The Pulitzer Center seeks applications for enterprise and underreported stories about health inequities and other U.S. and global health system failures. We’re interested in systemic barriers to all sorts of care and stories about misinformation and politicization that impede preparation for future health crises. This opportunity is open to all newsrooms and independent journalists worldwide.


COVID-19 laid bare what was clear to many already: With some exceptions, health systems around the world are woefully underresourced or inaccessible to many who aren’t wealthy. 

COVID-19 spread rapidly among essential but often lower-paid U.S. workers who were unable to shelter and work at home. Despite lessons learned from the pandemic, even routine health care remains beyond reach for many in the world’s richest country. A disturbing number of U.S. residents also continue to shun vaccines, influenced by misinformation. 

Globally, millions of people in low- and middle-income countries are unable to access vaccines. And some also harbor fear of inoculation. The pandemic and other crises have also contributed to a global surge in mental health problems, yet mental health care often remains taboo and unaffordable. 

We’re interested in reporting projects about underreported COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 health inequities, as well as solutions in the works. For inspiration, here are a few recent projects we supported:


  • A description of the proposed project in no more than 250 words. 
  • A preliminary budget estimate, including a basic breakdown of costs. 
  • A compelling distribution plan.

Proposals should include detailed distribution plans and letters of commitment from outlets where the stories will be published. The Pulitzer Center also encourages creative forms of content distribution and audience engagement beyond story publication. If you have ideas and strategies for engaging diverse audiences with your reporting project, please include them in our proposal submission form.

We aim to support teams that reflect the communities they report on. We hope this grant can help our partner organizations advance their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and commitments.

We accept grant proposals on a rolling basis. Please refer to “Tips for Writing a Successful Pulitzer Center Grant Proposal” for more information on how to apply.


Who is eligible to apply?

This opportunity is open to U.S. residents and journalists around the world.  We are open to proposals from freelance journalists, staff journalists, or groups of newsrooms working in collaboration with a project idea. We want to make sure that people from many backgrounds and perspectives are empowered to produce journalism. 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.  If there is some urgency to the field reporting, the applicant should state the reason in the application.

What is the budget range for proposals?

We do not have a budget range. We will consider projects of any scope and size, and we are open to supporting multiple projects each year. 

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, illustrators, or data visualization/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. 

More questions?

Email Pulitzer Center Senior Editor Susan Ferriss at [email protected]. We check emails daily and look forward to hearing from you.

The COVID-19, Vaccines, and Global Health Inequities grant is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and general operating support.