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Journalist of Color and Freelance Fellowships Applications Open Now

Have a great idea for an investigative reporting project? We want to help!

IRE has two amazing fellowship opportunities coming up: Our Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship and our Freelance Fellowship.

The Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship

The Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship is a year-long program, filled with numerous training and networking opportunities, mentorship, access to IRE’s data services and support to help you pursue an investigative project that benefits your community. Fellows receive complimentary entry to IRE’s data journalism bootcamp, the NICAR conference, the IRE conference, as well as travel and hotel stipends to help you attend all these events!

Our 2020 fellow Sameea Kamal shared how this fellowship was transformative in her career.

“There are so many journalists of color who haven’t had access to trainings, mentors or simply the byline opportunities that this fellowship offers,” Kamal said. “It provided me the ability to take journalism trainings I may not have been able to prioritize financially on my own – as well as that commitment to using it for a specific story.”

This fellowship is open to all U.S. journalists of color, who have at least three years of post-college work experience. It was created to help you foster a solid career in investigative reporting, and to increase the range of backgrounds and experiences within the field of investigative journalism, where diverse perspectives are critically important.

The Freelance Fellowship

The Freelance Fellowship offers financial assistance to independent journalists ready to pursue an investigative reporting project.

Our previous fellows have chased stories on a range of topics, investigating hazardous Superfund sites in New Jersey, heat-related worker deaths in Texas, the Kingston coal ash spill in Tennessee and fertility fraud cases in California.

This year, IRE has three fellowships to offer, with the following cash awards:

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

IRE judges award fellowships for project proposals which demonstrate impact, breadth and significance. Proposals that deal with whistleblowers, business ethics or privacy issues will be given priority.

This fellowship is intended to support work that will be published in the U.S. and in outlets where the primary audience will be members of the American public.

Applications for both fellowships are now open.


Aug. 28, 2023: Freelance Fellowship applications are due.
Oct. 5, 2023: Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship applications are due.

Questions about the fellowships can be addressed to Anna López, director of partnerships, at

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