding Ukraine's Artistic Heritage on Chicago's West Side

    Written by Elizabeth Vanderau

    About Midstory

    Midstory Media Thinkhub is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in March of 2018 by four core members from the Midwest who have received an education from universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and MIT and have since returned to Toledo, OH to begin a lifelong journey for post-industrial communities. With an interdisciplinary approach, the Midstory team dedicates its operations to curating a voice out of the Midwest through research, publication, public engagement, and broadcasting. In the midst of a noisy national canopy, our Midstory is a space of connection and intersection in the American experience. We believe telling these stories will reveal and enrich the cultural narrative of these post-industrial cities, demonstrate today’s revitalization, and draw vital people and movements to uncover the foundations on which future progress may be built.

    Midstory does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other protected class. If you have a disability, we’re more than happy to accommodate and make the interview process easier for you.


    Midstory’s ThinkLab Graduate Fellowship is made possible in part with support and funding from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated by the City of Toledo and the Lucas County Commissioners and administered by The Arts Commission.