European Cross-border Grants Programme - Grant Details

Eligibility Criteria

  • Cross-border investigative teams of at least two journalists and/or media outlets can submit a proposal for journalistic investigations in Europe. These are projects that have great news value and depth, and at the same time are original, innovative and time-consuming, and would not be realised without financial support.
  • This grant programme is open to journalists/media outlets domiciled in at least two different countries. When relevant for the story, team members from outside Europe can be accepted, too. At least 80% of your requested budget should go to journalists/media from EU countries.
  • The applicants must be professional freelance journalists and/or media outlets. Personal references and/or references to earlier work are essential in that respect. Students are not eligible. Media outlets must be legal entities officially incorporated at least one year before the application deadline of the grant call.
  • The project must be published by at least two professional news outlets in at least two different European countries. Letters of intent (LOI) for publication from at least two professional news outlets are required.
  • Journalists who were previously allocated a grant by Journalismfund Europe can reapply. The jury will include the result of previous grants in their evaluation of the new application.
  • Investigative journalism published by professional media in any form is eligible, no matter whether print, online, broadcast or cross-media. All journalistic end products qualify for a grant: newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television documentaries and series, photo-reportages and books, podcasts and journalistic non-fiction books.
  • All relevant topics are eligible. However, if your investigation proposal concerns the environment, please turn to our Investigation Grants for Environmental Journalism.

Costs

A grant can cover two types of costs:

  1. Working time of the journalists to conduct their investigation. (please note: working time will need to be substantiated with a timesheet)
  2. Expenses:
  • Direct investigation expenses such as travel, visa, accommodation, translation, fixers, access to pay-databases, freedom of information (FOI) requests, legal screening, insurance, etc., ...
  • Following expenses cannot be covered by the grants: overhead, office costs, investments goods (such as IT hardware, mobile phones, cameras, software …), production costs, recoverable VAT, food and beverage, per diems.
  • Grantees must minimize unnecessary travel, particularly air travel. Our policy is to only make essential trips and to champion alternative ways of collaborating with others. This saves time and money, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions (that contribute to global heating). We ask that our grantees do the same for the work that we fund and report to us on the air travel they make.
  • The grant can only cover costs for research, not for production.

Applications must include a budget calculation according to the budget template.

Please read the instructions tab in the budget template carefully.

Mentors

  • Successful applicants who need support in a specific aspect of the investigation can request a mentor. The mentor is assigned by Journalismfund Europe from its pool of mentors (consisting of experienced investigative journalists from different continents), in consultation with the team.
  • Mentors are selected based on either the focus of the investigation or the need for competencies in a specific skill. They can e.g. assist with cross-border collaboration, identifying sources, research methods, storytelling, dissemination, project management, etc.
  • A mentor gives advice, shares knowledge and can act as a sounding board. S/he does not fully participate in the investigation. The maximum amount of mentoring days per project is three.
  • The mentor is paid by Journalismfund Europe. The applicants do not need to include the mentor in their budget proposal.

Deadline and Timing

  • For this grant programme there are 6 application rounds scheduled over a period of two years. (4 calls in year one, 2 in year two)
  • After the application deadline, Journalismfund Europe checks that formalities are in order and may call for more information from applicants. This usually takes one week.
  • After this the applications go to the jury for assessment.
  • Applicants are usually informed about the jury decision around 40 days after the application deadline.
  • Subscribe to Journalismfund Europe’s newsletter to stay tuned and receive the latest grant opportunity updates.

Assessment Criteria

The jury will assess the applications based on these criteria:

  • added value compared to mainstream coverage
  • relevance in society
  • newsworthiness
  • quality and originality of research methods and presentation/storytelling
  • feasibility of the investigation, timeline and budget
  • team structure and experience of the applicants
  • work effort requirement
  • cross-border aspect
  • pooling research, capacity and knowledge
  • watchdog of EU institutions, policies and money

Finally, the jury will also take into consideration the variety within the global selection of granted projects. This means diversity in terms of:

  • region (both regarding stories and team members)
  • topics
  • methods and approaches
  • publication forms
  • team composition

Jury

  • The applications are assessed by an independent rotating jury of experts in investigative journalism. The jury members are chosen by Journalismfund Europe.
  • The jury of the grant programmes will evaluate each project proposal separately according to the pre-set assessment criteria. As a second step, the jury will take into consideration the variety within the global selection of granted projects, securing diversity of the approved applications in terms of:

    • regional diversity (both in topics and team members - north, south, east, west dimensions of Europe, pan-European projects);
    • team diversity (gender, age, experience, skills, media background, origin);
    • diversity of topics (environmental, social, historical, cultural, political, economic, financial or
    • other issues)
    • diversity of methods and approaches (data approach, constructive/solution journalism approach, etc.
    • diversity of outputs/publications (print, online, multimedia, video, TV, radio)

      In assembling both the jury and the mentoring pool Journalismfund Europe considers diversity and representativeness in gender, age, background, and professional expertise.

  • Both Journalismfund Europe and the jury are bound to strict confidentiality – before, during and after evaluation of the proposals.
  • The jury members remain anonymous until they leave the jury. This is to safeguard both the independence of the jury process and the confidentiality of the investigations. After their mandate is finished, the names of the jury members are made public by Journalismfund Europe.
  • Jury members are bound to Journalismfund Europe's strict conflict of interest policy, which is designed to assure the highest standards in terms of ethical conduct and to ensure the independence and objectivity of decision making.
  • You can take some direct advice from previous jury members: "If you want a grant, here's what you should do".

Grant Conditions

  • The grantees and all other persons involved in the project have to endorse the principles of the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists as well as the national codes of ethics that are in force.
  • Every grantee signs an Agreement with Journalismfund Europe that states the mutual arrangements and conditions.
  • Grants are paid in two instalments: the first (2/3) upon signature of the Agreement, the second (1/3) after publication of the project and submission of the supporting documents for the expenses.
  • Grants are paid in euro. They are only paid out on the bank accounts of the grantees, not via other money transfer services. Any bank charges for international payments are carried by Journalismfund Europe, except for exchange rates.
  • Any journalistic product that is the result of the supported project explicitly has to mention the support from Journalismfund Europe.
  • Applicants need to consent with Journalismfund Europes’s general grant rules.

More questions?

Consult our FAQ or contact us.

European Cross-border grants