Q: What do Pulitzer Center grants fund and what don’t they fund? 

A: Grants are for the hard costs of reporting a specific story or series of stories. These costs can include travel, paying for essential data, or temporarily hiring additional people with certain skills. We do not fund academic reports, advocacy campaigns, book projects, or broad concepts without specific story ideas. We do not provide support for staff salaries or the purchase of basic equipment for freelancers or newsrooms.   

Q: Who can apply? Can non-U.S. citizens apply?  

A: We encourage journalists of all backgrounds and identities to apply. Freelancers are eligible. A staff reporter or an editor with an idea can also apply. More than one person can apply together, and an editor can apply on behalf of a team as long as the editor provides basic information about the journalists on the team. We prefer applications from journalists, rather than fundraising staff, at an outlet. Journalists from all countries and territories are eligible for grants.  

Q: Is there a deadline for applying? 

A: There is no deadline for grant applications; grants are awarded on a rolling basis. Deadlines for Fellowships can be found on each individual Fellowship page on our website

Q: What is the difference between grants and Fellowships? 

A: A grant is usually shorter-term financial support to cover the hard costs of reporting a story. Deadline is rolling. Fellowships are 10-12 months-long and they include a stipend, data and research support, a cohort experience, training, and more. You can explore more about our Fellowships and their application deadlines here

Q: Are applications in languages other than English accepted? 

A: We accept applications in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and bahasa Indonesia. 

Q: Do you need to have an outlet committed to publishing or airing your project? 

A: Yes. Not having a letter of interest or commitment can slow the process of a decision. You can tell us in your application if you have interest from an outlet. But ultimately we ask for a commitment before approving a proposal. We want an outlet to be enthused about working with you.  

Q: How should outlets credit Pulitzer Center support? 

A: Our fundraising model—and our ability to provide grants to journalists like you—relies on a virtuous circle: Prominent credit in news outlets for our support of quality reporting allows us to raise money for even more ambitious reporting. You can click here for our crediting guidelines and see examples of how outlets are acknowledging the support of the Pulitzer Center. We recommend that you let editors know early on about the Pulitzer Center’s credit requirements and share the guidelines with them. 

Q: Am I eligible for a grant if I have another funder supporting my project, too? 

A: Yes. Please explain what costs the other funder is covering and why you need additional support from the Pulitzer Center. 

Q: Is editorial independence guaranteed?

A: Totally. Without any restrictions.

Q:  What kinds of stories are you interested in? 

A: If you take a good look at our website, you can read about initiatives that are of special interest to us, as well as our five focus areas. But we’ll consider any good pitch, even if it doesn’t seem to fit neatly into an initiative. We also suggest you familiarize yourself with stories that we’ve supported so you aren’t pitching something too similar. We like enterprise projects that are untold or that truly advance ongoing news. We also like multimedia projects. And if it makes sense and increases your audience, we encourage reporting and/or publishing partnerships among different outlets. We also look for pitches that show ambition and some pre-reporting that convinces us that the story idea is worthwhile. 

Q: I see many different grant opportunities on your website. What happens if my project doesn’t seem to fit any of them or fits more than one category? 

A: As we said above, don’t worry if your project doesn’t fit existing grants or initiatives. The application form is the same for the great majority of our grants. During our editorial review process, every application is matched with the best-fitting reporting grant initiative. If still in doubt, apply through the Global Reporting Grant, our ‘catch-all’ grant. 

Q. How should I approach providing a budget for a project? 

A: Give us a list of estimated expenditures and reasons for why you need certain funds. If you need to travel, tell us where, why, and estimated costs. If you need to obtain data, tell us if you’ve been quoted a figure. We might urge you to seek advice from journalism organizations on how to obtain data for free or less than you’ve initially been told. Make a case for us if you feel you need to temporarily hire a photographer, someone with a specialty skill missing in your newsroom, or rent equipment or production space. 

We expect you to try to keep your costs down. Shop around, compare prices, check with other journalists. In other words, don't think of us as an ATM. We are not. We are a nonprofit that has to go out and raise every dollar that we give to you.

Q. What is the budget range for proposals?

A: We do not have a budget range. We will consider projects of any scope and size, as long as the budget matches the true cost and ambition of the story. 

Q: Do you pay stipends or salaries for freelance journalists?

A: We expect news organizations to pay freelance journalists for their work, though in exceptional cases, we may consider stipends to cover a reporter's time, if provided in the budget with an explanation. It is OK to include costs of contractors, such as data researchers, illustrators, data visualization/story designers, or a local reporting partner in your proposal and budget. Please do not include stipends for journalists/team members who are in the employ of newsrooms or are being paid by a publisher.

Q. Will I get a yes-or-no answer fairly soon after I submit the pitch form you have on your website? 

A: You will receive a response from one of our editors within two or three weeks from your submission. Sometimes editors will talk with applicants to see if they can beef up distribution or reporting plans or audience engagement ideas. 

Q. How do I receive funding if my project wins approval? 

A: A Pulitzer Center senior editor will work with you and issue you a contract explaining your obligations and certain paperwork to submit before you can start the payment process. We issue payments only twice a month, so a payment can take a few weeks to get processed. You get half your total funding after we approve your project and you submit the required paperwork, and half when you complete your reporting project. 

Q. Do you edit a project?

A: We don’t edit projects nor do we ask to review your project before you submit it to an outlet. But editors sometimes like to work upfront with you on ideas and are happy to talk with you as you work on the story. Your Pulitzer Center editor will ask you to check in periodically so we know how the story is developing and if you have any problems. 

Q. Do I have to show my expense receipts? 

A: We don’t ask that you turn in receipts, but we expect you to deliver a project reflecting the pitch, with reasonable adjustments based on the reality on the ground.  

Q. Can I talk to a Pulitzer Center editor before submitting a proposal? 

A: Unfortunately we are a small team and cannot meet to advise applicants on an individual basis. If your question is not answered in this FAQ or elsewhere on our website, you can send us an email at [email protected].  

Q. Are photographers eligible for grants? 

A: Yes. Grants are open to reporters, photographers, radio/audio journalists, television/video journalists, and documentary filmmakers. If visual storytellers are partnering with other journalists who would work on text, please include that information in your application. 

Q. Can I submit multiple proposals at once? 

A: We recommend you submit one proposal at a time, and that you make sure your proposal is as detailed and compelling as possible. Sometimes it’s a good idea to ask a colleague to review your proposal before you submit it, so you can get a fresh pair of eyes on your pitch. 

Q. Should I apply again after a rejection? 

A: Definitely. Sometimes we cannot support a project because we have budget constraints, or maybe we recently supported a similar project for a similar audience. Don’t take rejections personally and apply again when you have another strong project idea that fits our criteria. 

Q. Do you support reporting in conflict zones? 

A: Since its earliest days, the Pulitzer Center has supported hundreds of reports on underreported angles of conflicts around the world, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Iraq, Darfur, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Myanmar, and more. Freelancers, please know that we adhere strictly to ACOS guidelines. If you will be reporting in a war zone we will need a firm assignment from outlets agreeing in writing to take full responsibility for your safety and well-being. Ultimately, we are seeking the appropriate balance of experience, safety training, language skills, and reporting project plans and details.

Q. In the application form, you ask if I have an outreach plan beyond publishing my story in a media outlet. What do you mean? 

A: The Pulitzer Center encourages creative forms of content distribution and audience engagement beyond story publication. Our past grantees have routinely surprised us with very novel ways of reaching audiences with their work. They’ve shared their reporting via shortwave radio with Indigenous tribes, bus stop poster campaigns, and even with comic books and poetry performances. If you and your outlet have plans for translating your story to other formats or hosting events or exhibits, we would love to learn about those plans in your grant application.