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The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism

Program Description: 

The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism honors Dennis Hunt's legacy by providing grants of up to $10,000 for ambitious investigative and explanatory journalism projects on critical health issues facing underserved communities. Hunt was a visionary communications leader, the late vice president of communications and public affairs at The California Endowment, California's largest health foundation. He had an enduring commitment to high-quality journalism on critical health issues. While serving at The California Endowment, he co-founded the USC Annenberg/California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, now called the Center for Health Journalism, which has educated hundreds of journalists on pressing community health and health policy issues confronting underserved communities in the United States. The fund is financed by memorial contributions from Hunt's friends and colleagues.

The grant is designed to cover reporting and publishing- or broadcast-related costs such as travel, website development, database acquisition and analysis, environmental or health testing, translation services, and a journalist’s otherwise uncompensated time. Both freelancers and news outlet employees are eligible to apply.

The Dennis A. Hunt Fund seeks proposals for stories or multimedia projects that illuminate or expose critical community health or community health policy issues. Proposals can focus on a specific health topic or delve into a confluence of circumstances and conditions that impact health, including environment; social class; crime and violence; urban development; access to health resources or the lack thereof; school absenteeism; transportation or city planning, and  and disparities in health.  Click here to read summaries and access links to notable projects over the years.

Grantees are selected by a committee of journalists and communications and public policy experts. Ten rounds of grants have been made since 2009.  You can read some of the Dennis Hunt grantees' projects here. 

One third of the amount of each grant is paid at the outset of the project, with the remaining two-thirds  paid upon publication or broadcast. Grantees also are automatically awarded acceptance in the all-expenses-paid National Fellowships in July in Los Angeles, though they do not receive the basic $2,000 stipend. Hunt-funded projects must be published or broadcast within six months of the Fellowship seminars. 

Click here for an application and more details about what's required. The application form for the Hunt grants is the same as for the National Health Journalism Fellowship, although  a more detailed budget must be submitted. Only five to seven grants are awarded each year, so we urge applicants to indicate their willingness to be considered for the National Health Journalism Fellowship alone.  Please indicate in your Hunt grant proposal how it might differ if you only receive the $2,000 National Fellowship stipend. For more information, contact Martha Shirk at

How to Support Reporting on and for Underserved Communities

Please support this important work with a tax-deductible contribution. To make a contribution online by credit card, click here. [If you're not affiliated with USC, check the "friend" box.] Alternatively, you may send a check made out to University of Southern California, with “USC Hunt Journalism Fellowship Fund” in the memo field, to:

Office of Development and Alumni Relations
USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism


The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism provides grants of $2,500 to $10,000 for reporting on critical health issues facing underserved communities.

Applications for the  grants must be filed through our online application link, which will be activated in mid February. The same application is used for the National Health Journalism Fellowship and the Dennis Hunt grants. However, applicants for a Dennis Hunt grant should submit a project proposal that focuses on a community health issue and should include a budget requesting a specific grant amount ($2,500-$10,000) and indicating how they would spend it. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Grantees are expected to attend all sessions of the all-expenses-paid National Health Journalism Fellowships, which will be held in  July 2018.


Who Can Apply: 

The grant competition is open to print, broadcast, and online journalists in the United States. Both employed journalists and freelancers are welcome to apply. Priority is given to applicants who propose joint projects between mainstream and ethnic media. Students are ineligible.


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The USC Center for Health Journalism's Impact Funds provide reporting support — funding and mentoring — to journalists who think big and want to make a difference. 

Apply today for our National Impact Fund for reporting on health equity and health systems across the country. 

Apply today for our California Impact Fund for reporting that brings untold stories to light in the Golden State. 


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