Grant details Modern Slavery Unveiled

Eligibility criteria

  • Cross-border teams of at least two journalists can submit a proposal for a journalistic investigation.
  • The applicants must be professional journalists (written or audio-visual press). Personal references and/or references to earlier work are essential in that respect.
  • Only natural persons can apply for a grant.
  • The project proposal must focus on an aspect or case of the exploitation of Asian victims of human trafficking and/or forced labour in Europe.
  • The project 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 research costs:

  • Expenses (both for freelance journalists and for employed staff journalists).
    These 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.
    By collaborating with journalists on the ground you can reduce your carbon footprint. Why travel when you can collaborate with a journalist from another country who has the know-how and knowledge?
  • Research time (only for freelance journalists).

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

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 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 five.
  • 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 4 application rounds scheduled with an average interval of 6 months.
  • 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.
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  • The applications are assessed by an independent jury of experts in investigative journalism from Europe and Asia. The jury members are chosen by Journalismfund Europe. They remain anonymous until they leave the jury.
  • Both Journalismfund Europe and the jury are bound to strict confidentiality – before, during and after evaluation of the proposals.
  • 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.


The jury will assess the applications based on these criteria:

  • relevance for the thematic focus of this programme, i.e. the exploitation of Asian victims of human trafficking and/or forced labour in Europe
  • added value compared to mainstream coverage
  • cross-border or cross-continent aspect
  • quality of research methods and presentation/storytelling
  • feasibility of the investigation, timeline and budget
  • team structure and experience of the applicants
  • work effort requirement
  • pooling research capacity and knowledge
  • being a watchdog of 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

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 Europe’s general grant rules.