PROPOSAL GUIDELINES FOR THE 2018 LIZZIE GROSSMAN GRANT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH REPORTING
DEADLINE: Proposals were accepted through July 1, 2018, midnight local time.
WHO MAY APPLY FOR A GRANT?
SEJ members in good standing who are freelancers — not on staff at a media outlet — and have published work in regional, national and/or international outlets over the last 36 months are eligible for grants from the Lizzie Grant for Environmental Health Reporting. Not a member? Join here. (Eligibility criteria apply. See policy.)
Applicants must meet SEJ's membership eligibility requirements, so if your work has changed from being a journalist, faculty or student, please be sure you're still eligible.
If your work involves lobbying, media relations or public relations on environment-related issues, you will not be eligible for the grant, and your membership should end based on the agreement you signed when you joined. Please review requirements if you are not sure.
Applicants for The Lizzie Grant are limited to receipt of one grant per two-year period and two grants per five-year period. Prospective applicants who have served on the Society of Environmental Journalists board of directors, staff or FEJ grantee selection jury must observe a one-year blackout period before applying.
Story project grants from the The Lizzie Grant can be provided only when opportunities are funded in advance through foundation grants and individual donations. SEJ will announce new categories and new deadlines when new underwriting can be secured.
PLEASE NOTE: All application materials must be in English. Sorry, we cannot accept proposals via email, fax or mail. Lizzie grants are paid in US dollars via bank check. If electronic funds transfer is necessary for payment of your grant, fees will be deducted from your grant.
Applications for grants from The Lizzie Grossman Grant for Environmental Health Reporting will be accepted through July 1, 2018, midnight local time. Prepare ahead to submit all files in PDF format. Do not exceed maximum word count for narrative and page limit for support documents.
You will submit your proposal through an online form calling for:
- Contact information, project title, brief summary of topic and dissemination plan (up to 200 words), type of media, expected date of project completion, amount requested and types of expenses in your budget (travel, production, stipend if freelance). See below for budget guidelines.
You’ll complete your application by uploading the following, in PDF format:
_____Narrative, 1000 words maximum. Longer narratives will not be reviewed. Our review panel's #1 tip is this: “Get to the point.” Make a short, simple case for your project as unique, important and well developed. Provide detail on focus of story, timeline, budget notes and dissemination plan. SEJ will keep your ideas confidential at all times. If your project is selected, you will approve the project description to be used in public announcement.
_____Résumé of qualifications. Include links to past work (2 pages maximum).
_____Letter of support/commitment from editor(s) to publish or broadcast finished work. Without a strong dissemination plan your proposal will be much less competitive.
_____(Optional) links to clips of past work or other supporting docs. Three maximum.
_____Budget. Please review these guidelines before writing your budget. SEJ members who are full-time freelancers may request up to $5,000 to cover eligible expenses. Please apply for the minimum budget required for success of the project. Funds can be used for story expenses incurred only after the FEJ grantee agreement is signed and returned to SEJ with IRS W-9 tax form. Funds may not be used to reimburse past expenses on a project; only expenses that would be incurred after receipt of award notification and cosigned agreement can be covered. Partial funding may be offered.
Your budget should balance. List and tally sources of project support, any other funds, secured and pending, including “in-kind” values if appropriate (donated goods or services). List line items for each eligible expense. You can provide the budget in spreadsheet or document format, saved as pdf, xls or xlsx for upload. Examples of eligible expenses: travel costs*; document access fees; production costs for multimedia; professional fees for analysis, photograph, graphic design for data visualization or story-specific website development; FOIA filing costs; and translation services. *Support travel expense lines (airfare, mileage or lodging) with a note, for example “airfare per search of XX date, XX airline for XX travel dates.”
Stipend: Freelancers may request stipend funding up to $2,000 for compensation of reporting time. Stipends are intended to supplement rather than replace standard fees paid by media outlets distributing the work. For personnel lines, whether for professional services and/or stipend, include a name, number of hours and the hourly rate it’s based upon ($35/hour suggested).
Expenses NOT eligible for funding: equipment purchase or maintenance and indirect expense (rent, utilities, phone costs).
If your project budget exceeds the requested grant, state whether or not the project would proceed without The Lizzie Grant funds. Grantees will agree to report on use of funds within a year of grant payment and return any unspent funds. If your project cannot be completed, you will be expected to return The Lizzie grant to SEJ.
Applicants based outside of North America must give consideration to how they will receive grant funds. No more than $100 of a grant may be spent on accessing the funds. SEJ reserves the right to withdraw offer of an FEJ grant if funds transfer is overly complicated.
WHAT ARE JUDGES LOOKING FOR WHEN CHOOSING GRANTEES?
- What is the news value of the project?
- If the topic is broad or familiar, does the project make an original contribution?
- How strong is the publication/dissemination plan for the completed work? Who is the potential audience? What is its potential number?
- How strong is the connection between the proposed expense (i.e., travel plan, training plan, consulting expense) and the quality or quantity of eventual environmental health journalism outputs?
- What are the qualifications and track record of the applicant? Applicants must be members of SEJ in good standing. If your professional profile has changed and you are no longer eligible for membership in SEJ, you will not be eligible for the grant. If you are unsure, please read the SEJ membership guidelines.