Apply for a Grant

The Fund for Investigative Journalism provides grants to reporters to produce high-quality, unbiased, nonpartisan investigative stories that have an impact.

Our Grants

We are currently offering four different grant opportunities for U.S.-based freelance investigative journalists. Click on the links below to see a full summary of each grant and to apply.

Regular Grant Period

This is our general grant fund. Applications are taken 3 to 4 times a year. The next application deadline will be Monday, February 8, 2021. Click to learn more and apply.

Coronavirus Rolling Grant

Rolling grants for U.S.-based journalists working on investigative stories related to the coronavirus. Click to learn more and apply.

Emergency Grants for Coverage of Police Misconduct

Rolling grants for U.S.-based journalists working on investigative stories related to police misconduct. Click to learn more and apply.

General Grant Info

The information in the drop-down menu below applies to FIJ’s general grant period. FIJ offers special grants that have different guidelines, as described in the application forms.

Applications are taken 3 to 4 times a year. The next application deadline will be Monday, February 8, 2021. All application deadlines are set at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, or 8:59 pm on the U.S. West Coast.

The maximum grant is $10,000. Grants cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection and equipment rental. The Fund also considers requests for small stipends, as part of the budget.

Before you apply, be sure to obtain a “Letter of Commitment” from a news editor who can pledge in writing that the news outlet will publish or air the specific story you propose – as long as it meets the publication’s expectations and standards.

This letter should not be thought of as an unqualified pledge. If the work is not satisfactory, the news outlet cannot be expected to publish it. FIJ needs this commitment before it makes a grant because it doesn’t have the capacity to help reporters place stories. The letter must be written on letterhead that includes contact information for the news outlet and the individual signing it.

If you are book author applying for a grant, a signed book contract from a publisher serves as the commitment.

In addition to the letter of commitment, applications must include a proposal, resume, work samples and a budget. All application documents must be written in English and budgets expressed in U.S. dollars.

  • The Board of Directors looks for: stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing, such as corruption, malfeasance, or misuse of power – in the public and private sectors.
  • The Fund encourages proposals written for ethnic media and submitted by journalists of color.

To be considered, foreign-based story proposals must come from U.S.-based reporters or have a strong U.S. angle, involving American citizens, government or business. All stories must be published in English and have a media outlet in the United States.

Your estimated budget must itemize expenses of reporting such as travel, document fees, equipment rentals, and small stipends. Be specific. Vague line items may be denied. Identify other sources of funding. If you are applying for a book grant, provide detail as to resources available from the publisher, and explain why a grant is needed.

FIJ now offers a competitive opportunity to be matched with a mentor. FIJ operates this program with seed funding from the Scripps Howard Foundation. As part of the application form, we ask that you explain how a mentor can help you and whether you can commit to keep your mentor informed of your progress. Mentors act as sounding boards, and work with grantees over the length of their projects. We especially encourage applications for writing mentors, even for seasoned reporters.

We welcome questions about the application process and requirements by email, Contact us before the application deadline and we will be happy to help. Application materials cannot be changed after they are submitted.

View our FAQ

The Board of Directors reviews and votes on all eligible proposals. Approximately six weeks after the application deadline has passed, applicants will be notified by email of the board’s decision.

The Fund for Investigative Journalism’s role in assisting journalists is limited to making grants. The Fund assumes no liability for the legal and/or safety risks undertaken by journalists in the course of their reporting.