Grant details Investigation Grants for Environmental Journalism


Eligibility criteria

  • Cross-border teams of at least two journalists and/or news outlets can submit a proposal for a journalistic investigation about an issue that concerns the environment.
  • The applicants must be professional freelance journalists or news outlets. Personal references and/or references to earlier work are essential in that respect.
    News outlets must be legal entities officially incorporated at least one year before the application deadline of the grant call.
  • The investigation proposal must concern cross-border environmental investigative journalism on European affairs, in or outside Europe. This means that the investigation has (also) to be of relevance for Europe.
    Next to investigations into environmental issues that transcend borders, this grant can also support e.g. comparative investigations into local environmental issues and policies between two or more countries, regions, cities, etc.
  • The result of the investigation must be published by at least two professional news outlets in at least two different countries. Letters of intent for publication from at least two professional news outlets are required.
  • 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.

Which costs

A grant can cover two types of costs:

1. Working time of the journalists to conduct their investigation

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., ...
  • Development and support costs, if they have a clear and direct benefit for the specific investigation:
    • Costs covering team members’ participation in trainings and conferences, to gain or strengthen skills needed for the investigation and/or to meet experts and colleagues to discuss their supported research.
    • Costs for technology or development of tools necessary for the investigation (e.g. datasets, satellite imagery, … - NO hardware).
  • Following expenses cannot be covered by the grants: overhead, tangible investments goods (such as IT hardware, mobile phones, cameras, …), production costs, food and beverage, per diems, etc.

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


  • Successful applicants who need support in a specific aspect of the investigation can request a mentor. The mentor is assigned by 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. He or she does not fully participate in the investigation. The maximum amount of mentoring days per project is five.
  • The mentor is paid by The applicants do not need to include the mentor in their budget proposal.

Deadlines and timing

  • For this grant programme there are 20 application rounds scheduled over a period of six years.
  • The first application deadline is Wednesday 27 October 2021 at 12 pm CEST (noon Brussels time). The next application deadline will be 27 January 2022. Subscribe to’s newsletter to stay tuned and receive the latest grant opportunity updates.
  • After the application deadline, 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.

Assessment criteria

The jury will assess the applications based on these criteria:

  • Environmental angle
  • Added value compared to mainstream coverage
  • Feasibility
  • Experience of the applicants
  • Work effort requirement
  • Cross-border research and stories
  • Networking between countries, pooling research capacity and knowledge
  • Watchdog of institutions, policies, money
  • Audience engagement strategy
  • Quality and rationality of the budget
  • Necessity of (co-)funding

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


  • The applications are assessed by an independent rotating jury of experts in investigative journalism and environmental affairs. The jury members are chosen by
  • The jury decides independently about the granting of the submitted project proposals, based on the assessment criteria and the available budget predetermined by
  • Both 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
  • Jury members are bound to'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.

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 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 and approval of the financial report and supporting documents.
  • 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, except for exchange rates.
  • Any journalistic product that is the result of the supported project explicitly has to mention the support from
  • Applicants need to consent with’s general grant rules.

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