Fellowship for Journalism Excellence 2024 (€3,000 Bursary) | Apply Now!

Are you a passionate journalist from Central or South-Eastern Europe with an untold story waiting to be uncovered? If yes, we are pleased to inform you that the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), in collaboration with the Erste Foundation, is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the esteemed Fellowship for Journalism Excellence 2024.

Fellowship for Journalism Excellence
Fellowship for Journalism Excellence

The Fellowship for Journalism Excellence is a prestigious program that aims to empower journalists to engage in crucial issues through dedicated on-the-ground reporting, in-depth research, and generous funding.

About the Fellowship

Since its inception in 2007, the Fellowship for Journalism Excellence has been a remarkable opportunity for journalists seeking to pursue agenda-setting stories. With a mission to promote the development of a robust and responsible press, the program has played a crucial role in shaping journalistic standards across the region.

The fellowship is supported by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and Erste Foundation, it is designed to encourage in-depth cross-border reporting in South-Eastern Europe, with the program’s reach expanding to include four central European countries in 2020.

Benefits of the Fellowship

  • Successful applicants will receive a bursary of €3,000 along with unparalleled opportunities for professional development.
  • Fellows will have the chance to enhance their reporting skills by collaborating closely with world-class editors, benefit from ongoing mentoring and support from BIRN’s leading regional journalistic network,
  • Participate in an introductory seminar in Vienna, scheduled from May 20th to 24th, focusing on reporting and storytelling techniques.
  • Fellows will have the opportunity to win additional awards worth between €1,000 and €3,000 for the best three stories. The reports produced by fellows will receive worldwide publication in both local languages and English through BIRN’s extensive network of media partners.
  • Also, fellows will become part of the esteemed Fellowship alumni network

Eligibility Requirements

  • The Fellowship for Journalism Excellence welcomes applications from the following countries: Croatia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria,  Serbia, and Slovakia;
  • Candidates from these regions must have professional experience
  • Applicants must have citizenship or permanent residence in one of the countries covered by the program
  • They should be proficient in English, as editorial support will be provided in English.
  • Fellows are expected to dedicate adequate time to the Fellowship, in terms of research, reporting trips, attending seminars, writing and revising drafts and attending in editorial sessions.

How to Apply

  • The application process for the Fellowship for Journalism Excellence 2024 is now open until March 25th.
  • Interested applicants can submit their proposals for reporting projects in English using the official application form. Available on the BIRN website on https://balkaninsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Fellowship-application-form-year-2024.docx
  • Each applicant should provide at least one relevant example of their writing. And only one application per individual will be accepted.
  • All applications should be sent by email. Upon submission, applicants will receive an acknowledgement email confirming receipt of their application.

For more information, please visit the Fellowship official page at https://balkaninsight.com/fellowship-for-journalistic-excellence/apply-now/

Selection Criteria

  • The final selection of fellows will be made by an independent Selection Committee comprising international journalists, editors, and experts.
  • The committee will evaluate applications based on predetermined criteria. Including the novelty and significance of the proposed project. The applicant’s journalistic experience, and the feasibility of the project implementation.


The deadline for applications for the Fellowship for Journalism Excellence 2024 is March 25th.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Can I Maximize My Chances?

To maximize your chances of being selected for the Fellowship, consider the following tips from our editors:

  • Look for a fresh angle on familiar topics.
  • Be specific and detailed in your proposal.
  • Conduct thorough pre-research to support your project.
  • Highlight the uniqueness and relevance of your proposal.
  • Emphasize the investigative or analytical nature of your story.

What Are the Fellows’ Obligations?

Fellows are expected to uphold the honor and reputation of the program, produce a magazine-style article of a maximum of 3,000 words based on their research proposal, and adhere to deadlines throughout the program cycle. They must attend program seminars and work cooperatively with the BIRN editorial team.



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