EJN Grants for Investigative Reporting on Environmental Crime in East Africa 2021 (Round 2)

EJN Grants for Investigative Reporting on Environmental Crime in East Africa 2021 (Round 2)

Deadline: November 30, 2021

Applications are open for the second round of the Earth Journalism Network (EJN) Grants for Investigative Reporting on Environmental Crime in East Africa 2021. EJN is offering reporting grants to produce investigative stories that dig deep into the illegal wildlife trade and environmental crime in East Africa and beyond.

They are seeking stories that go beyond news reports of government seizures of contraband. Preference will be given to journalists whose investigations reveal why the trade thrives, the forces driving supply and demand or the syndicates helping sustain it.

Proposed stories should reveal something new, for instance:

  • How do syndicates use online platforms and social media to conceal and market their illegal trade?
  • What tools do governments and other agencies use to conduct investigations into kingpins of illegal wildlife trade?


  • About 10-14 grants of up to $2,000 each will be awarded, depending on the proposal and needs.


  • Open to journalists (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with experience in investigative reporting and covering wildlife and/or environmental issues in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. They encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media organizations—international, national, local and community-based.
  • They will accept both individual and group applications, but for the latter they ask that the application is made in the name of one lead applicant who will receive the grant on the group’s behalf, if awarded.
  • Freelancers with a demonstrable plan for publication and a letter of interest from an editor are encouraged to apply. Similarly, photojournalists and multimedia practitioners with published visual work are also eligible.
  • Stories can be produced in English, Kiswahili, or local languages. However, applicants who intend to write or produce stories in their local language need to also include an English translation. Include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.

Judging Criteria

Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals:

  • Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of this call? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined?
  • Angle: If the story has already been covered by mainstream media, does your proposal bring new insights into the topic or offer a fresh angle? 
  • Impact: Will the investigative piece trigger debate and urge action? 
  • Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches and data visualization will be considered a plus and should be explained in detail in the proposal.
  • Feasibility: Is the budget realistic? Can the story be realistically completed within the stipulated timeframe? Ideally, the proposed story or stories should be published within three months of receiving funds, or no later than March 15, 2022.


Successful applicants are expected to put these grants toward travel for field reporting, research, and production. Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using this template.

If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you must register for an account by clicking “Join the Network” on the top right of the page.

For more information, visit EJN Grants.