Benefits of NASW membership

NASW offers a wide array of benefits to professional science writers and practitioners in related fields.

  • ScienceWriters, NASW's quarterly magazine, reports on trends, issues and controversies, news of regional events, and includes practical advice on freelancing, teaching, public affairs, and other professional specialties. The magazine is available in both print and online PDF versions.
  • NASW's annual workshops, which provide opportunities for both entry-level and advanced training as well as networking.
  • Job leads. The jobs mailing list offers ~200 announcements per year.
  • Funding sources. A searchable list of grants, fellowships, and other types of funding for which science writers may qualify.
  • Educational resources and mentoring programs. More than 300 people have spent a day with a veteran science writer covering a conference.
  • Several lively (perhaps even contentious) discussion groups.
  • Members-only sections of the NASW Web site, which include professional development primers and the online roster of all members.
  • NASW's annual "Science in Society" awards, for outstanding investigative and interpretive reporting about the sciences and their impact. These awards are the only such honors given to science writers by their peers.
  • Free hosting of your Web site, up to 10 MB. (Not available to student members.)
  • Insurance. Health, long-term care, vision, and dental insurance are available to NASW members in Connecticut, New Jersey, parts of New York (not available after Jan. 1, 2014), Greater Chicago including parts of Indiana, California, and Florida through TEIGIT, The Entertainment Insurance Group Insurance Trust. CIGNA Dental insurance is available in most parts of the country. Individual insurance Golden Rule is available in Arizona, Virginia and Texas.
  • Travel fellowships, including awards to attend the annual ScienceWriters meeting, Van Dam fellowships for travel to the World Conference of Science Journalists, and grants for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, to name a few. Student members are eligible for special travel grants to the annual ScienceWriters meeting as well as the AAAS annual meeting, where NASW conducts education activities like the internship fair and mentoring program.
  • Access to scientific journals including Elsevier's ScienceDirect, a database of full-text articles from over 2,500 scientific and medical journals; American Physical Society journals; Annual Reviews; Nature; the New England Journal of Medicine; and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Access to NASW's Funding Sources database, developed by an NASW member to help located sources of funding for writers.
  • Access to Words' Worth to help improve your freelance business. Here you can report your own experiences and find valuable information from other members about what they did, what they charged, and how it went.
  • Access to The Fine Print, a searchable archive of contracts for journalism work.
  • Costs

    Memberships are annual and run from January 1-December 31. Applicants are responsible for paying the full annual amount, no matter the date of joining.

    • U.S. regular dues: $85
    • U.S. student dues: $35
    • Canada regular dues (based on mailing address): $90
    • International regular dues (based on mailing address): $100
    • International (including Canada) student dues (based on mailing address): $40

    Lapsed members may renew at anytime within two years after the last renewal. After two years of non-renewal, a member must re-apply.

    To join

    First, if you have not already done so, register for access to NASW.org as a guest. Once you have done that, you should see a "Become an NASW member" link in the upper right corner of your screen.

    Applicants for regular membership are required to submit five samples of work (content should be science) produced for a non-expert audience in the past five years. Clips must include the publication or airing dates for each entry. Also required are the names of two NASW members willing to endorse the application. If you need to find sponsors, try searching our Find a writer section or asking in one of our public discussion groups.

    Sponsors are responsible for briefly reviewing a candidate's qualifications and clips and sending a short paragraph (3-4 sentences will suffice) outlining the applicants qualifications to director@nasw.org. Applicants are responsible for contacting sponsors. More information can be found on the application.

    Student memberships are also available for those who are currently enrolled in journalism or science programs, or who are serving as reporters or editors at school newspapers. Student membership is a one-time option, limited to a total of two calendar years. After two calendar years, student members must apply to become regular members. Once a student has become a regular member, he or she cannot return to student status in the event of further matriculation.

    Membership is based on the calendar year. Memberships are not pro-rated and expire December 31, no matter the date of joining. Lapsed members may renew at anytime within two years after the last renewal. After two years of non-renewal, a member must re-apply.

    For further information, contact:

    Tinsley Davis, executive director
    Organizer, NASW ScienceWriters annual meeting
    P.O. Box 7905
    Berkeley, CA 94707
    Phone: (510) 647-9500

    Become an NASW member now