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TRACE Investigative reporting Fellowship for Early-career professional journalists (Fully-Funded)

Deadline: September 16, 2020

TRACE and Alfred Friendly share the belief in the power of investigative journalism to hold the powerful accountable and strengthen democracies. In 2020, TRACE sponsored two fellowships for journalists dedicated to investigative reporting. TRACE, through its Foundation, supports projects that encourage greater commercial transparency. The TRACE Foundation was established to promote, support and fund research, investigative journalism, publications, videos and related projects that encourage greater commercial transparency and advance anti-bribery education.

The fellowship program begins with a three-week orientation and training seminar at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri designed to prepare the fellows – both personally and professionally – for the challenges of living and working in the United States. Topics for seminars and hands-on training include ethics, writing, editing, multimedia reporting, investigative reporting and data journalism.

At the middle of the program, fellows and staff come together for advanced training sessions. Fellows join the staffs of one or more major U.S. media outlets for five months.

A final seminar in Washington allows them to compare and evaluate their experiences and discuss their impressions of the American media, and to learn and practice presentations to make in their home countries to share what they’ve learned with colleagues.


  • The fellowship covers all costs of program-related international and domestic U.S. travel, health insurance and provides a monthly stipend to cover basic living expenses.

  • It is highly recommended that fellows bring additional money with them. While family members may visit for up to one month, they cannot accompany the fellow for the duration of the fellowship.

Program goals:

  • To provide the fellow with experience in reporting, writing, editing, producing and editorial decision-making that will enhance future professional performance;

  • To expose the fellow to the technological changes that are occurring in the industry;

  • To enable the fellow to gain a practical understanding of the function and significance of the free press in American society;

  • To transfer knowledge gained on the program to colleagues at home;

  • To foster continuing ties between free press institutions and journalists in the United States and their counterparts in other countries.


  • Application form. The application form must be completed in full.  Please attach one additional page to the application form if more space is needed to answer questions.  

  • cv/résumé. A curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé that outlines your professional and educational history. Briefly describe your responsibilities and achievements in each job. The CV/résumé should be one to two pages, typed and in English.

  • essays. Each of the essays should be one to two pages, 400 to 800 words, typed and in English.

1. Professional Statement.  Please describe your journalistic experience, career plans and goals, and how you will work in and outside your home newsroom to share what you learn on the Press Partners program with others.

2. Individual Fellowship Goals. Outline the specific goals you’d like to achieve if awarded a TRACE Investigative Reporting Fellowship administered by Alfred Friendly.

Letters of reference. Two confidential reference letters are required. The third reference from someone familiar with your personality, character, background, etc., is optional. References from Press Partners alumni who you know well are welcomed and encouraged. References must be written on the forms provided (pages 4 and 5) and sent directly to Press Partners. English translations must accompany letters not written in English originally. Effective letters of reference are those offering significant insights into the candidate’s ability and experiences that best indicate his/her suitability to be a fellow.

1. Required Reference #1 must be written by the publisher, editor, manager or director of your news organization.

2. Required Reference #2 must be written by your immediate supervisor – or another person for whom you have worked who can attest to your journalistic abilities and professional character.

  • Employer’s endorsement. Please have your employer complete and sign the form on page 6 endorsing your participation and granting a six-month leave of absence should you be chosen.

  • Articles. Links to four published/broadcast stories that best show your interests and abilities. Full English translations, completed by the applicant, must accompany articles not written in English originally. Note: Editors who do not have recent clips may include copies of published work along with a description of your editing role in these samples. Internet journalists must submit samples that are journalistic in nature and demonstrate that your job involves news gathering, writing, editing or producing. Broadcast journalists should submit links of video samples with translations or summaries in English if necessary.

  • Photograph. One passport-size head-shot photo, taken in the last six months.

  • Press credentials. A clear photocopy/scan of your working press credentials, press pass or equivalent.

  • Copy of passport. A clear photocopy/scan of your valid passport. Please include picture, information pages and any U.S. visas you’ve had. (If you hold more than one passport please send copies of each.)

  • Copy of driver’s license. (if applicable) A clear photocopy/scan of your valid automobile driver’s license.

** English language assessment. Top candidates may be required to demonstrate their English language proficiency prior to receiving a fellowship. Evaluations would be administered in the candidate’s country of residence.


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" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al