Ida B. Wells Fellowship

There are presently no open calls for submissions.


Named after the pioneering African-American investigative reporter, the Ida B. Wells Fellowship is designed to promote diversity in journalism by helping to create a pipeline of investigative reporters of color who bring diverse backgrounds, experiences and interests, to their work. Winners are chosen by an annual competition. 

The Ida B. Wells Fellowship provides four reporters each year with a $10,000 stipend and access to an Investigative Fund editor who will advise them throughout the process of producing their first substantial work of investigative reporting. The one-year fellowship also covers travel and other reporting costs associated with the project and the costs associated with attending the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in June. Each fellow will also enjoy access to research resources, legal counsel, professional mentoring, and assistance with story placement and publicity. The fellowship is a one-time educational opportunity and is non-renewable.

Journalists of color are strongly encouraged to apply, as are other reporters who believe their presence would contribute substantially to diversifying the field of investigative reporting. The fellowship is open to entry-level or mid-career journalists. Recent journalism school graduates, journalism students or journalism interns are eligible to apply, as are reporters in other fields seeking to pivot to investigative reporting. Applicants may be freelance journalists or journalists currently employed by a media outlet. 

The deadline for the 2017 application is March 1.

On January 31, at 12 noon Eastern time, the Investigative Fund will hold a Google Hangout to answer questions about applying. To participate in the hangout, visit this URL to request access to the meeting and use the same URL to attend the Hangout at the appointed time. 

If you would like to receive updates about fellowship deadlines and winner selection, please sign up here. 

We are looking for reporters:

•       who have great story ideas, a passion for holding the powerful accountable, and an appetite for digging.

•       with the demonstrated ability to produce a narrative feature for print or broadcast.

•       who would relish the opportunity to closely collaborate with editors.

•       with the persistence, attentiveness to detail, and organizational skills to complete a major project within a set timeframe. 

Winners will be notified in May and announced in June. Fellows are required to publish or air their projects within one year of the start of the fellowship.  Each project produced during the fellowship must appear in a U.S. media outlet.

About The Investigative Fund: The Investigative Fund incubates and supports important investigative stories with the potential for social impact, which are published in a wide variety of print, broadcast, and online outlets. The Investigative Fund does this by providing reporters with editorial advice, institutional support, and resources to cover the research costs associated with investigative journalism. Investigative Fund projects have won some of journalism’s top awards, including the Emmy, the Polk, the National Magazine Award, the Scripps Howard Award, the IRE Medal, and the Hillman Prize.

About The Nation Institute: A nonprofit media center, The Nation Institute is dedicated to strengthening the independent press and advancing social justice and civil rights. Its programs include The Investigative Fund; a bestselling book publishing imprint, Nation Books; the syndicated website TomDispatch; the Victor S. Navasky Internship Program at The Nation magazine; and Journalism Fellowships that support over 25 reporters every year.

TIPS: Before applying, we encourage you to check out investigations we have produced in the past at theinvestigativefund.org and also to do a thorough search for previous reporting related to your story idea. Please be clear about how your project has the potential to uncover or expose something new and have real world impact. If you have more questions, please download our FAQ at http://goo.gl/am3oz6, or email Kelly Virella at idabwells[at]nationinstitute.org.