Call for Proposals
EJN is offering organizational grants to media organizations, including traditional news media, broadcast media, development media, new media and independent media to support capacity-building activities for media and journalists related to understanding and preventing zoonotic viral spillover.
Please read the following sections carefully, as they contain important information on eligibility and the application process. This call for proposals is also available in French, Khmer, Vietnamese and Bengali.
More than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases are zoonotic – transmitted from animals to humans through direct contact or through food, water or the environment. One estimate suggests that 75% of emerging pathogens are zoonotic in origin. The Covid-19 pandemic highlights the devastating global consequences of zoonotic diseases – despite this, we do not yet understand everything we need to know in order to prevent the next pandemic.
More than two years after Covid-19 became the biggest global news story, zoonotic diseases continue to be a source of debate, conflict and misinformation worldwide, contributing to limited public awareness of the risks they pose. In order to act, governments, policymakers and communities need reliable, evidence-based and robust information to inform decisions and push for change.
Journalists and media organizations are well-positioned to provide this information, but the presence of mis- and disinformation, lack of publicly available data and other barriers pose challenges to producing high-quality journalistic work about zoonotic disease spillover and pandemic preparedness. More training and resources are needed to bring journalists up to speed quickly, so they can disseminate information to the communities most at risk.
To fill this gap, EJN has joined a global consortium led by Tufts University and USAID, known as STOP Spillover, which is working to understand and address the risks posed by known zoonotic viruses with the potential to spill over from animals and cause outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics in humans. As part of STOP Spillover, EJN is offering grants to organizations to support reporting and media development activities to increase public information and journalist capacity around this topic.
These organizations will receive financial and technical support to expand media coverage of zoonotic viral spillover risk and mitigation in regional languages, conduct training for journalists through workshops or webinar series, delve into specific issues through enterprise or investigative stories, develop online courses or other resources for journalists and media professionals and other potential activities.
Project themes and objectives
We are accepting applications that seek to increase media coverage or train journalists on a wide variety of topics related to high-priority zoonotic viral spillover risks and disease mitigation. We are particularly interested in projects that help journalists find and use data and the latest scientific research in their reporting; explore ways to better explain the drivers of viral spillover and their intersections with other global issues; and elevate the voices of women and other marginalized communities most at risk.
Applications must be focused on the following zoonotic diseases. Proposals that center on diseases not listed here will not be considered.
- Animal-origin zoonotic influenza viruses
- Animal-origin coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV)
- Nipah virus
- Lassa virus
Please note proposals must take a nuanced approach to the role of gender in spillover risk and the differences in risk between men, women and other marginalized gender identities.
Proposed activities should contribute to the following overarching objectives:
- Strengthen collaboration between the media, scientists, health experts and local communities to gain a deeper understanding of zoonotic viral spillover;
- Generate greater awareness at the community and policy levels of zoonotic disease risk to help communities, scientists and policymakers identify, anticipate and mitigate future outbreaks;
- Bolster the capacity of journalists and media organizations to produce high-quality, factual, evidence-based and engaging public information on zoonotic viral spillover, prevention strategies and the most up-to-date science;
- Increase the quantity of high-quality content and media coverage on key public health themes to focus attention on the intersections between disease, the environment and social dimensions including food security, migration, gender and more;
- Empower women, the poor, youth, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups to address the disproportionate impacts of disease by amplifying their voices and increasing their access to high-quality, publicly available information.
Examples of possible activities include, but are not limited to:
- Field trips and/or training workshops that bring journalists together with experts
- Development of reporters’ resources and e-learning courses or tools
- Mentoring of journalists
- Special reporting projects
- Networking and partnership activities for journalists
- Development of new storytelling platforms
- Establishment of a journalists’ network.
Media organizations including traditional news media, broadcast media, development media, new media and independent media are welcome to apply. Please note that we will not consider applications rooted in advocacy, activism or political campaigning.
We are accepting applications from the following countries only: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam. Organizations must be legally registered in one of these countries to be eligible – we will not accept applications from organizations elsewhere looking to conduct activities in one of these target countries. Organizations must also maintain a bank account with the ability to receive international transfers and the appropriate license, if necessary, to receive foreign funding (particularly in Bangladesh.)
For the purposes of this grant opportunity, we will be accepting applications in English, Bangla, French, Vietnamese and Khmer. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to consider applications in other languages at this time, but project activities can be completed in any language.
Organizations that have received support from EJN in the past are eligible, however, we will take past performance into consideration during the selection process and may favor organizations that have not yet received our support.
EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.
Grant amount and logistics
We anticipate supporting at least 3 organizations with up to US$10,000 each in funding. Generally speaking, applications with smaller budgets will be more competitive, but we will consider larger grant amounts up to US$10,000 for projects using innovative approaches that may be more resource-intensive and time-consuming.
All applicants are required to provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided. We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for project implementation. Applicants may use a portion of the grant to purchase equipment but should clearly state how the equipment will contribute to the expected outcomes and it should make up a relatively small portion of the overall budget.
Applicants are permitted and encouraged to raise co-financing for the proposed activities, but it is not required. If you have received any co-financing, please indicate the amount and the source in your application.
We expect to notify successful applicants in late February or March, with projects starting work in April. Projects should be completed within 8 months. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting their workplan.
For projects that involve the publication of stories or other material, please note that Internews, EJN, its partners and the grant funder will be given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute those materials freely.
All applications we receive are reviewed and discussed by a panel of international judges, comprising Internews staff and experts in environmental and health reporting.
Applications will be evaluated using the following assessment criteria:
- The overall quality of the proposal;
- The relevance of the proposed project in contributing to the objectives and priorities of this grant program;
- The potential impact of the proposed project, including the quality and effectiveness of the project design;
- The innovativeness of the proposed activities;
- The financial viability and cost-effectiveness of the proposed project;
- The ability of the applicant to carry it out;
- The geographical spread of the grantees.
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- Applications should provide a detailed budget in an Excel spreadsheet with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link.
If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected]. Do not contact any other Internews email regarding this opportunity, as we will not receive it.
Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Please consider submitting at least one day in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues.
Banner image: A market in Kampala, Uganda / Credit: Social Income, Unsplash.