Fellowships FAQ

What are the IRP International Fellowships in Journalism?
The IRP international fellowships in journalism are grants given to journalists to report on key international issues, particularly stories that are neglected by the mainstream media. Since 1998, the IRP has awarded more than 200 journalists with these reporting grants.

How do I apply?
All applicants must fill out an application form. Currently, we are accepting applications to report on the 2016 AIDS and TB conferences in South Africa.

Must I be a U.S. citizen?
It depends upon the fellowship. The AIDS/TB fellowship is open to all international applicants.

Are these fellowships intended for international reporting only, or may I apply to report from my own country?
We see these fellowships as primarily supporting international trips. However, if you can make a case for why you need the fellowship to report on a country in which you already reside, we are willing to consider it. We would want to know what is currently holding you back from reporting the story on your own.

Are freelancers eligible for the program?
Yes, as long as they have significant experience writing or producing stories.

May students apply?
No. The fellowships are intended for professional journalists who have a record of outstanding achievement in reporting for influential media outlets.

Are teams allowed?
In some cases, yes. For the AIDS/TB fellowship, however, we will only consider individuals for the five spots--no joint fellowships.

Some fellowships have a "rolling" deadline. What does that mean?
With rolling deadlines, applications will be considered as they are submitted, rather than after a certain deadline.

Are IRP fellows required to produce a news story as a result of the fellowship?
Yes. Each IRP fellow is expected to produce several news stories throughout the program. IRP fellows are encouraged to propose both short-form and long-form reports in a variety of media, such as regular blog posts, tweets, video blogs, slideshows on Storify or Flickr, multimedia series, video documentaries, as well as in-depth stories online, in print, radio or television media.

IRP fellows will consult with the IRP staff to plan their coverage. These individualized publication plans will vary depending upon each fellow's planned project. The IRP staff works with fellows who are freelance journalists to help them pitch and place their stories in various news organizations. Stories produced by the fellows will run on the IRP website, but fellows are encouraged to collaborate with other news organizations as well, remaining mindful of the requirement that credit be given to the International Reporting Project (IRP) as a collaborating organization.

Are there minimum and maximum age limits for IRP fellows?
The minimum age limit is 21; there is no maximum age limit.

How are IRP fellows selected?
An experienced selection committee consisting of prominent journalists, experts in international affairs and program staff selects the IRP fellows from the pool of applicants.

Is priority given to certain international topics?
Our recent fellowships have focused on three main topics: health/development, religion and nuclear security.

Do my stories have to be in English?
We encourage fellows to publish their work in English, but other languages are also acceptable. The application, however, must be in English.

Can I have a full-time job and still be a fellow?
Absolutely. We encourage full- and part-time journalists to integrate their fellowship projects with their current work. We also accept fellows who work in non-journalism fields, as long as they propose in-depth stories and have existing relationships with publications.

Are fellows paid a stipend?
Yes. The amount of the stipend varies with each fellowship and the location to which the fellow is traveling.

Are IRP fellows required to come to Washington to participate in the fellowship?
No, there is no longer a Washington component to our fellowships.

Who owns the stories produced during a fellowship?
All of the content produced by the IRP fellows would be co-owned by the IRP and the selected fellows, unless a fellow has a different relationship with his or her publisher. All material (subject to editorial review) would be posted on the IRP site, along with links to other organizations where the work of the IRP fellows appears.

Does the program provide health insurance coverage for fellows?
No. Health insurance coverage is the responsibility of each fellow. The program encourages IRP fellows to make sure they have continuing coverage from their current plan.

Does the program cover IRP fellows’ travel?
The IRP purchases airfare to and from the fellow's destination. In most cases, internal transportation during the fellowship must be arranged by the fellow; domestic travel is a common expense included in the budget. In the case of the AIDS/TB fellowship, IRP will arrange some travel to and from the conference.

Are former IRP fellows allowed to apply for a second fellowship?
Yes. Former IRP fellows are encouraged to apply for IRP's fellowships and group reporting trips.

Any tips or suggestions for submitting a successful proposal?
The IRP fellowships are among the most competitive journalism grants in the business. It is recommended that applicants avoid proposing story projects that are similar to those done by current or recent IRP fellows. Applicants may wish to review the website to see recent projects undertaken by past fellows. For specific questions on whether a project topic is appropriate for these fellowships, applicants may email irp@jhu.edu.