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Fellowships & Scholarships

If you need financial assistance to attend an IRE training program, we invite you to apply for one or more of IRE’s fellowships/scholarships. Assistance typically includes a one-year IRE membership/renewal and the program registration fee. 

Note: Eligibility for IRE fellowships /scholarships renews every three years. For example, if you received a fellowship in 2023, you will be eligible again in 2026.

If you have questions or need more information about fellowships, please contact Anna López.

How to apply

To make sure each applicant is considered for as many awards as possible, IRE uses a common application for most, but not all of the fellowships/scholarships. Just make sure you meet the deadlines for the trainings you want to attend using the information below. Click on the scholarships below for the application.

Use this application (universal application) for all the fellowships/scholarships except the following which have their own applications:

Tips for Applying

  • 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.
  • The application requires a letter of support from your supervisor/manager/adviser describing how this training would be beneficial and affirming that you will be given time to attend the training. Independent journalists: this letter will serve as a recommendation letter.

Fellowships & Scholarships

Data Journalism Bootcamps

Holly Whisenhunt Stephen Fellowships — TV and/or radio journalists. Students are not eligible. 

Ottaway Fellowships — Journalists and educators of color. Students are not eligible. 

R-CAR Fellowships — U.S. professional journalists working for small news organizations with a significant rural audience and demonstrated rural readership. And freelance journalists who have: a clearly defined project with rural impact; a small, rural news organization committed to publishing the story; and most of their income from independent journalism.

Educator Bootcamps

Educator of Color Scholarships — Educators of color teaching, or interested in teaching, data journalism within one’s curriculum. No data journalism experience or data teaching experience necessary.

Coding Bootcamps

Python Bootcamp Scholarships — Anyone who has an interest in learning how a programming language like Python can help in the newsroom.

R Bootcamp Scholarships — Anyone who has an interest in learning how a programming language like R can help in the newsroom.

NICAR Conference

David Donald Fellowships for Data Journalism — Journalism educators who teach data journalism and investigative reporting.

Gary Marx Scholarships — U.S. college journalism students and early-career journalists (five years post-college graduation). Preference will be given to applicants from Illinois.

Diversity Fellowships — Journalists, educators and students of color, those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and/or with disabilities are eligible to apply.

Eric B. Sager Scholarships — U.S. journalists and independent journalists. Journalists from trade publications and small outlets are encouraged to apply. Students are not eligible. 

IRE Conference
IRE Access Fest

Jennifer Leonard Scholarships — 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.

Diversity Fellowships — 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. Journalists, educators and students of color, those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and/or with disabilities are eligible to apply.

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

Other Fellowships

Freelance Fellowships — 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.

Chauncey Bailey Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowships — U.S. journalists of color with at least three years of post-college work experience. Students are not eligible.

Support a Scholarship

Do you want to pay it forward by donating to an existing fellowship or scholarship? Do you value IRE training and want to see as many journalists, educators and students received invaluable training from IRE? It’s easy: Donate here and indicate your fellowship or scholarship of choice.

Are you interested in creating a new fellowship or scholarship? Contact Anna López, director of partnerships, at

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