Brown Media Innovation Base Camp – Call for Applications

The Brown Institute for Media Innovation at the School of Engineering at Stanford University and the Graduate School for Journalism at Columbia University invites you to apply for the inaugural Media Innovation Base Camp on January 16-18, 2015 at Stanford University. The Base Camp is a great starting point for students who plan to apply for a 2015/16 Brown Magic Grant in March-April 2015.

At Base Camp, you will work in interdisciplinary, bicoastal teams to develop new ideas and plans for exploratory one-year “Magic Grant” projects with the potential to bring true innovation in the media world. The typical Magic Grant project demonstrates the viability of the underlying ideas by implementing a prototype and/or creating an innovative media product. Brown Fellows, industry experts, and faculty will be at hand to provide feedback, guidance, and support.

After two days of teamwork, ad hoc research, and brainstorming, punctuated by faculty lightning talks, all teams will pitch their proposals to each other and to a panel of judges.


A winning team will be selected by a panel of faculty and industry experts and receive a seed grant of up to $15,000 to develop a full Brown Institute Magic Grant proposal. Successful Magic Grant proposals can be awarded up to $300,000 in 2015/16, with potentially larger follow-on funding, if the project is selected as a flagship project. The panel may pick more than one winner; winners automatically advance to the Magic Grant finalist round. Teams with promising proposals will receive an “Honorable Mention,” and will be encouraged to submit a Magic Grant proposal via the normal 2-stage review process.

Applications & Deadline

Up to 10 Stanford students and up to 10 Columbia students will be accepted to Base Camp. The Columbia students’ travel expenses will be covered by the Brown Institute. At Stanford, applications are open to all student levels — undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral. At Columbia, we are inviting applications from graduate and postgraduate students. You don’t need to have a fleshed-out idea about a media innovation to apply — the Base Camp will give you space to develop ideas. The application should include the following items:

A resume and your latest academic transcript

A short description (maximum 200 words) of your vision for the future of media. How will technology transform media? How might business models for media evolve? How do you think production and consumption of media will change?

A short description (maximum 200 words) of an idea or area of media innovation that intrigues you and that you would like to develop further at Base Camp.

A short explanation about why you should be invited to attend the Media Innovation Base Camp.

If you are a student at Stanford, please submit your application or address questions to Tanja Aitamurto at Stanford applications are due by 9pm PST November 20th.

If you are a student at Columbia, please submit your application or address questions to Michael Krisch at Columbia applications are due by November 7th.