Call for Proposals: ‘Seed Grants’ for Initial Reporting, Due May 22

The Fund for Investigative Journalism is accepting proposals for grants of $1,000 to $2,500 for early reporting and research that can lead to groundbreaking investigative stories. Click here for the online application portal.

Proposals are due Monday, May 22, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Journalists whose proposals are accepted will be notified and receive payment June.

These grants are part of a new program at the Fund, aided by the Gumshoe Group, to support freelance investigative journalists much earlier in the process. The grants cover the expenses of early reporting and research, which can include public-records fees, reporting trips, research, reporters’ time and more. The Fund will host a webinar on Friday, May 5, at noon Eastern on how to apply for these grants (click here to register).

Grants are paid directly to freelance investigative reporters (those who do not have a full-time job at a media outlet). Grants can be used to help develop investigative stories on any topic in any medium, including print or online articles, television or radio stories, books, podcasts and documentaries. Journalists who receive “seed grants” for preliminary research and reporting are encouraged to apply for full grants from the Fund once their stories are fleshed out and they have secured a commitment from a media outlet to publish or broadcast the story.

The grant application includes the following components:

  • Brief biography, resume and work samples
  • Short overview of the project and a brief, detailed description of the preliminary reporting for which funds are needed
  • Breakdown of costs that the grant would cover
  • Brief explanation of other reporting that has been done on this subject and how this project would advance the story

For stories published with support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, go to: For highlights of the impact of stories supported by the Fund, go to:

The Fund also provides emergency grants for stories on threats to democracy in the U.S. Proposals for these grants are reviewed on a rolling basis. For more on those grants, go to: