The Pulitzer Center is seeking applications from journalists who want to report stories as part of Connected Coastlines, a nationwide climate reporting initiative in U.S. coastal states. Started in 2019, this initiative is building a consortium of newsrooms and independent journalists across the U.S. to report on the local effects of erratic weather patterns on coastal populations using the latest climate science. 


We are eager to receive proposals from staff journalists and freelancers who wish to report on coastal stories, underpinned by recent climate science, data, or research, for publication or broadcast by small and regional news outlets in U.S. coastal states.

Potential applicants should familiarize themselves with some of the recent Connected Coastlines reporting projects. In 2019, the Pulitzer Center supported 15 Connected Coastlines projects. The first project was reported by grantee Hal Bernton of The Seattle Times. We now have supported dozens of reporting projects covering climate change issues on every coastline on the U.S. mainland—the East Coast, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast and West Coast—along with Hawaii and Alaska. As of January 2024, we've helped launch fifty-three reporting projects in twenty states with over seventy-five journalism partners. It has enabled staff and freelancer reporters to produce over to 200 coastal climate stories for print, broadcast radio and TV, as well as feature films and multimedia projects.


  • A description of the proposed project, including distribution/publication plan, no more than 250 words. We look more favorably on proposals that include a letter(s) of interest or support from publishers or editors.
  • Methodology: Please describe your approach to reporting your story, specifically the methods you will use to collect and analyze climate science-related data, research, or activities that will be used in your reporting. 
  • A preliminary budget estimate, including a basic breakdown of costs. Include travel costs, costs for collaborating with independent contractors or freelance journalists. For example, you are a writer and you want to hire a camera person or a multimedia designer to collaborate with you on your reporting project. Please do not include stipends for journalists/team members who are in the employ of newsrooms or are being paid by a publisher. 
  • Three examples (links) of climate-related published work by you (or someone on your project team.) 
  • Three professional references. These can be either contact information or letters of recommendation.
  • A copy of your resume or curriculum vitae.

Applications may also include a more detailed description of the project, but this will be considered as an optional supplement only. The most important part of the submission is the 250-word summary and the methodology.

If applying on behalf of a newsroom, please choose a lead journalist (or journalists) to submit the proposal, and we'd appreciate only one proposal submission per journalist or newsroom. 

This grant opportunity is now open, and applications will be reviewed on a first come, rolling basis. We will prioritize proposals that can be completed, including publication, in 1-4 months.


Who is eligible to apply?

This opportunity is open to all U.S.-based journalists with a plan to publish or broadcast their climate stories with a newsroom based in a U.S. coastal state or region. We strongly encourage proposals from journalists and newsrooms who represent a broad array of social, racial, ethnic, underrepresented groups, and economic backgrounds.

When will you be notifying applicants on whether they've been selected?

We begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received and typically notify applicants within a month if they're being considered for support. We will prioritize proposals that can be completed, including publication, in 1-4 months. If there is some urgency to the funding request, the applicant should state the reason in the application.

What is the budget range for the proposals?

We will consider projects of any scope and size and scope and the ideal range for the most awards will be be between $2,000-$8,000.

Do you pay stipends or salaries for freelance journalists?

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 or data vis/story designers 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.

What are examples of editorial products or project expenses that the Pulitzer Center grants DON’T cover? 

  • Books (we can support a story that might become part of a book, as long as the story is published independently in a media outlet) 
  • Feature-length films (we do support short documentaries with ambitious distribution plans) 
  • Staff salaries 
  • Equipment purchases (equipment rentals are considered on a case-by-case basis) 
  • An outlet’s general expenses (for example rent, utilities, insurance) 
  • Seed money for start-ups
  • Routine breaking news and coverage 
  • Advocacy/marketing campaigns 
  • Data projects aimed solely at academic research. Data should be developed to enhance/support journalism. 

Still have questions?

Please email [email protected].

Funding for this initiative is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Science and Educational
Media Group. The Pulitzer Center and HHMI are committed to supporting journalists from diverse backgrounds and of all nationalities.