What are the application criteria?

Goal of the grant

The Global Health Journalism Grant Programme aims to advance innovative reporting on global health topics in developing countries in German media. The goal of the grant is to raise awareness about global health issues of the general public, and to inform and engage influencers and decision makers in government and the research community, civil society, industry, and the medical as well as actors in development. The grants are worth between €5,000 and €20,000 each - including potential travel and technical expenses according to the scope of project.

Please note: This programme is open to freelancers, staff journalists and newsrooms.

The call for applications is closed!

The deadline to submit an application was 5 February 2020, 22:00 (CET)


Your story pitch is the most important part of the application. Projects submitted are required to deal with global health in developing countries.

The topic of health and the description of health care in the developing countries should be put in the broader context of development cooperation, political stability, migration and international relations. Furthermore, a connection could be established to economic or human rights aspects of the country/ies reported on, or to women’s and girls’ empowerment, climate change, or sanitation, digitalization, or innovation.

A clear benefit, but not a must, is to provide a link to Germany in the story. As such, the reporting could be connected to Germany’s global health policies or the activities of either health-related German government organisations or NGOs on the ground. Commercial or non-profit medical or pharmaceutical research and activities linked to Germany could also be a good option.

We strongly support the coverage of under-reported health topics or new and surprising angles on familiar topics.

Selection criteria

The jury will judge applications based on the following criteria:

  • Editorial focus and quality. Is the topic original, balanced and focused? Does it cover an under-reported story, or a new angle? Will it be a strong piece of journalism that gets attention? Does it prevent stereotypes? Does it offer a compelling, innovative approach?
  • Reach and impact. Will the story (and the media outlets that will publish it) reach a large number of people in at least one of the audience target groups? Does it have the potential to raise people’s awareness? Will it cause engagement or change of thinking and even acting?

Audience and impact

Grantees should produce in-depth stories which will contribute to a higher awareness and knowledge of the topic in Germany.

All projects must provide reporting related to global health beyond the limitations of daily news cycles. They are required to address by theme, style, and presentation, at least one of the target audience groups:

  • the general public;
  • policy makers, researchers or business leaders with a stake in global health.

The story should be designed to have an impact on society in Germany, and its political influencers, decision makers or business or science leaders with a stake in global health. The reported issues are intended to enhance a better understanding about the interrelation of public health and the political, social and economic stability in developing countries.

Country focus

The projects must take place in one or several developing countries, ideally Least Developed Countries (LDCs), excluding countries/territories against which the U.S. maintains comprehensive sanctions (including but not limited to Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and the Crimea Region of Ukraine). All applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis.


The story should ideally be innovative in topic, angle, approach and - if suitable - format. As such we encourage investigative and data journalism, data visualisation, video and multimedia production and the application of social media in the dissemination. Traditional reporting projects are equally appreciated and eligible.

Who is eligible?

Freelance or permanently employed individual journalists, or small teams of journalists (including support staff as appropriate, e.g., graphic designers, software programmers, or data experts), may apply for funding for a story in whichever format they deem best suited to their topic and audience (text, video, audio, or multimedia).

The applicants should be experienced in reporting on the topics of health, science, business or development and need to publish in relevant* media from Germany. Journalists are strongly encouraged to publish in multiple outlets.

* For the definition, see Media Partners

There are no citizenship or residence requirements, as long as your project is produced and published in German and the media outlets you will report for are German, with their main audiences in Germany.

Media Partners

A relevant media outlet is considered to be one of the following: a broadcaster with at least broad regional reach; a mainstream print magazine or newspaper; a print trade publication or specialist magazine of particular influence as a multiplier; a website of significant reach and audience; an electronic format such as a mobile application; or a contribution to an existing app – with demonstrable potential to reach a large audience.

For this call, we are also looking for German media targeting the scientific/medical/pharmaceutical/biotech business audiences in the country.

The original reporting has to be produced in the German language and published by one or more media organisations in Germany targeting at least one of the audience groups mentioned above. We appreciate a “Letter of Intent” from a relevant media organisation in the application, with an editor confirming the commitment to publish or air the proposed reporting project. However, such a publication commitment can be provided at a later stage if not available in time. It should be replaced by the email exchange with an editor documenting the interest to publish the story.

Less relevant media outlets in Germany or media organisations outside Germany are most welcome for supplemental dissemination.

Please note that Spiegel and Spiegel Online, as well as Deutsche Welle are not eligible as primary outlets since they already receive funding from the Gates Foundation, but can be considered very good secondary media partners for the dissemination of the project.

What we fund

Journalists may apply for a grant ranging between €5,000 and €20,000. For freelancers, the sum should cover the freelancer’s fees and the costs for the production of the project, including travel expenses, translation, equipment rental, insurance, multimedia production, etc. Freelance journalist fees should be at market rate and be a reasonable percentage of the overall budget. For employed journalists, the grant cannot cover costs for their salaries, and productions costs are only admitted if the media organisation cannot provide it. Grantees will be required to submit a detailed budget plan which has to be approved by the EJC.

Once the budget is approved, receipts or documents will not have to be submitted to the EJC for approval systematically. However, they should be collected and kept throughout the project to be provided on specific clarification requests. Our experienced jury will reject proposals with unrealistic budgets, so applicants are urged to research and calculate the budget thoroughly.

Grants include all and any taxes for which the grantees/newsrooms may be liable, and grantees are responsible for their own tax declarations.

We also encourage freelancers to claim fees from the media outlets publishing their projects and they may keep all such revenue.

Copyright and distribution

Once the original story has been published, all projects funded through this grant programme will be further distributed via this website.

The projects are allowed to add advertisements and yet must be published under a universal open access policy. Therefore they cannot be published behind paywalls and have to be freely accessible to a national or a global online audience. Publication under a Creative Commons License is encouraged, in order to allow for global and free access. All original data generated or collected must be made reusable for other stories and investigations.

For examples of global health reporting funded by the European Journalism Centre, see the showcases from the earlier Global Health Journalism Grant Programmes.

Applicants are urged to check the awarded projects of both Global Health Journalism Grant Programmes for Germany and for France to make sure their topic has not been funded yet. We are not inclined to fund the same story twice!

Eligibility checklist for applicants:

    • Am I an experienced journalist?
    • Do I have contacts to relevant media organisations in Germany?
    • Am I producing in German for an audience in Germany?
    • Is my topic focused on global health?
    • Is my story likely to have some impact?
    • Am I reporting from/about an LDC or a developing country?
    • Will I reach at least one of the target groups with the story and my outlet(s)?