The McGraw Fellowship
for Business Journalism
The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism
Supporting ambitious stories that "Follow the Money"
Fall 2023 Applications Due Oct. 6, 2023
Are you a journalist with a great idea for a high-impact story that “Follows the Money” but few resources to get it done? The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism would like to hear from you.
The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism provides experienced journalists with grants up to $15,000 and the editorial support needed to produce deeply reported enterprise and investigative stories that delve into critical economic, financial or business issues across a wide array of subjects. You don’t need to be a business reporter to apply; many of our previous Fellows have been generalists, or cover beats such as health care, education or the environment. Others have focused on issues such as economic inequality or corporate accountability.
We consider proposals from both freelance and staff journalists in all forms of media — text, audio, photo, and short-form video — and encourage those that combine formats to create a multimedia package. We look for projects that focus on important local or regional topics, as well as those that tackle compelling national or international stories or report on under-covered communities or issues. Journalists of color and those from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
We accept applications twice a year. The deadline to apply for Fall 2023 Fellowships is October 6, 2023. Applications for the Spring 2024 Fellowships will be due March 31, 2024. We will also consider time-sensitive projects on a case-by-case basis outside of the deadline periods. If you have a project that might qualify, please contact us at [email protected].
What kind of stories do we support? Here are some examples of our previous Fellows’ work:
- Private equity sold them a dream of home ownership. They got evicted instead. Insider.com
- Should hotels be held liable for human trafficking? NewYorker.com
- Plant burgers are way better for the planet than beef, but these 2 ingredients threaten tropical ecosystems Vox.com
- Who Killed Overtime Pay? Capital & Main
- How Long Until Alaska’s Next Oil Disaster? TheAtlantic.com
- Toxic Churn: How the legacy of former industrial sites pollutes American cities today Grist.org
- Promised debt relief, some Black farmers get collection notices Center for Public Integrity
- The promise and perils of the new fertility entrepreneurs NewYorker.com
- Hurricane fallout creates financial ruin for Puerto Rico’s seniors with reverse mortgages USA Today and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo
- Two Nations, One Aquifer: A series about water at the border Albuquerque Journal
- Company insiders are selling stock during buybacks and making additional profits when stock prices jump. And it’s legal. Washington Post
You’ll find answers to many questions in our Frequently Asked Questions, as well as more information on our current Fellows and their projects here. The Fellowship Stories page contains links to all of the stories they have published. All our past Fellows can be found on the following pages: 2022 Fellows; 2021 Fellows; 2020 Fellows; 2019 Fellows; 2018 Fellows; 2017 Fellows; 2016 Fellows; 2015 Fellows; 2014 Fellows.
If you have further questions, please contact us at [email protected].
About the Fellowship
The McGraw Fellowship provides editorial and financial support to journalists who need the time and resources to produce a significant investigative or enterprise story that provides fresh insight into an important business, financial or economic topic. We accept applications for in-depth text, audio and short-form video pieces. Unfortunately, we cannot support long-form documentaries at this time. The McGraw Fellowship is not a residency Fellowship. Even outside of the current pandemic, all McGraw Fellows work from their own offices.
The Fellowship provides a grant of up to $15,000 for each project. The exact amount will depend on the time it takes to complete the project and the expenses needed. Freelance journalists may use some of the funding as a stipend for living expenses during the Fellowship. We look for applicants with a proven ability to report and execute a complex project in their proposed medium; ideally, candidates will also have a strong background or reporting expertise on the subject of their project.
The McGraw Center provides editorial supervision during the Fellowship. We work with the Fellows to develop their projects during the reporting phase and frequently edit the completed stories. We also assist with placing the articles in established print, audio or digital outlets. The stories run on the McGraw Center website as well. You’ll find them on the Fellowship Stories page.
The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism is open to anyone with at least five years professional experience in journalism. We support work by freelance journalists, as well as by reporters and editors currently working at a news organization or a journalism non-profit. In the latter case, reporters and editors can apply directly in the name of their organization.
How to Apply
Applicants should submit a well-focused story proposal of no more than three pages through the accompanying online form. Think of it as pitch, much like you would submit to an editor at a newspaper, magazine, audio or digital outlet: give us enough preliminary reporting and documentation to demonstrate that the story is solid. The proposal should highlight what’s new and significant about the story, why it matters and what its potential impact might be. The proposal should also note where significant stories on the subject have run elsewhere and how the proposed piece would differ. Applicants should also briefly outline a proposed reporting plan and a timeline for completing the story. And while you don’t need to have a media outlet lined up for your story before you apply, if you do have one, let us know that in your proposal.
In addition, applicants should enclose three journalism samples. The samples should be professionally published work that showcases your ability to tackle an in-depth story in the proposed medium. Please also provide us with an up-to-date resume. No references are required at the time of application, but those who are chosen as finalists will be asked to provide references from two editors or others familiar with their work. Freelance applicants for whom getting references is a problem can discuss alternatives with the McGraw Center.
No budget is required at the time of application. Applicants chosen as finalists will be asked to provide an estimated budget at that time.