Fund for Investigative Journalism Accepting Proposals for Investigative Stories

Eric Ferrero
Executive Director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism

The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is accepting proposals for grants of up to $10,000 to cover the expenses of investigative stories on any topic that break new ground and uncover wrongdoing in the public or private sectors.

The FIJ provides grants and other kinds of support for reporters to produce high-quality, unbiased, nonpartisan investigative stories that have an impact. Freelance journalists, staff reporters and media outlets are eligible for grants, and their investigations can be for print, online or broadcast stories, books, documentaries or podcasts.

Interested journalists applying for the grant should provide in their application the following:

  • Brief summary (100 words or less)
  • Full proposal (1,000 words or less) that explains what makes this an investigative journalism project, what the applicant’s investigative plan is, what the story will uncover that’s new, and why the applicant is uniquely suited to do the story
  • Budget for the project
  • Resume and references
  • Letter of commitment from a media outlet to publish the story

Journalists applying for the grant should please

In rare cases, FIJ provides expedited review for extremely urgent proposals, but applicants who request expedited review must explain why the proposal is critically urgent and how waiting for regular review would harm the public or render the story moot. If expedited review is granted, applicants receive a decision within about two weeks after submission of proposals.

FIJ provides three types of grants:

  • Regular grants: Proposals are reviewed three to four times a year for grants up to $10,000. 
  • Expedited grants: In rare cases, FIJ provides expedited review for proposals that are extremely urgent and cannot wait for the regular review cycle. Proposals in this category are reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants receive a decision within about two weeks.
  • Follow-up grants: FIJ also accepts proposals for timely follow-up coverage to original investigations that were produced with grants from the Fund. Grantees can apply for expedited review for follow-up grants up to $2,500.

A “Letter of Commitment” from a news outlet agreeing to publish or air the specific story an applicant proposes as long as it meets the publication’s expectations and standards will be needed from applicants.

All proposals should be submitted through the online application form.

Proposals are due on January. 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Journalists whose proposals are accepted will be notified (and receive first payment) in March.