Modern Slavery Unveiled FAQ

Please first take a look at Modern Slavery Unveiled's grant details. Still have any questions? Then there's a good chance they might be addressed in these Frequently Asked Questions:

What do I need before I can apply?

Basically, you need a good idea for an investigation, a cross-border team of at least two journalists, and at least two letters of intentfrom professional news outlets who are willing to publish the result of your investigation.

You can read how to start from there in the grant details.

Can I apply alone?

No. You need to collaborate with at least one team member in a different country.

I have an idea for a cross-border investigation, but I don’t have a partner yet. How can I find a team member?

Check out our tip page How to find a teammate.

Do I need to publish my story in English?

No. The result of your journalistic investigation can be published by a professional media outlet in any language.

However, it is required to submit your full project application in English. English is the common language of our intercontinental jury, and all jury members need to be able to assess all applications on the same basis.

Does my story need to involve trafficking?

Not per se. Modern slavery can take various forms of exploitation, including human trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, debt bondage, etc. It is however important that your investigation has a cross-border aspect.

Does the exploitation need to physically take place in Europe?

Not per se. Think e.g. about online sexual exploitation of children who are located in Asia. Or about European companies involved in exploitation in Asia.

Can news outlets (co-)apply?

No. Only (teams of) natural persons can apply. Of course, journalists who work for news outlets, either on a freelance or an employed base, can apply. News outlets can also encourage journalists to apply. But only natural persons can be applicants. Moreover, if a grant is awarded, Journalismfund Europe makes a separate grant agreement with each individual grantee. Grants are only paid out on the personal bank accounts of the grantees.

Which costs are eligible?

If you are a freelance journalist, both working time and expenses are eligible. Employed staff journalists cannot apply for working time, only for expenses.

  • Expenses can include travel, visa, accommodation, translation, fixers, access to pay-databases, FOI requests, legal screening, etc.
  • Following expenses are NOT eligible for a grant: investments goods (such as IT equipment, mobile phones, …), office costs, production costs, food and beverage, per diems.

The grant can only cover costs for research, not for production.

Do I need to be a freelancer to apply?

No. Every professional journalist can apply. However, only freelancers can ask for a grant to cover their working time. Employed staff journalists can only apply to cover their expenses.

The rationale behind this is, apart from Journalismfund Europe's limited budget, that applicants can't receive working grants for work(ing time) they are already paid for by their employer.

How much money can I ask?

It is perfectly understandable to ask this. We get this question a lot…

However, there is no clear answer. The amounts vary per project and depend on the duration of the investigation, the number of team members and the the necessary expenses.

We want to stress that you should start from a convincing project plan to conduct your investigation, and only then draft a realistic budget to fund that plan. The quality and realism of the budget you submit is one of the assessment criteria for the jury to grant your project. It is therefore NOT a good idea to inflate your budget.

From our experience with other grant programmes, we can say that most cross-border grants vary from €2,000 to €14,000 per project.

The Modern Slavery Unveiled grant programme will distribute in total €320,000 over four application rounds. The total available amount to be distributed per call is around €80,000.

When will I know the result of my grant application?

Applicants are usually informed about the jury decision around 40 days after the application deadline.

Where can I find useful resources, inspiration and tips to investigate modern slavery?

Take a look on our resources page.

Where does the money come from? And how can Journalismfund Europe safeguard its independence?

The Modern Slavery Unveiled project is supported by Porticus.

Journalismfund Europe’s financial records are reviewed annually by an independent auditor. You can find all funding information and financial documents here.

All formal agreements between Journalismfund Europe and its donors stipulate independence and no editorial interference. (Representatives from) donors can never be part of the juries that award the grants. does not take money from donors that don’t agree with these terms.

We adopted an Ethical Funding Policy to ensure that Journalismfund Europe properly manages its priorities and projects with appropriate independence from its funders. This Policy also aims at providing transparency regarding the identity of’s sources of funding to avoid any suspicion of inappropriate influence or conflicts of interest concerning’s activities. Find our Ethical Funding Policy here.

What do you mean with ‘Europe’? The EU?

No. With ‘Europe’ we mean geographical Europe, or the 47 member states of the Council of Europe plus Belarus and Kosovo.

I would like to self-publish our investigation on my own platform. Is that OK?

You are welcome to publish parts or your investigation in its entirety on your own platform or blog. We request, however, two letters of intent of publication from professional news outlets in two different countries as part of your application, that will be independent of your platform.

Is the information I submit to Journalismfund Europe about myself and about my project secure?

Journalismfund Europe strives for the highest standards for data protection and security. Read about our privacy and data protection measures here.

What is Journalismfund Europe actually?

Journalismfund Europe vzw is a Belgium based independent non‐profit organisation established with the purpose of promoting independent investigative journalism.

Check the general FAQ about our organisation.

More information

Do you still have questions about this grant programme or about the application procedure? Do you want pre-application advance to discuss your project idea? Don't hesitate to contact us!