Previous Nico Colchester fellowship award winners

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2014: Kunal Khatri

Kunal Khatri was based in The Economist’s Brussels office where he contributed to a number of published articles on the business of the EU parliament.

2013: Andrew Byrne

Andrew Byrne won the Nico Colchester prize in 2013 and began his fellowship at the World News Desk in London. He moved to Brussels in December and spent six months at the FT’s Benelux bureau, where he reported on migration policy, airline subsidies and the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine.

Since September 2014 he has been the FT’s correspondent in Budapest, covering south eastern Europe, including the refugee crisis along the western Balkans route into Europe.

Andrew holds a BA from Trinity College Dublin, an MA from the University of Chicago and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Previously he worked as a researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).

2012: Ines Burckhardt

Ines Burckhardt won the Nico Colchester Fellowship in 2012. During her placement at the Financial Times in London, she worked as a researcher for the world news desk and the UK desk. Ines wrote a story about fasting athletes - it became the story most read during the Olympic Games. She also reported on renewable energy in Germany, the debate about a ruling on circumcision and on women executives in the UK. She is extremely thankful for the enriching experience at the FT where she got convinced to pursue a career in journalism.

On completing the fellowship, Ines joined the German public TV and radio as a graduate trainee and now works as a reporter for the German TV and radio on economic and social issues, based in Hamburg.

Ines completed her Master’s degree in International Economics and South Asian Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins University) in Washington, D.C., and holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Konstanz.

2012 Christopher Croke

Christopher Croke was based in The Economist’s Paris office over the summer.

2011 Simon Mee

Simon Mee won the Nico Colchester Fellowship in the summer of 2011. Spending the first month of the fellowship in London, he worked as a researcher for the world news desk. Simon then travelled to the newspaper’s Brussels bureau to report on European affairs.

During his time in Brussels, he reported on a number of news stories, spanning the eurozone economy, Belgian politics, the Schengen Accord, and EU sanctions concerning Libya and Syria, among other topics. In doing so, he achieved over a dozen by-lines, including one on the front page of the European edition.

The Fellowship proved an excellent opportunity to be mentored by some of the leading journalists in the field, including Peter Spiegel, then Brussels bureau chief of the newspaper.

Simon was awarded the gold medal in economics and history for his undergraduate degree in Trinity College, Dublin, and he holds an MPhil in modern European history at the University of Cambridge.

After finishing the Fellowship, Simon worked as a financial journalist for Treasury Today magazine, a leading publication on corporate treasury affairs. His freelance work has been published in the Financial Times, New Statesman, Irish Times and Sunday Times.

In 2012, Simon returned to academia, undertaking a PhD in economic and social history at the University of Oxford, where he is now the Theodor Heuss Research Fellow. In conjunction with the award, he was also appointed a Research Associate at University College, Oxford. He currently lives in Berlin.

2011 Viktoria Dendrinou

Viktoria Dendrinou won the Nico Colchester Fellowship in 2011. During her placement she was based at The Economist’s London office. She wrote stories for the print and online version of the paper on topics ranging from the crisis in Greece, to European visa policies and entrepreneurship in the Baltics.

Highlights included a short trip to Greece, her homeland, to report for a piece on the mood of the people during a time of economic and political turmoil.

After finishing the fellowship Viktoria went on to intern for Reuters News and Breakingviews, the Thomson Reuters financial commentary service. She is currently a Brussels correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Viktoria holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and a masters degree in Economics from University College London.

2010 Sergej Curanović

During his placement he was based at the Financial Times’ London office.

2010 Tim Powdrill

Tim Powdrill won the Nico Colchester Fellowship in 2010. He began his placement in The Economist’s London office, before moving to the Berlin bureau, where he contributed stories to the paper’s Europe and International sections on subjects including Berlin’s economy, data protection and measuring corruption.

Since leaving Berlin he has written freelance articles, as well as posts for The Economist’s blogs. He then joined an intelligence and investigations firm in London as a political and security risk analyst.

He has undergraduate and masters degrees from King’s College London.

2009 Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson, the winner of the 2009 Nico Colchester Fellowship, was born in 1986 in North Tyneside. She read History at Cambridge University before developing an interest in the Middle East through a Masters degree at Durham University and stints living and working in Egypt, Libya and Lebanon.

Jennifer spent the first part of her internship on the world news desk of the Financial Times in London before joining the Paris bureau where she worked on a wide range of pieces covering politics, finance and culture. In particular she enjoyed working on pieces exploring entrepreneurship in France and the writer Albert Camus.

She was accepted on the Financial Times graduate trainee scheme in 2010 and returned to the Paris bureau for her foreign placement. Jennifer then worked in London as the FT’s retail banking correspondent and is currently based in Hong Kong.

2009 Balint Szlanko

A winner of the 2009 Nico Colchester Fellowship, Balint Szlanko spent three months working at The Economist’s London office. Attached to the Europe desk, he mostly wrote stories about central and eastern Europe, but also contributed to the Asia and International sections.

Balint is a former Brussels correspondent for a range of Hungarian newspapers and the author of two books, one about the European Union and one about the Hungarian Army. Balint has also been a freelance journalist with a focus on the Middle East and Afghanistan, and a contributor to Transition Online’s New Europe column. He currently works for the Associate Press in Iraq.

2008 Julie Jammot

Julie, the 2008 winner of the Nico Colchester Fellowship, worked for the UK news team and for the international web team of the Financial Times in London from August to November. She was involved from the outset in the great 2008 financial meltdown, reporting from Lehman Brothers’ London office as the bank folded.

Beware of exciting times… Her three months were a succession of intense and adrenaline-fuelled days, as she grappled with the peculiarities of the British political system and discovered how editorial choices directly influence the audience on the Web.

As one of the youngest winners of the Fellowship, she had just a little work experience under her belt before her stint at the FT, in French radio, web and financial press. She had also studied journalism in Germany and worked for a website and a print magazine in Taiwan.

Following her fellowship, Julie moved to AFP, one of the 3 biggest international news agencies. Initially based in London, she reported from the field on the crisis in Greece and the conflict in Mali. Since 2014 she is a video coordinator for Southern Africa, based in Johannesburg, doing news and features in the region and coordinating the freelancers. She will never forget her great days at the FT and the journalists she got the chance to work with.

2008 Guy Edmunds

Guy spent his three months commuting between the London and Brussels offices of The Economist.

2007 Janek Schmidt

2007 Yee To Wong

2006 Mario Pisani

2006 Jennifer Rankin

Jennifer Rankin was one of the 2006 winners of the Nico Colchester Fellowship and spent three months in Brussels with The Economist. She had an enjoyable time writing about subjects as varied as Belgium’s far right, European Union laws on chemicals, post offices and trade, and the decision to make Irish an official EU language.

After the fellowship, she stayed in Brussels for four and half years, first as a freelance journalist, writing for British papers, including occasional articles for The Economist and its Europe blog; then as a reporter for European Voice, the Economist group’s EU affairs weekly.

She then moved to Moscow and joined the Guardian in London. She is currently Brussels correspondent for the Guardian.

Jennifer has degrees from Cambridge (undergraduate) and Oxford (masters) and three years’ experience as a think-tank researcher, where she specialised in UK health and social policy.

2005 Chris Smyth

Chris Smyth was one of the 2005 winners of the Nico Colchester Fellowship, which he spent with the FT in Brussels.

Originally from London, Chris read history at Lincoln College, Oxford. After a break teaching English in the French town of Dreux, he moved to Trinity Hall, Cambridge for an MPhil in political thought. He stayed on for a PhD in eighteenth-century intellectual history, which looked at the intersection between science, religion and culture in the aftermath of the scientific revolution and wars of religion.

In Brussels, he was sent to cover stories ranging from big steel takeovers to the EU’s globalisation fund, to the future of Europe’s canals. He also contributed web-columns and filled in briefly as guest editor on the Observer column. He found the FT office a supportive and stimulating place in which to work, and hugely enjoyed his time in Brussels.

After leaving Brussels, Chris returned to Cambridge to finish his PhD and narrowly lose the final of University Challenge. He started work on the Register section of The Times in March 2007.

After a stint as a home news reporter and as health correspondent, he is now Health Editor of The Times. His first novel, Dinner at Mine, is published by Simon & Schuster in September 2011.

2005 Andrzej Fister-Stoga

2004 Emilie Filou

2004 John O’Doherty

John O’Doherty, the 2004 winner of the Nico Colchester Fellowship, was born in 1978 in Dublin. He read History and Politics at Trinity College Dublin, before embarking on graduate studies in political theory at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.

John spent his Nico Colchester Fellowship at the Brussels bureau of the Financial Times, where he was lucky enough to interview a former vice-admiral of the US Navy, the Norwegian ambassador, and then Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler.

John’s articles have also appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune and Canadian daily La Presse.

After leaving Brussels, John was accepted on the Financial Times graduate trainee scheme, and studied journalism at City University in London, before a stint in New York, where he wrote the Wall Street report for the paper.

He then returned to London as defence industries correspondent. In early 2012, he left the FT and journalism to take a job as a speechwriter at the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen. He remains with the EU and is now working at the European Commission in Brussels.

2003 John Prideaux

John Prideaux won the Nico Colchester Prize in 2003. He spent three months reporting from Brussels for the FT, where learned from a team of experienced journalists and filed his first stories.

Since 2004 he has worked for The Economist. He started as political correspondent, covering Westminster politics. Since then he has spent time in India writing about politics and in London writing about financial markets. He then became The Economist’s Brazil correspondent and is now US editor.

John has appeared as a pundit on radio shows in Britain and America, and as a talking head on BBC TV, Sky News, ITV, Fox News and CNBC.

He has an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University and an MA from the Sorbonne, where he was an Entente Cordiale scholar.

2002 Fiona Maharg-Bravo

2001 Peter Doralt

Peter Doralt, the 2001 winner of the Nico Colchester Fellowship, was born in Vienna in 1976. He graduated from the London School of Economics (BSc Management) in 1998, the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Diplôme HEC, Paris) in 2000 and Vienna University of Economics and B.A. (PhD, Economics) in 2004.

For his Nico Colchester Fellowship, Peter interned for The Economist’s Business and Finance sections where he wrote about a wide range of topics, including management consultants cursed with an overdose of talent; equity underwriting in Europe; German brewers, which are small beer for foreigner invaders; the unquenched thirst of RWE for American Water; and Martin Walser, back then a promising German writer aged 74.

Peter joined Financial Times Deutschland in Frankfurt in 2001 to write for Das Kapital, the German equivalent of Lex (the FT’s agenda-setting column on economics, business and finance). In 2003, he moved from Das Kapital to work for Lex in London, before being posted to New York in 2005.

At Lex, he was responsible for a wide range of topics, including technology, telecoms, consumer staples, tobacco, retailing, capital goods, financial services and Eastern European bond markets, as well as for sneaking gloomy comments about the deteriorating long-term prospects of the US economy – in the light of such mysterious yet nasty threats as adjustable rate subprime mortgages – into the paper. In 2007, Peter decided to take a break from journalism and now works on mergers and acquisitions at VERBUND, a leading central European utility.

His previous work experiences include stints in corporate finance advisory with JP Morgan, BNP Paribas and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, as well as an interlude at real estate private equity venture Moor Park Capital Partners.

Having been sent to Paris in 2009 to help restructure VERBUND’s French activities, his main role was to help prepare the sale of the group’s overseas solar power plants located in Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion and French Guiana. In November 2015 he joined the asset management arm of Deutsche Bank.

2000 James Politi

James Politi is the Nico Colchester prize winner for the year 2000. He spent his fellowship at the Financial Times’ London headquarters. During the time of his Nico Colchester fellowship, James was involved in editing, commissioning and writing articles for the four-part special FT series ‘Europe reinvented’, published on consecutive Fridays beginning on January 19, 2001.

He also went to Milan and Rome for three weeks in November 2000, where he reported on Italian finance, industry and the run-up to the EU Nice Summit.

James was born in Monza, Italy of an American mother and an Italian father. He grew up in northern Italy until he moved to New York at the age of 15.

He pursued an undergraduate degree in international politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington DC. He moved to London in 1999 in order to specialise in international relations with a Masters degree at the London School of Economics.

After the fellowship, James entered the FT’s graduate trainee programme. He worked on the capital markets and UK companies desks in London, then spent six months in the Washington DC bureau, before moving to New York in September 2003 to cover mergers and acquisitions.

In 2008, James moved to Washington where he covered US economic policy, with a special focus on the US budget, taxes, and trade. He also contributed to general economic and political news, including reporting on the 2012 Republican primaries from Iowa and New Hampshire. He is currently Rome Bureau Chief, writing about Italian politics and economics, as well as the Vatican and the migration crisis.

1999 Laetitia Puyfaucher

1999 Florian Gimbel

1997 Tobias Buck

Tobias Buck is the FT bureau chief in Madrid, a post he took up in 2013. Previously he was Jerusalem Bureau Chief, covering political and economic affairs in Israel and the Palestinian territories, but has also filed from countries such as Libya, Tunisia and Jordan since the start of the Arab uprisings in 2011.

Before his move to Jerusalem, Tobias served as an EU correspondent in the FT’s Brussels bureau, covering antitrust and competition issues, trade, financial regulation, energy and a number of other fields. He joined the FT in 2002 as a graduate trainee.

Tobias graduated in 2001 from Humboldt University in Berlin, where he read law.

In 1997, he became the first recipient of a Nico Colchester Fellowship, spending three months on the foreign desk at The Economist in London. It was a fascinating, enriching experience – and tremendous fun. More importantly, the fellowship opened the door to a career in journalism that Tobias has pursued with enthusiasm and joy ever since.


The Nico Colchester Journalism fellowship

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