Fellowships FAQ

What are the IRP reporting fellowships?
The International Reporting Project's fellowships are grants awarded to journalists to report on key international issues, particularly stories that are underreported in mainstream media. We support a variety of fellowships, and details of a specific opportunity will be outlined in our calls for applications. Since 1998, IRP has awarded grants to more than 600 journalists to report from more than 110 countries around the world.

How do I apply?
All applicants must fill out an application form. You can find links to the GoogleForms on our social media platforms and in our newsletters. Any open opportunities will be listed on our website.

Must I be a U.S. citizen?
It depends upon the fellowship, but most fellowships do not have a citizenship requirement. 

Are these fellowships intended for international reporting only, or may I apply to report from my own country?
IRP's fellowships are primarily intended to support 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 need some context to understand 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 and have established relationships with outlets where their work may be published.

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 of two or more allowed?
Not typically. A call for applications encouraging reporting by pairs or teams would be clearly indicated in specific announcements.

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 publish, though volume and frequency of output will vary depending on the project and the fellow. Individualized reporting plans will be developed in consultation with an IRP staff member as part of the selection process. Fellows are encouraged to propose both short-form and long-form reports in a variety of media, such as in-depth stories in print, online, photography, radio or television; and/or regular blog posts, tweets, multimedia series, and audio/video documentaries.

Reporting produced as a result of an IRP fellowship will be published in the outlet(s) cited in the fellow's application. Following publication, these stories will also be featured on the IRP website and promoted in our newsletter and social media channels. IRP will aim to assist with pitching and placing stories, but fellows are expected to take the lead in this process and present a reasonable guarantee of publication upon acceptance of the fellowship.

A credit line to IRP must be included with each story published. This typically runs at the end of a story and can be simple and straightforward: "[Your Name] reported from [Country] with support from the International Reporting Project (IRP)."

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 countries or topics?
IRP aims to expand reporting on under-covered topics and regions. We do not support reporting in the United States, and only occasionally consider projects in Europe or the Middle East. Some of our fellowships are thematic, and over the years we have offered reporting fellowships on health, development, religion, gender, climate change, nuclear security and more. Topics will be clearly stated in specific calls for applications. We are unlikely to accept proposals for travel to active conflict zones.

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?
Our aim is to support those who make their living as journalists. Full-time and part-time journalists are eligible to apply, but preference will be given to those for whom journalism is a primary occupation.

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 is 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) is cross-posted on the IRP site, with links crediting the original publication.

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?

Are former IRP fellows eligible to apply for a second fellowship?
Yes. Former IRP fellows are encouraged to apply for IRP's individual 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. Additionally, we are looking for applications in which journalists are proposing to cover new territory rather than stories they have been focusing on for years. For specific questions on whether a project topic is appropriate for these fellowships, applicants may email irp@newamerica.org. Due to the high volume of queries we receive and our small staff, we are unable to respond to every inquiry.

When will I know if my application is successful?
We do not send standard decline messages if an application is not selected for further consideration, and applicants should only expect to hear from a member of the selection committee if their proposal is chosen as a semi-finalist for in-depth review. If you do not receive a response within 6 weeks of submission, you may assume your application was not successful. We encourage applicants to consider applying again in the future, and our website will always feature the most recent open opportunities.