Awards, Grants, & Fellowships
Ambitious freelancers who want to tackle an in-depth reporting project often find that the fee from a potential publisher doesn’t come close to covering their costs and time. Grants and fellowships can fill that gap, but freelancers have to know about them in order to apply. In this section, the Freelance Center is compiling a list of non-AHCJ grants, fellowships and awards (for when the hard work is done). Click on the links for more details, including applications deadlines. This section will be updated regularly. For information about AHCJ fellowships and its annual Awards for Excellence in Journalism, visit the fellowship and awards pages of the website.
This award from the journalism institute at New York University provides up to $12,500 for a significant work of journalism, in any medium, on an under-reported subject in the public interest. The award is especially tailored to freelancers and journalists from media outlets that cannot afford to fund this kind of journalism project.
Given by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with Schmidt Futures, this award is for science journalists and research scientists who have developed creative, original work that addresses issues and advances in science, engineering, and/or medicine for the general public. The there submissions categories for journalists are freelance journalists, early career journalists, and reporting at the local/regional level.
Calling all AHCJ members who have written compelling stories about the business of healthcare. The Gerald Loeb Awards from the UCLA Anderson School of Management are the most prestigious honor in business journalism in the United States. Individual journalists and media outlets can submit entries in 12 competition categories.
This award from the National Center on Disability Journalism at Arizona State University’s journalism school is the only professional journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage. Journalists working in digital, print, audio and broadcast media are eligible to enter.
The University of Michigan gives this annual awards to journalists under age 35. Each winner receives a $10,000 prize.
These journalism awards recognize excellence in health care reporting and writing on the financing and delivery of health care in four categories: general circulation; trade journalism, television and radio; and digital media.
Members of the New York Press Club are eligible for these prestigious awards, which are divided into awards for stories covering the NYC metro area and national awards. Entries are considered in 30 categories.
The Online News Association sponsors these awards, which recognize innovative work in digital storytelling. There are 17 categories, and five awards come with a total of $40,000 in prize money. There is an entrance fee, which is discounted for members.
These awards from the Society of Professional Journalists recognize the best in professional journalism in categories covering print/online, audio, television, and more. There are also Spanish-language awards in seven categories. Work published or broadcast by a U.S. or international media outlet is eligible, including freelance stories.
This award from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) “recognizes people and groups making important contributions in the area of open government.” Winners are selected from nominees; self-nomination is allowed. There is no set number of winners.
This prize from the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing honors a writer for a body of work published or broadcast within the past five years that “has made a profound and lasting contribution to public awareness and understanding of critical advances in medical science and their impact on human health and well-being.” The honoree receives an award of $3,000.
Grants & Fellowships
Fellows receive a $20,000 stipend for six months or $40,000 for twelve months and are expected to work full time on their projects, which are expected to result in four print articles. Freelancers are eligible to apply.
The fund provides grants of up to $10,000 for ambitious investigative and explanatory journalism projects on critical health issues facing underserved communities. Both freelancers and news outlet employees are eligible to apply.
This fellowship from the National Press Club Journalism Institute awards a graduate journalism student a one-time stipend of $5,000 to help defray tuition costs.
The institute at the University of Missouri is taking proposals from people and organizations to develop innovative strategies for local news. The fellowship lasts eight months and comes with a $10,000 a month stipend for fellows living on campus or a $5,000 a quarter stipend for the nonresidential fellowship.
These grants of up to $10,000 are to defray the expenses of an investigation that uncovers wrongdoing by powerful people or institutions. The fund reviews applications in the fall. Applicants must include a letter of commitment from a news outlet to run the articles.
This program from the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism supports ambitious investigative or explanatory projects on systemic racism in public health, health care policy and the practice of medicine. Grantees receive professional mentorship and a $2,000-$10,000 grant to help with reporting costs. They also participate in monthly online development and brainstorming sessions with other reporters.
The nonprofit Investigative Reporters & Editors offers two fellowships that might be of interest to AHCJ members, including one specifically for freelancers. The Freelance Fellowship provides as much as $2,500 to help independent journalists conduct investigative projects. The Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship provides assistance for qualifying journalists to attend various IRE conferences.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and the Journalists Network on Generations run this fellowship, with financial support from various foundations. Fellows will attend GSA’s annual scientific meeting, with travel and hotel paid, and commit to completing one short-term story and one long-term in-depth project about any research-based aspect of aging. Each fellow also will receive a stipend of $1,500.
The Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT offers academic-year fellowships to 10 science journalists. Living on campus or in the area, fellows explore science, technology, and the craft of journalism and are required to complete a research project. Fellows receive a $70,000 stipend, a $2,500 relocation allowance and other benefits.
Up to 20 experienced journalists are selected for an eight-month program of immersive study at the University of Michigan. Fellows receive a $75,000 stipend and audit courses, participate in private seminars and workshops and work on an individual journalism project.
Fellows receive grants up to $15,000 and editorial support needed to produce deeply reported stories that delve into critical economic, financial or business issues across an array of subjects, including health care. Applications are accepted twice a year.
This full-time, 12-month fellowship supports journalists who wish to complete media projects that explore the many factors that promote well-being, prevent disease, contribute to healing and increase an individual’s ability to flourish and live a fulfilling life. Fellows receive an award of $105,000.
This part-time, ten-month fellowship program is for early-career science journalists. Fellows, who receive a $5,500 stipend, work remotely with a mentor to plan, report and write five articles for publication at The Open Notebook. There are several rounds of edits. This fellowship is ideally suited for freelancers because it requires a significant weekly time commitment.
These grants support reporting on critical issues from global health to climate change. The stories of grant winners address the root causes of crises from around the world, including the United States. Awards cover reporting costs and can be $10,000 or more. There is no deadline; grants are awarded on a rolling basis.
This fellowship from The Carter Center provides recipients with a $10,000 stipend to support reporting on a mental health topic of their choice. The center also trains fellows on effective mental health reporting.
Ten early and mid-career journalists will each receive a $10,000 fellowship to report ambitious long-form print and audio stories on topics such as nutritional policy, food science, agriculture and the environment and public health as it relates to food and farming.
This one-week fellowship in July prepares accepted journalists to report a major enterprise health or social well-being project. The project should focus on social and economic inequities and systemic racism and exclusion and their impact on health. Fellows receive reporting grants of $2,000-$10,000 and five months of professional mentorship following the five day in-person learning intensive.
Fellows attend the 2023 Summer Institute hosted by Wake Forest University’s Environmental and Epistemic Justice Initiative. The June 26-30 program will highlight issues of race, racialization and the environment at the local and regional level. Each fellow will receive a $2,500 stipend plus travel and accommodations expenses.
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