Any questions?
You'll find all you need to know right here.

  • Do you have any additional tips for a good application?

    Be concise and follow the guidelines specified on the website and the requirements outlined in the online application form.

  • Can I attach supplemental materials to my application?

    No. At this stage please do not send us anything else except your story pitch.

  • I’m not sure whether my story pitch qualifies for this grant. Can I call you to discuss this?

    No, story pitches will not be discussed over the phone. All inquiries should be sent by email to [email protected]

  • May I send an application directly by email?

    No. Only applications received via the online application form will be considered.

  • Can a portion of the grant be used as a stipend for freelancers during the reporting, writing and production of the piece(s)? If so, what is the maximum proportion of the grant that may be applied to the stipend?

    Yes. Freelance journalist fees should be at market rate and be a reasonable percentage of the overall budget.

  • Should the names and stipend of freelance (photo)journalists I would like to work with be included in the grant application?

    At this stage specific names of freelancers working on the project are not requested. Detailed information will be requested if you are shortlisted. Yes, their stipend can be part of the grant application.

  • Can I develop multiple stories for multiple outlets from the grant?

    Yes. In fact we highly encourage you to do so.

  • Can I submit more than one story pitch?

    Yes, you can submit more than one pitch.

  • Do I need to submit my story pitch in English?

    Yes. Due to a high number of submissions, we can only accept applications submitted in English. However, please note that the story pitches will not be judged on the quality of the language used and this will not in any way influence the decisions regarding the awarded grants.

  • In which language should my project be completed?

    The projects can be completed in any of the national languages of the eligible countries.

  • Can my final project be completed in English rather than in one of the official languages of the five eligible countries?

    The grant programme aims to reach audiences in the eligible countries, therefore the final projects would naturally be completed in one of the official languages of the eligible countries. However, if you can demonstrate in your story pitch why English would be more suited and how it can have a bigger impact, we will consider your arguments.

  • I am neither based in, nor a national citizen of one of the eligible countries. Can I apply?

    Yes, you can apply. There are no citizenship or nationality requirements. As long as the media you will report for is a relevant media organisation with a wide audience reach in one of the eligible countries, you may submit a story proposal. Equally, you do not have to be based in one of the eligible countries in order to apply for a grant. However, you do have to report for at least one relevant media outlet from one of these countries.

  • I have a great development story, but it does not contain any innovative elements. Still, this story deserves to be told. Can I apply for funding?

    Yes, but such stories will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Can I reapply for a grant if I was awarded a grant in a previous call for applications?


  • My story pitch was not accepted in the first call for applications. Can I still apply a second time?

    Yes, you can always submit another pitch if you were unsuccessful in a previous round. Please note that you cannot resubmit the same pitch, but need to present a new or improved proposal. Unfortunately, due to a large number of applications we cannot give detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

  • I have already published a great innovative development story. Can I receive a grant?

    No. This grant does not give awards to already published stories. The grant programme provides funds to enable journalists and media organisations to cover development issues and not to receive money for already published work.

  • Does the grant fund creation and maintaining of websites that will cover development topics?

    While eligible in principle, websites need to fulfill some conditions. One, they must be maintained and updated over time and our programme essentially only funds one-off efforts. However, if someone guarantees that the site’s upkeep will be financed in some other way that should be fine. Two, stand-alone websites that are not tied in with an already functioning, prominent “mother” website (such as a dedicated microsite attached to a newspaper’s portal) will have a hard time reaching a large enough audience at short notice. So in this case it would be really essential that the application comes with a very well thought-through and convincing promotion plan.

  • I want to write a book. Can I apply for funding?

    We don’t rule out funding for books per se; however, what we’re looking for is more journalistic and more near-term than the average book. So if it were a reportage-style book to appear within the next couple of months or so, we might consider it. But funding a long-term project that is not likely to have an impact in the news media anytime soon is not within the interest range of this grant.

  • I want to write an academic research. Am I eligible?

    Yes, if your research is innovative and is designed to reach a large audience in one of the eligible countries.

  • I have invented a technological tool. Can I apply for your grant?

    Technological tools will only be funded if their end goal is dissemination of development topics.

  • I want to make a documentary. Am I eligible?


  • I want to support development work. Can I get funding?


  • Does this grant fund cultural activities?


  • I don’t have a letter of intent. Can I still submit a story pitch?

    Yes. A letter of intent will only be required from shortlisted applicants who are invited to submit a full application.

  • Can I apply as a freelancer with no media behind me?

    Yes, but in the first round you should at minimum mention an eligible media you want to pitch to. In case you are invited to submit a full application, cooperation with a media organisation must be confirmed through a signed letter of intent.

  • I do not work for any of the eligible media outlets. Can I apply?

    Yes, you can apply if you partner with an eligible media organisation. Cross-country partnerships are very much encouraged.

  • Can journalism students apply?

    Yes, if you partner with an eligible media organisation.

  • Is there an age limit?

    Grant recipients should be at least 18 years old.

  • Is Ireland part of the eligible countries?

    No. However, all media and journalists can apply if they partner with an eligible media.

  • How have the eligible countries been selected?

    Eligible countries have been selected based on the top Official Development Assistance donor countries in absolute terms. See for exact numbers. However, all media and journalists can apply if they partner with an eligible media. The grant programme especially encourages cross-country partnerships and cross-platform distribution.

  • Is this only for work in developing countries, or would innovative work in the EU member states be eligible for grants as well?

    It is not compulsory to do a story on location in a developing country. The story can play out entirely in Europe as long as it is clearly development-related and is brought in an innovative way. The main goal of the project is to bolster development awareness in the European target countries and this can be achieved in many ways.

  • Will funding be given to the journalist or the media organisation?

    Whether an organisation or individual receives the funding depends on the set-up of an individual project and the wishes of the grant recipients. Individuals will be subject to fulfill stricter documentation requirements for their expenses. That is because organisations in the eligible countries can be assumed to have proper accounting and submit to regular audits, whereas individuals might not.

  • How will the grant money be distributed?

    The money will be distributed in two instalments. The first half of the approved grants will be paid to successful applicants upon signature of the grant agreement, while the second half will be paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in agreement with the original proposal. The second instalments are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in due time or if the projects are published in a different form or in a different outlet than originally proposed. Only documented expenses will be covered.

  • If I am invited to submit a full application, does that mean I will get the funding?

    No. An invitation to submit a full application does not guarantee you will receive funding. It means that your story sounds promising and that we need to look into more details in order to make a final decision. All applications invited to submit a full application will receive individual confirmations and funding will be awarded only upon signature of a grant agreement.

  • Can a portion of the grant be used as a stipend for freelancers during the reporting, writing and production of the piece(s)? If so, what is the maximum proportion of the grant that may be applied to the stipend?

    Yes. Freelance journalist fees should be at market rate and be a reasonable percentage of the overall budget.

  • If I partner with a European media organisation that publishes in a language other than English, can part of the award be used to cover translation?

    Yes. Effort to adapt the content to the other language(s), culture(s), or circumstances is encouraged.

    • What are the responsibilities and expectations of a grantee?

      A financial budget and an editorial report will be required from all grantees upon completion of their projects. Interim reporting may be requested if deemed necessary.

    • Can I refer to myself as a grantee after I completed the project?

      Yes. We also encourage our grantees to share their expertise with other fellow IDR grantees beyond the expiry of the grant period.

    • How will the decisions be communicated?

      All decisions will be communicated by email.

    • When are shortlisted applicants notified of decisions regarding their full applications?

      Shortlisted candidates will have one month to submit a full application. Following this deadline, all applicants will be informed on the outcome of their proposals within a maximum of two weeks time.

    • When will I hear if I have been shortlisted?

      Following the application deadline, each applicant will be notified of the final decision by email within four weeks after the deadline has passed.

    • How can I be sure that my story pitch has been received?

      All applicants will receive a confirmation email reading: “Thank you for pitching us your story idea. Following the application deadline, each applicant will be notified by email of the final decision.” If you haven’t received a confirmation email, please send an email to [email protected]

    • I am not sure if the programme funds journalism projects on development issues told in an innovative way or journalism projects on innovative development projects. To make it simpler: what should be innovative? What we tell or how we tell it, or both?

      The grant programme looks to fund new ways of journalistic storytelling of development issues: anything that breaks away from the traditional clichés of development reporting. Eligible for grants in this context are innovative journalism projects on development topics.

    • What do you mean by ‘innovation’ in the context of the grant?

      Innovation in this context can refer to anything that goes beyond the existing stereotypes of development coverage, which can be either a new journalistic way to present development stories, a new tool to report development stories such as a mobile app, etcetera.