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How to Apply for a Domestic Violence Impact Reporting Grant

Deadline: May 7, 2021

How to Apply: 

All applications must be submitted online at this link.  When you click on the link, you will be asked to create an account. This is different from your Center for Health Journalism website account, if you have one. After you sign in, you will be asked to choose the program to which you are applying.  Choose 2021 Impact Fund, and then choose 2021 for the year.  You will then be asked to indicate whether you're applying as an individual journalist, a newsroom team or a multi-newsroom collaboration.  If two  journalists are applying as a team,  each should submit his/her own application with a joint project proposal. If more than two are applying, one should take the lead, but describe each participant's role in the proposal and provide resumes for all team members. (The application may only allow one to be uploaded; if so, email the others to  If you encounter technical problems when you're trying to apply, please contact

 The application asks for the following:

  • A personal statement
  • A project proposal
  • Three samples of professional work
  • A current resumé
  • A letter of reference
  • An Editor's Checklist signed by a supervising editor and confirming the media outlet's intent to publish or broadcast the project

Note: Applicants must also join and post a profile and photo.

After the 2021 Domestic Violence Impact Reporting Fund grantees are chosen, we will invite applications from them for one of up to five supplemental community engagement grants of up to $2,000.

Personal Statement (Including Project Proposal) [We recommended that you write this in Word and cut and paste it into the online application]

In no more than 500 words, tell us who you are, what gets you out of bed in the morning and what types of  stories you currently cover (or would like to cover). Include a description of your publication, broadcast outlet or website, including the size, nature and geographic reach of its audience and how it's measured. (For websites, we require Google analytics or an equivalent.)

In 750 to 1,000 words, summarize  a major domestic reporting project that you propose to pursue with our financial support and mentoring. We are looking for project descriptions that are in-depth and indicate that you have already done some preliminary research. Be specific about deliverables (for instance, a three-part series of stories of approximately 1,500 words each; a 20-minute radio documentary; five evening newscast TV segments, and so on).  Click here for some subtopics on which we're especially interested in receiving proposals.

In your description, summarize likely themes, multimedia components and any social media and audience/community engagement strategies you anticipate, such as community forums, interactive digital features, partnerships with other media outlets or community organizations and so on. Tell us what sources you anticipate consulting, as well as what size grant you are seeking and  how you would spend it. Your proposal should be well researched and should demonstrate that you have done some deep thinking about the relevance of the topic to your community. We're looking for impact, so tell us what problem your project will expose and what might happen as a result of increased awareness by the public and policymakers. If you write or broadcast for a mainstream media outlet and your proposed project deals with health issues that affect an ethnic community, we strongly suggest that you arrange co-publication or co-broadcast in an ethnic media outlet as well. 

Three Samples of Your Work: Submit three samples of your best work. (For work that has only appeared online, please provide working URLs, as well as Word documents or PDFs of the published stories.) Broadcasters should submit links to working URLs of their online stories or CDs/DVDs. If you are an editor, submit work that you supervised and edited, along with an explanation of your role in shaping the content. If you write in a language other than English or Spanish, we prefer to receive translations of your work. If that is not possible, send a comprehensive two-paragraph summary in English of each story. 

Resumé: Please include a current resumé. Note:  Any misrepresentation that is discovered after you are selected for a grant will result in its revocation.

Letter of Reference: Please supply a letter of reference from your assigning editor, producer, or news director that discusses your abilities and potential as a journalist in detail and the newsroom's support for your project. If you are a freelancer and will be producing your  project for an editor with whom you haven't previously worked, submit a letter from an editor for whom you have worked before. We take these letters very seriously. The letter should discuss your strengths and the reason your project is important to the news outlet. 

Editor/Story Checklist: Download modifiable text documentfill in the description of your project, get your assigning editor's signature on it and either scan it into your computer to submit with your online application, FAX it to us at (877) 413-3873 or email it to CEHJF@usc.eduBoth freelance and employed journalists must submit this signed form as written confirmation of a news organization's commitment to publish or air the work resulting from the grant, assuming it meets its standards.

How We Select Grantees:

When choosing grantees, we consider each candidate's personal and professional accomplishments and potential, as well as the potential contribution of his or her proposed stories or project on the public's understanding of health issues. We value diversity in both our grantees and their media outlets. We encourage applications from candidates who serve non-English speaking audiences, although grantees must be fluent in English to benefit from our mentoring. We give priority to applicants who propose a collaboration between a mainstream and ethnic outlet or commit to seeking publication in or broadcast by an outlet that reaches the population being reported on (i.e. if you're proposing a project that focuses on Latinos' health concerns and you report for a mainstream outlet, you should identify a Spanish-language outlet that will agree to co-publish or co-broadcast). Grantees must be based in the United States.  Students are ineligible.

The Center will only review complete applications submitted by the deadline.

Tips for Maximizing Your Chances of Being Selected

  • Think big journalistically. 
  • Provide lots of details about what we can expect from your project.  Provides specifics, such as likely story count and multimedia components. We want to know what will result from our investment in you.
  • Tell us how you will engage the community with your project.  It's not sufficient any more to just put something out there.  Tell us how you will involve the public both in helping shape your journalism and responding to it.


Grant Terms:

All grantees are expected to:

  • Communicate twice monthly with their mentors (at least once by phone or Zoom)
  • Treat other grantees works-in-progress as confidential
  • Join and become active in our online community
  • Within five months of being selected for a grant, complete  a major reportingproject on domestic violence
  • Provide us with digital copies of all components of your project for publication on
  • Write two posts for about your Impact Fund project -- an initial blog post introducing your planned project and a "Lessons from the Field" essay after it has been published or broadcast
  • Complete a post-grant survey about the value of the mentoring experience and the importance of the grant to your ability to report the project.

 For More Information: In advance of your application, we strongly recommend a discussion about your project idea. To arrange to talk to us, please email Martha Shirk at


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