The network seeks to harness investigative reporting and cross-border collaboration to tackle stories at the intersection of climate change, corruption, and governance in the world’s three main tropical rainforest regions: Amazon, Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia.

The Pulitzer Center, a nonprofit organization that supports independent journalism, is now accepting applications for its Rainforest Investigations Network (RIN) reporting fellowships.

Few stories are more urgent—and global—than the destruction of the planet’s tropical rainforests. The Pulitzer Center’s RIN seeks to create an ecosystem of collaboration among journalists to follow the money and the many illegal practices and legal loopholes that enable industrial-scale deforestation.

The RIN Fellows will work on individual and collaborative reporting projects to systematically probe the drivers of deforestation across the three main rainforest regions: the Amazon, Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia.

The Rainforest Investigations Network is coordinated by journalist Gustavo Faleiros, a pioneer of rainforest accountability reporting and founder of the data journalism outlet InfoAmazonia. The RIN core team includes Research Editor Jelter Meers, Data Editor Kuek Ser Kuang Keng, and investigative journalist Madeleine Ngeunga. The Fellows will also work with other Pulitzer Center staff, such as Executive Editor Marina Walker Guevara. 


We are seeking to recruit experienced investigative journalists in each of the tropical rainforest regions as well as journalists based at global media outlets. 

The full-time, yearlong fellowships will cover the reporter’s salary (or part of it, depending on location) and provide additional support for the media outlet that employs the journalist (if on staff), or that agrees to host the Fellow (if a freelancer).

This year we are actively seeking investigations that include, or are tailor-made for, a cross-border approach. If you have yet to secure commitments from your collaborators, you should explain your collaboration plan. We will also actively work with the selected Fellows to identify potential partners within the network. Please note that applications should be done by individuals, and not by a group or media outlet.

Cross-border investigations are journalistic projects where reporters from different newsrooms in different countries work together to uncover a story. For example, one journalist is based in Indonesia looking at palm oil deforestation while the other is investigating the company filings of the U.S. client buying the palm oil. 

We also have two seats reserved for fellowships dedicated to investigations focused on transparency and governance. This includes uncovering the financial structures that enable environmental damage and unsustainable supply chains. 

This reporting should go deeper than your traditional rainforest reporting about environmental impact. We want to hear from journalists who can uncover illicit financial flows tied to economic activities in rainforests, for example. Tell us how you will report on banks facilitating development projects that destroy nature. Or show us how government corruption is preventing countries from meeting climate goals.

Main topics:

  • Stories that investigate the financial enablers, financiers, accountability of the use of this resources
  • Corruption on public procurement

Past examples of stories focusing on transparency and governance aspects:

Fellows are expected to devote a full year to their rainforest investigations and to publish their series or main story during the year of the fellowship. They will receive training and data, communication, and research and coordination support from the Pulitzer Center. They will work closely with their co-Fellows around the world, benefiting from one another’s skills and diverse perspectives.

The initiative will also collaborate with the Pulitzer Center’s Engagement team. Fellows will have the support of local education and outreach coordinators, who will identify outreach opportunities to share investigation findings with diverse audiences.

The Rainforest Investigations Network is funded by the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). The NICFI grant includes an explicit guarantee of full editorial independence for the Pulitzer Center as well as for the Fellows and news organizations taking part.

The journalists selected in this round will make up the fourth cohort of RIN investigative Fellows since the initiative’s launch at the end of 2020. To meet the Fellows and read their stories, click here.


  • Experienced investigative journalists with a proven track record covering the Amazon, Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia regions.
  • Reporters based in countries outside the three main tropical rainforest regions—Amazon, Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia—may also apply but will need to focus their reporting during the fellowship on stories related to these regions.
  • Staff or freelance journalists working on a wide range of platforms, including print, radio, video, and multimedia. Freelance reporters will need to have the support of a local or international newsroom that agrees to host them and publish the work they produce during the fellowship.  
  • Team players with the experience and/or ability to work collaboratively across newsrooms and borders. 
  • Reporters with a deep understanding of the scientific, environmental, social, legal, political, and commercial forces at play in deforestation and forest degradation around the world—and why this issue matters to our global well-being.
  • Reporters willing to participate in outreach activities related to their investigations, such as meetings in communities and visits to schools and universities.


  • The opportunity to work on impactful investigations that are time-consuming and costly. 
  • A global network of investigative reporters who will aid your investigations and complement your skills.
  • Access to data and documents as well as the opportunity to sharpen your data skills with support from the Pulitzer Center’s data and research team. 
  • Specialized training opportunities such as the use of satellite imagery and other digital tools in investigations, corporate and follow-the-money research, and more. 
  • The opportunity to work and collaborate with other journalists on stories that transcend your country and region and can achieve true global impact. 
  • A community of like-minded colleagues that will continue beyond your fellowship. 
  • The possibility of renewing your fellowship for an additional one or two years, based on performance. 
  • Salaries commensurate with experience.
  • Reporting expenses such as travel, consultants and technology up to US$ 10,000 during the entire fellowship

Please note that selected candidates will work remotely.


  • A statement of purpose: How does this fellowship fit in your career path and why are you best positioned to be a Rainforest Investigations Network Fellow? You may also include how collaboration with journalists from other regions can benefit your investigations or how you might be able to assist them. (500 words)
  • An investigative project proposal describing the most ambitious rainforest reporting you seek to pursue during your fellowship. Please do not propose general themes, but offer concrete investigative projects that aim to uncover systemic wrongdoing/abuse that is unknown or hidden. It is expected that by the time you apply you have already done pre-reporting to determine the scope, feasibility, and novelty of the project. A compelling, well-researched project proposal with a reporting plan will help you stand out among hundreds of applicants. If the investigation includes a cross-border approach, explain your collaboration plan and identify partners outside and within the network. (1,000 words)
  • Three examples (links) of your most impactful investigations published in the past three years. 
  • A letter of support from your media employer or a newsroom that has agreed to host you as a Rainforest Investigations Network Fellow and publish your work. 
  • Three professional references:  These can be either contact information or letters of recommendation.
  • A copy of your résumé or curriculum vitae.


Applications for 2024 are now closed. Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when applications open again in late 2024.

We encourage applications in English but accept materials in other languages if needed. 

If you have questions, please contact Gustavo Faleiros at [email protected] or Jelter Meers at [email protected].

We encourage proposals from journalists and newsrooms representing social, racial, ethnic, and underrepresented groups, and economic backgrounds.