The IRP fellowships allow international journalists to do original, in-depth reporting projects. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 200 journalists have been awarded IRP fellowships and have reported from more than 100 countries around the world. In 2013, IRP opened the fellowship program to non-U.S. media professionals as well as to U.S. citizens.
The program encourages journalists to cover neglected, under-reported stories of global importance. As much of the mainstream media have reduced their coverage of international issues, the International Reporting Project is filling some of the void.
Currently, applications are open for the three-week U.S. religion fellowships, but we also offer various fellowships and reporting trips throughout the year. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive announcements of new fellowships.
U.S. Religion Fellowships
In the fall, IRP will grant up to five reporting fellowships for U.S. journalists. These fellowships will support three-week-long travel reporting grants to any country in the world with important stories on religion.
The fellowships will begin in Washington on September 19, 2013, with a two-day
orientation session at IRP’s offices in the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, followed by departure for their selected countries on September 21. All Fellows must return to Washington on October 13, at which time a three-day session in Washington will take place, including presentations by the Fellows. The program ends October 16.
IRP will purchase U.S. Fellows’ roundtrip international tickets and offer each Fellow a lump-sum travel stipend of $5,000 to help pay expenses for the three-week trip.
All candidates must fill out an application form on which they should describe the stories they would produce during the three-week fellowship. A brief telephone interview with finalists would also be part of the selection process.
U.S. IRP Religion Fellows should propose producing both long- and short-form reports in a variety of media, such as in-depth stories that will appear in print, online, radio or television media, as well as blog posts, tweets, slideshows and video documentaries.
Applicants should describe in detail (at least 1,000 words) the kinds of stories they will cover in their countries of focus. All subjects dealing with the role of religion would be eligible for consideration, including tensions or conflict between communities of different faiths, as well as the intersection of religion and politics, economics, access to health, housing, water, the impact of religion on arts and culture, religion and human rights, treatment of minorities and other issues.
Applications for the U.S. religion fellowships will be accepted from journalists who are U.S. citizens or working for a U.S.-based news organization.
All applicants must complete an online IRP application form, which includes an essay of up to 1,000 words describing the proposed overseas project. Work samples and one recommendation letter are also required.
Each Fellow will consult with the IRP program staff to plan their project. The IRP staff works with IRP Fellows who are freelance journalists to help them pitch and place their stories in various news organizations. Stories produced by the IRP Fellows will run on the IRP web site, 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.
All of the content produced by the IRP Fellows is co-owned by the IRP and the selected Fellows. 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. In addition, the works produced during the Fellowship would be available for distributing through the social media channels of the IRP’s funders. The IRP religion fellowships are supported by a grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation.
IRP Fellows are chosen by a selection committee consisting of prominent journalists, program alumni, specialists in international affairs and program staff. All applicants will be informed of their status within a few weeks after the deadline for applications.
As a general rule, the selection committees prefer that applicants avoid proposing stories that they may have already covered in great detail. The IRP encourages applicants to propose stories that have not been done recently by other Fellows. Applicants should examine stories done by recent IRP Fellows to make sure they are not duplicating stories already done. The IRP is seeking stories that are fresh and under-covered, and encourages IRP Fellows to broaden their horizons by undertaking projects in areas that may be new to the journalists.