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GRID-Arendal is offering grants for investigative journalism projects focused on environmental crime in developing countries. Four grant recipients will each receive 25,000 Norwegian kronor (approximately €2,300). Applications are due January 22, 2021, and grants will be awarded in February 2021.

GRID-Arendal is a non-profit environmental communications centre based in Norway and supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, among other donors. We collaborate with the UN Environment Programme and other partners on projects that protect the environment, restore ecosystems, and advance the Sustainable Development Goals, with an emphasis on supporting developing countries.

Our journalism grant program funds in-depth, investigative journalism that breaks new ground and reveals new information about environmental crime that takes place within or across developing countries. We are looking for high-impact reporting, especially on issues that are neglected by mainstream media. We invite proposals for projects on a variety of media platforms, including print, online, audio, video, and multimedia projects. Proposals for data journalism, data visualization, and open source intelligence (OSINT) journalism are welcome. All projects must be published in English; if they are also published in one or more additional languages, that would be a plus.

All of our grants will support reporting projects that focus on one or more countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) list of Official Development Assistance recipients.

Past journalism grants from GRID-Arendal have supported reporting on:

Currently, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we seek to support investigative reporting that involves little to no travel. We will not fund projects that involve travel to indigenous, isolated, or vulnerable communities.

Successful applicants will receive half of the grant amount after signing a grant agreement, and the second half after the reporting project is submitted for publication or broadcast. The deadline for finishing a project will be six months from the signing of a grant agreement. Funded projects must note support from GRID-Arendal.

Eligibility criteria

  • You must be a professional journalist, either a staff member at a media organization or a freelancer with a record of publishing work in respected outlets.
  • You must have experience in investigative journalism.

Journalists from anywhere in the world are welcome to apply. We encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds.

Application requirements

Applications are due in full at midnight Central European Time (CET) on January 22, 2021. Applications should include:

  • résumé or CV
  • 3–5 published work samples
  • description of proposed reporting project, including plan for obtaining information and summary of preliminary research or reporting
  • estimated budget for project, explaining what grant money would pay for
  • estimated timeline for project
  • publication plan, ideally including letter of commitment or letter of interest from a media outlet, and indication of whether you would publish the project in any languages other than English
  • names and contact information for three professional references
  • acknowledgement of any other donors or sources of funding for the project, if relevant
  • statement about how you would operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic

Application materials must be written in English and budgets expressed in Norwegian kroner. All materials should be combined into a single PDF and emailed to Valentin Emelin (yemelin@grida.no) and Siri Olsson (siri.olsson@grida.no). Applications that are incomplete or do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

Evaluation process

Applications will be evaluated by a team of GRID-Arendal personnel. Among other factors, we will consider:

  • potential to reach a wide audience
  • potential to make an impact and cause change
  • journalist’s experience in investigative reporting
  • whether a project would happen without our support

Successful applicants will be contacted by February 15, 2021.

GRID-Arendal is collaborating on this project with the Earth Journalism Network.

We believe in the power of investigative journalism to make a difference. We look forward to reviewing your submissions and, together, spurring positive change. 

Photo at top: Illegal logging in the Brazilian Amazon. Credit: quapan (CC BY 2.0)

Release date: 25 Nov 2020

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