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Grants of up to $7,500 USD for journalists reporting on global health security


Grants of up to $7,500 USD for journalists reporting on global health security

Picture of Kathryn Geels
Kathryn Geels — Freelancer
October 19, 2021

The Global Health Security Call is supporting up to 20 journalistic projects being delivered by freelancers or teams of freelance and/or staff journalists.

In a financially- and time-constrained environment, mainstream media organisations in Europe can lack the resources to fund extensive field research or ‘embedded’ journalism on big topics, challenges and solutions.

Increasingly, they rely on freelancer specialists to produce in-depth stories. Meanwhile, these freelancers need financial support to conduct in-depth field research and have their work published.

To address this challenge, we are pleased to launch a new initiative that will directly financially support journalists, connect them with each other and key experts, help them to engage decision makers, and help them to inspire other media organisations in Europe to report on big health and policy challenges and solutions.

How the Call is achieving its purpose, mission and vision
How the Call is achieving its purpose, mission and vision

About the Call

The 2021 Global Health Security Call is a project that will deliver grant funding and facilitate research opportunities to support in-depth journalistic analysis on the topic of global health security.

Its mission is to incentivise and enable impactful journalistic coverage of the topic, in order to create sustained relationships between freelance journalists and media organisations, and engage the public, key stakeholders and decision makers about the topic.

The Call will provide grants of up to $7,500 USD per project and is aimed at journalists publishing stories in opinion-forming media organisations across France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway and Sweden. Applications close on 5 November 2021 at 17:00 CET.

Why does global health security matter and how does it relate to journalism?

Global health security is the existence of strong and resilient public health systems that can prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, wherever they occur in the world.

As innovation during COVID-19 demonstrated, when there is public awareness, political will, and investment commensurate to the need, science can rapidly meet the moment and save lives. Despite this unprecedented pace of innovation, COVID-19 also showed how the Global Health R&D ecosystem still falls short, leaving huge parts of the world behind.

In-depth media coverage of issues such as pandemic preparedness, vaccine development, and equitable access is essential to keeping the topic of global health security on the public agenda and encouraging European governments to prioritise their funding commitments.

A multilateral organisation called the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is working to dramatically reduce the time it takes to develop and produce vaccines to prevent future epidemics and pandemics. With CEPI’s replenishment event occurring in March 2022 (for an investment target of $3.5B USD), global health security will continue to be a pressing issue in 2022 and beyond.

Who can apply

This Call is for freelance or permanently employed individual journalists, or small teams of journalists, that are experienced in reporting on the topic of health, science, development and/or policy.

The funded story must be published in an opinion-forming media organisation(s) that is based in and/or has significant reach to audiences in one or more of the following target countries: France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Sweden.

The published story must be either one comprehensive long-form story (to be published before the CEPI replenishment event 7–8 March 2022) or a two-part story series (part 1 to be published before the CEPI event; part 2 to be published before or after it).

Grantees will have a three-month period (beginning of December 2021 — mid March 2022) to research, produce, edit and publish their story.

How to apply

The application deadline is Friday, 5 November 2021 at 17:00 CET / 16:00 GMT.

Applications need to be submitted, in English, through the EJC’s online grants application platform.

Applications can be submitted by ‘Lead Applicants’ that are individual freelance journalists, individual staff journalists, or freelance journalists or staff journalists submitting on behalf of a team.

The applications awarded funding will need to meet the eligibility criteria and conditions of the grant and will also be shortlisted, by an independent jury, on the basis of the best/ most compelling match to specific selection criteria.

The Call for Applications documentation, which includes the full eligibility criteria, conditions of the grant and selection criteria, and the FAQs can be found here.

Do you have further questions?

If you have questions that are not answered in the Call for Applications document or FAQs, please email

You can also register to attend the AMA (‘Ask Me Anything’) session on Tuesday 26 October via Zoom at 15:00 CEST at this link: Kindly use 858060 as the passcode to enter the session.

About the Call Partners

The Call is delivered by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and is supported by $150,000 USD of grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has supported the EJC to award €6.5m to more than 200 journalism projects reporting on global challenges.

About the EJC

The EJC is an international non-profit headquartered in the Netherlands. Our mission is that every journalist and news organisation shall benefit from a European Journalism Centre programme or initiative. Our goal is to strengthen the resilience of European journalism by connecting journalists to new ideas, skills, networks and funding.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Its mission is to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. It partners with entrepreneurs, companies, and other organizations to create incentives that harness the power of private enterprise to create change for those who need it most.


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