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. Only applicants who are legally residing in at least two different countries are permitted to receive funding.
  • 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, one of which must be in Europe. 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, whether print, online, broadcast or cross-media. Your investigation can be published as 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.

Please note we encourage you to travel less and instead team up with your colleagues in that area. Collaborating with other journalists who already work on the ground, have the know-how and knowledge, can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and save money, as well as your time.

  • 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 tools necessary for the investigation (e.g. datasets, satellite imagery, but no hardware).
  • Production costs are eligible up to €1.000.

The following expenses cannot be covered by our grants:

— overhead (administration, coordinators, managers, financial officers etc.),

— tangible investments: goods such as IT hardware, mobile phones, cameras, or other types of equipment,

— food and beverage,

— per diems.

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

Please read the instructions tab in the budget template carefully.


  • 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. He or she does not fully participate in the investigation. The maximum amount of mentoring days per project is four.
  • The mentor is paid by Journalismfund Europe. 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. Subscribe to Journalismfund Europe’s newsletter to stay tuned and receive the latest grant opportunity updates.
  • 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.

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 Journalismfund Europe.
  • The jury decides independently about the granting of the submitted project proposals, based on the assessment criteria and the available budget predetermined by Journalismfund Europe.
  • 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.

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 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 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 Europe’s general grant rules.

More questions?

Consult our FAQ or contact us.