Fellowships & Scholarships

Download our PDF guide
Click on the image to download our PDF fellowship guide

IRE makes available certain fellowships and scholarships to allow professional journalists, students and educators the opportunity to attend training events they would not otherwise be able to attend. Fellowships and scholarships typically include a one-year IRE membership and conference/seminar registration fees. A person may apply for more than one scholarship/fellowship.

NOTE: If you previously received an IRE fellowship or scholarship, you will be eligible for another award three years later. For instance, if you received a fellowship in 2017, you will be eligible again in 2020.

If you have questions or need more information about fellowships or IRE trainings, please contact Chris Vachon, chris@ire.org.

 

Tips for applying for fellowships and scholarships:

  • Start with our PDF chart to find potential awards. You might be eligible for several and can usually re-use your materials.
  • Most awards are tied to an IRE training program, like our annual CAR and IRE conferences or our CAR Boot Camp. Some awards include options, letting the applicant select and apply for a specific conference or boot camp. Others include multiple training opportunities. If you’re interested in a specific program, jump to that section on the page.
  • Sign up for email reminders. We’ll notify you every time a fellowship deadline is approaching. Get on the email list.
  • Keep applying. These awards are highly competitive, so don’t get discouraged if you’re not selected. Save your materials and re-apply the next time we take applications.

 


I’m looking for a fellowship for:

CAR Boot Camp, CAR Boot Camp or CAR Conference, CAR Conference only, Annual Conferences (IRE or CAR), IRE Conference onlyFreelance Fellowship, Journalist of Color Fellowship

 

Jump to a specific award:

Data in Local Newsrooms Fellowships | David Dietz Fellowship | David Donald Fellowship | Diversity Fellowships | Eric B Sager Scholarship | Freelance Fellowship | Godfrey Wells Stancill Fellowship | Holly Whisenhunt Stephen Fellowship | James Richard Bennett Scholarships | Jennifer Leonard Scholarships | Journalist of Color Fellowship | Knight TV Data Fellowships | Napoli Management Group TV Scholarship | Ottaway Fellowships | R-CAR Fellowships | Robert Greene Scholarship | Total Newsroom Training (TNT) Fellowships

 


For CAR Boot Camp

Related fellowships: R-CAR, Ottaway, Holly Whisenhunt Stephen, Total Newsroom Training (TNT), Knight TV Data*

Note: An * denotes the fellowship includes additional training on top of the CAR Boot Camp

 

Holly Whisenhunt Stephen Fellowship 

Provides assistance to attend a CAR Boot Camp at the University of Missouri (see boot camp date below)

Application link

Due date: January 6-10, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is November 11, 2019

Description: 

Established by IRE and WTHR-Indianapolis to honor Holly Whisenhunt Stephen, an award-winning journalist and longtime IRE member, who died November 2008 after a long battle with cancer.

Who is eligible? 

Professional TV and/or radio journalists. Students are not eligible. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary boot camp registration (up to $1,100 value)
  • Travel stipend ($750)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): : 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the training. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • Explain a data story to tackle after boot camp

 

R-CAR Fellowship

Provides assistance to attend a CAR Boot Camp at the University of Missouri (see boot camp dates below)

Application link

Application due dates:

  • March 23-27, 2020 Boot Camp: Application deadline is January 13, 2020
  • August 2-6, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is May 18, 2020

Description: 

Established by IRE member Daniel Gilbert to provide rural reporters with the skills that will help them uncover stories that otherwise would not come to light. The fellowship is offered in conjunction with The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.

Who is eligible?

U.S.-based professional journalists who work outside of a metro area (with a core urban population of 50,000 or more) for a newspaper with less than a circulation of 40,000, a television station outside of the top 100 Nielsen markets, or a radio or online news organization with a record of covering rural areas. Students are not eligible. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary boot camp registration (up to $1,100 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application):

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the training. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • Explain a data story to tackle after boot camp

 

Ottaway Fellowships 

Provides assistance to attend a CAR Boot Camp at the University of Missouri (see boot camp dates below)

Application link

Application due dates:

  • January 6-10, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is November 11, 2019
  • March 23-27, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is January 13, 2020
  • August 2-6, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is May 18, 2020

Description

Established by David Ottaway and the Ottaway Family Fund, the Fellowship is aimed at increasing the diversity of IRE’s membership. 

Who is eligible?

Journalists and educators of color. Students are not eligible. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary boot camp registration (up to $1,100 value)
  • Travel stipend ($1,000)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application):

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume/CV
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work (for journalists)
  • Description how the training will be put to use for students (for educators)
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the training. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • Explain a data story to tackle after boot camp (for journalists)

 

Knight TV Data Fellowship

Provides assistance to attend a CAR Boot Camp at the University of Missouri (see boot camp dates below) and the CAR Conference  (New Orleans, March 5-8, 2020)

Application link

Application due dates:

  • January 6-10, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is November 11, 2019
  • March 23-27, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is January 13, 2020
  • August 2-6, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is May 18, 2020

Description

Funded by the Knight Foundation to strengthen data watchdog skills at local TV stations across the United States.

Who is eligible?

U.S.-based TV professional journalists. The recipient must commit to not only attending a five-day boot camp, but also to attending the annual CAR conference and to utilizing the complimentary IRE data services. Students are not eligible

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary boot camp registration (up to $1,100 value)
  • Travel stipend for boot camp ($1,000)
  • 20 hours of IRE data services ($2,000 value)
  • Complimentary CAR conference registration ($305 value)
  • Up to four hotel nights for the CAR conference ($1,000 value)
  • Travel stipend for CAR conference ($600)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application):  

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the boot camp and the three-day conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a fellowship to receive this training.
  • Explain a data story to tackle after boot camp

 

Total Newsroom Training (TNT) Fellowships

Provides assistance to attend a CAR Boot Camp at the University of Missouri (see boot camp dates below)

Application link

Application due dates:

  • January 6-10, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is November 11, 2019
  • March 23-27, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is January 13, 2020
  • August 2-6, 2020 Boot Camp: Deadline is May 18, 2020

Description

The boot camp training builds on the skills taught during TNT trainings

Who is eligible?

Anyone who has completed two days of a TNT training since 2013. More than one employee from the same newsroom may apply. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary boot camp registration (up to $1,100 value)
  • Travel stipend ($1,300)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): : 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the training. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • Explain a data story to tackle after boot camp

For CAR Boot Camp or the NICAR Conference

Eligible awards: David Donald Fellowship for Data Journalism Fellowship

 

David Donald Fellowship for Data Journalism Fellowship

Provides assistance to attend a CAR Boot Camp at the University of Missouri (see boot camp dates below) OR the CAR Conference (New Orleans, March 5-8, 2020)

Application link

Due date: January 13, 2020

Description

The fund is named for the late David Donald, a former IRE training director who spread the gospel of computer-assisted reporting to thousands of journalists, educators and students around the world. The fund is designed to support computer-assisted reporting training to university educators so that they can better equip their students to be effective watchdogs through the use of data.

Who is eligible?

Journalism educators who teach data journalism and investigative reporting. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Choice of attending the 2020 CAR Conference or a CAR Boot Camp in 2020
    • For the CAR conference, it includes: conference registration ($305 value), up to three hotel nights ($750 value), travel stipend ($500)
    • For the CAR boot camp, it includes: boot camp registration ($800 value), travel stipend ($750)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): : 

  • Link to CV
  • Letter from current supervisor indicating support of data journalism and investigative reporting in the curriculum. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • List of data journalism and investigative reporting courses taught in the past and in the future.
  • Description of how the educator will put the training to use for students.
  • List of continuing education/professional development training received

For just the NICAR Conference

Data in Local Newsrooms Fellowships

Provides assistance to the CAR conference (New Orleans, March 5-8, 2020) 

Application link

Due date: January 13, 2020

Description: 

Funded by the Google News Initiative to deepen skills in local newsrooms in: discovering data, analyzing it and producing compelling stories that otherwise would go untold in local communities. The training received at the NICAR conference builds on the skills taught during the Data in Local Newsrooms program. 

Who is eligible?

Anyone who has completed two days of a Data in Local Newsroom training program. More than one employee from the same newsroom may apply. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($305 value)
  • Up to three hotel hotel nights ($750 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.

For either of our annual conferences (NICAR or IRE)

Eligible awards: Jennifer Leonard, Diversity Fellowships

 

Jennifer Leonard Scholarship

Provides assistance to the CAR conference (New Orleans, March 5-8, 2020) or the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due dates:

  • March 5-8, 2020 CAR Conference: Deadline is January 13, 2020
  • June 18-21, 2020 IRE Conference: Deadline is April 20, 2020

Description: 

Established by IRE member David Cay Johnston to honor his wife, Jennifer Leonard, the president of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and a national leader in promoting ethical standards for endowments. 

Who is eligible?

Women of modest means who are college journalism students or early-career professional journalists (three years or less of post-college work experience). Women of color are encouraged to apply.

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($305-315 value)
  • Up to three hotel hotel nights ($750-900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • Link to college transcript (for students only)
  • Statement on financial need

 

Diversity Fellowships

Provides assistance to the CAR conference (New Orleans, March 5-8, 2020) or the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due dates: 

  • March 5-8, 2020 CAR Conference: Deadline is January 13, 2020
  • June 18-21, 2020 IRE Conference: Deadline is April 20, 2020

Description: 

The Diversity Fellowships are funded by the Philip L. Graham Fund, the IRE Diversity Development Fund and individual donors. The goal of the fellowships is to increase the diversity of IRE’s membership. 

Who is eligible?

Journalists and educators of color are eligible. Students are not eligible. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($305-315 value)
  • Up to three nights at conference hotel ($750-900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work (for journalists)
  • Description how the training will be put to use for students (for educators)
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a fellowship to receive this training.

For just the IRE Conference

Eligible awards: Napoli Management Group TV Scholarship, James Richard Bennett Scholarship, David Dietz Fellowship, Godfrey Wells Stancill Fellowship, Robert Greene Scholarship, Eric B. Sager Scholarships 

 

Napoli Management Group TV Scholarship 

Provides assistance to attend the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due date: April 20, 2020

Description

Established by the Napoli Management Group to assist aspiring early-career watchdog journalists, who would not have the financial means, in receiving training at the IRE conference. 

Who is eligible?

Early-career (three or fewer years of post-college work experience) TV journalists interested in investigative reporting. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($315 value)
  • Up to three hotel nights ($900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • Statement on financial need

Diversity Fellowships for Students

Provides assistance to the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application Link

Due date: April 20, 2020

Description: 

The Diversity Fellowships for Students is funded by the IRE Student Fund. The goal of the fellowships is to increase the diversity of IRE’s student membership. 

Who is eligible?

Students of color are eligible. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($25 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($100 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

 

James Richard Bennett Scholarship

Provides assistance to attend the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due Date: April 20, 2020

Description:

The scholarship is made possible by Dr James Richard Bennett, professor emeritus of English at the University of Arkansas. 

Who is eligible?

Journalism students in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma or Louisiana.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • One-year IRE student membership/renewal ($25 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($100 value)
  • Up to three hotel nights ($900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing journalism work
  • Letter of support to attend conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.
  • Link to college transcript 

 

David Dietz Fellowship 

Provides assistance to attend the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due date: April 20, 2020

Description: 

Established in 2011 for the late David Dietz, an award-winning journalist and a past president of IRE. The fellowship supports early career journalists who have a demonstrated interest in financial investigative reporting.

Who is eligible?

Journalists and independent journalists with less than 10 years’ professional experience and a demonstrated interest in financial investigative journalism, who have a financial need for assistance. Students are not eligible. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($315 value)
  • Up to three hotel nights ($900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing financial investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a fellowship to receive this training.
  • Statement on financial need

 

Godfrey Wells Stancill Fellowship

Provides assistance to the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due date: April 20, 2020

Description: 

Established by former IRE board member Nancy Stancill and her family in memory of her father, Godfrey Wells Stancill, who was an editor and publisher of the Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald. The fellowship supports journalists working for newspapers with a Sunday circulation of under 50,000.

Who is eligible?

U.S.-based journalists working for a newspaper with a Sunday circulation of under 50,000. Students are not eligible.

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($315 value)
  • Up to three hotel nights ($900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application):  

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.

 

Robert Greene Scholarship 

Provides assistance to the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due date: April 20, 2020

Description: 

Established by Robert William Greene, Sr., a pioneering investigative journalist, who uncovered corruption in Arizona after a journalist was murdered there and twice helped Newsday win the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Who is eligible?

Early-career professional journalists (three or fewer years of post-college work experience). Students are not eligible.

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($315 value)
  • Up to three hotel nights ($900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.

 

Eric B. Sager Scholarships

Provides assistance to attend the IRE conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020)

Application link

Due date: April 20, 2020

Description: 

Established through an estate gift by the late Eric B. Sager, an IRE member from West Virginia, who worked mainly in trade publications.

Who is eligible? 

U.S.-based journalists and independent journalists. Journalists from trade publications and small outlets are encouraged to apply. Students are not eligible. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary conference registration ($315 value)
  • Up to three hotel hotel nights ($900 value)
  • Travel stipend ($500 value)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Letter of support from supervisor/appropriate person to attend the conference. Letter should include why you are deserving of a scholarship to receive this training.

Other Fellowships

Eligible Awards:

 

Freelance Fellowship

Provides cash awards to assist independent journalists with investigative projects

Application coming soon!

Due date: August 3, 2020

Description:

Created in 2008, the fellowships are awarded for project proposals which demonstrate impact, breadth and significance. Proposals that deal with whistleblowers, business ethics or privacy issues will be given priority. It is intended to support work that will be primarily be published in the U.S. and in outlets where the primary audience will be at least a part of the American public. 

Who is eligible?

Journalists who make their living primarily as freelancers and need assistance in conducting investigative projects. Freelance journalists who will publish the work primarily in the U.S. and in outlets where the primary audience will be at least a part of the American public. 

What does the fellowship provide?

  • 1st place – $2,500  
  • 2nd place – $1,500  
  • 3rd place – $1,000

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or resume
  • Three clips showcasing investigative work
  • Explain your freelance status in as much detail as necessary for the selection committee to determine your eligibility
  • Describe your project 
  • How do you plan to spend the money if you receive one of the IRE freelance fellowships?
  • If your project requires additional funding, how do you plan to raise the rest of the funding necessary to complete your project?
  • Where do you hope to publish or air the project?
  • Have you discussed publication with any specific outlets? If so, please summarize the conversations. -If you have already signed a contract with a publisher or broadcast outlet, please provide specifics.
  • If you receive one of the fellowships, when do you expect to deliver the project to a potential publisher or broadcast outlet?

Criteria:

  • Proposals which demonstrate impact, breadth and significance
  • Proposals that deal with whistleblowers, business ethics or privacy issues will be given priority
  • Intended to support work that will be primarily be published in the U.S. and in outlets where the primary audience will be at least a part of the American public

 

IRE Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship

Provides assistance to attend a CAR Boot Camp at the University of Missouri (see boot camp dates below), the CAR Conference (New Orleans, March 5-8, 2020) and the IRE Conference (National Harbor, Maryland, June 18-21, 2020) and more.

Application Link

Due date: October 21, 2020

Description: The year-long program is intended to prepare and support a journalist of color for a solid career in investigative reporting. The program also provides an opportunity for the fellow’s news outlets to benefit from the fellow’s investigative skill-building. An underlying goal of the program is to increase the range of backgrounds, experiences and interests within the field of investigative journalism, where diverse perspectives are critically important. The fellowship is made possible by the generosity of IRE members and news organization sponsors. Learn more about the fellowship.

Who is eligible?

  • U.S. journalists of color who want to improve their investigative skills
  • Applicants should have at least three years of post-college work experience
  • Applicants should be currently working with a supportive news organization or working as an independent journalist
  • Applicants who can propose a well-developed project which would benefit from the training and mentoring the fellow would receive
  • Students are not eligible

What would the fellow do?

The fellow would:

  • Obtain employer support
  • Create an investigative reporting project that benefits his/her community
  • Attend an IRE boot camp
  • Attend the CAR conference
  • Attend the IRE conference
  • Receive IRE data services
  • Receive a one-year IRE membership/renewal
  • Initiate contact and work with a mentor network made up of IRE members
  • Set up monthly video calls with his/her mentor network for one year, or until the project is complete, whichever comes first, to discuss the project’s progress

The fellow would be encouraged to do the following after the fellowship concludes:

  • Serve as part of the mentor network
  • Serve on fellowship selection committee
  • Renew IRE membership

What does the fellowship provide?

  • One-year IRE membership/renewal ($70 value)
  • Complimentary boot camp registration (up to $1,100 value)
  • Boot camp travel stipend ($1,000)
  • Complimentary CAR conference registration ($305 value)
  • Complimentary CAR conference hotel nights (up to 3 nights) ($720 value)
  • CAR conference travel stipend ($500)
  • Complimentary IRE conference registration ($315 value)
  • Complimentary IRE conference hotel nights (up to 3 nights) ($750 value)
  • IRE conference travel stipend ($500)
  • Complimentary IRE Data Services (up to 12 hours) ($1,200 value)

Required application materials (have prepared before completing application): 

  • LinkedIn page or link to resume
  • Links to two clips showcasing investigative work
  • Description of project to be tackled during the fellowship (calendar year)
  • Letter of support from supervisor/management stating the newsroom/management will allow the fellow time to work on the project and time to attend all required IRE trainings included in the fellowship. The letter should also serve as a recommendation letter. Independent journalists, a letter of recommendation is required.