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IRE on Campus training

The IRE on Campus program aims to bolster more inclusive representation in investigative and data journalism by providing free, customized training to educators and students at higher education institutions that serve historically marginalized people (also known as MSIs). The program is sponsored by Lumina Foundation.

We are seeking a total of six schools for our next two training cohorts:

  • 2022 Cohort: 3 schools will be selected. Training to be delivered in Fall 2022.
  • 2023 Cohort: 3 schools will be selected. Training to be delivered in Spring 2023 or Fall 2023.

What IRE Offers

By participating in the IRE on Campus program, your school will receive:

  • Three days of on-campus workshops, hands-on training and class visits customized to your students' skill levels, interests and current coursework
  • Training can include introduction to investigative reporting, online sleuthing, spreadsheets, data visualization, public records, interviewing, sourcing and more
  • Follow-up consultation and mentoring from IRE trainers
  • IRE memberships, including 25 student memberships and 2 educator membership per school
  • Potential eligibility for a follow-up visit from an IRE trainer at a later date, with up to 10 more student memberships available

2022-23 Application

Apply here

Note: Applications for this program are now closed.

Application process:

  • Deadline to apply is March 31, 2022.
  • This application should be filled out once per school. It can be filled out by anyone at the school, ideally the person who would serve as the program liaison with IRE.
  • You can apply for either the 2022 or 2023 cohorts (or both if your schedule is flexible). We are doing this to provide as much lead time as possible on your end and ours.
  • Once IRE reviews applications, we will decide on finalists and schedule brief interviews with each school liaison to learn more about your training needs and how the campus visits could benefit your school.
  • Selected schools would be notified in early May and to begin the process of discussing potential visit dates.


Successful applicants will have a clear plan to encourage more investigative and data work in their classrooms and a commitment to send most of their journalism/communications students and educators to the training.

To apply, a school must be must be a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) which includes:

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)
  • Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs)
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISIs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions
  • Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions

Applications will be reviewed by IRE staff. The program sponsor is not involved in the selection process.

Meet Your IRE Expert

Francisco Vara-Orta
Francisco Vara-Orta

Francisco Vara-Orta brings 17 years of newsroom experience to his role as IRE's first director of diversity and inclusion. Vara-Orta joined the IRE staff in February 2019 as a training director. While working as a trainer, he has conducted sessions on managing data and investigative reporting for journalists across the United States and internationally. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

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