Transatlantic Media Fellowship 2023

Call for Applications

Free press and a diverse media landscape are a cornerstone in any democratic society. Traditionally, the Heinrich Böll Foundation has supported independent journalism through a variety of programs, including fellowship opportunities. The Transatlantic Media Fellowship, that supports well-researched transatlantic journalism, is one of them. After a two-year pandemic break, the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw will in 2023 again support a selected number of journalists for an independent minimum five-day transatlantic trip to research stories relevant to the Foundation’s work.

Transatlatic Media Fellowship 2023


The Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw offers five places for the Transatlantic Media Fellowship. The Foundation offers to enter into a performance contract of €3,000, paid partially in advance and partially after completion of the reporting. 


We seek journalists with a strong track record of publications, working in any medium, who offer new perspectives on transatlantic policy debates.

We will give special consideration to journalists:

  • from national, regional or local media outlets who can demonstrate that transatlantic reporting is a new and important perspective for their audience

  • whose story ideas would be informative for regional or local policy debates

  • from diverse backgrounds who can offer lesser-heard perspectives

  • who may not otherwise have the opportunity to conduct transatlantic research

Applicants for all of five fields: Energy & Climate; Transition in Agriculture; Democracy, Human Rights and Social Policy; Foreign and Security Policy as well as Baltic Dialogue, should be based in Poland and demonstrate a strong motivation for engaging in research and reporting on the United States.


Reporting: Each fellow is expected to publish content from their trip in any print or online medium no later than 30 September 2023. Reporting can be in the form of one longer, investigative piece, three shorter articles, or multimedia content (i.e. audio and video podcasts, photo essays or other digital storytelling formats).

Publication: Fellows must be able to either guarantee the publication of their pieces or to provide us with documentation of a completed story ready for publication. Fellows should demonstrate a strong track record of publications and/or media productions and should highlight this in their application.

Crediting the foundation: Fellows (and/or their employers) will retain full editorial supervision over the reporting but are obliged to credit the foundation for supporting their research. The Heinrich Böll Foundation retains the right to feature the final pieces on its website following their publication, either as an excerpt or in its complete form.

Active social media engagement: While traveling and developing their stories, fellows are expected to actively engage with the Heinrich Böll Foundation over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Journalists are responsible for the organization of their trip, including visa, travel and accommodation arrangements. If requested, we can provide assistance with establishing contact with the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Washington, DC.


Please apply for only one of the following issue areas:

1. Foreign & Security Policy

We encourage applicants in this category to pitch stories related to one of the following issues:

  • Transatlantic approach to relations with Russia after its invasion on Ukraine: We are looking for stories on how the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine has affected the public discourse on the engagement of US in the defense of Europe/European Union, particularly regarding the support for Ukraine. Stories could for example focus on (renewed) discussions on compulsory military service, strengthening cyber security capabilities, nuclear deterrence, or Russian disinformation and fake news impacting public debate.
  • Perceptions of the European Union in the US and vice versa: We seek reporting on how the European security policy, in particular the Polish security policy, is perceived in the US public debate or political strategies for further cooperation. Stories could focus on the different opinions within the European Union on transatlantic cooperation perceived in the US public debate or and the vision of the future of transatlantic relations.
  • Feminist Foreign Policy: We seek reporting on the role of women in the evolving transatlantic security landscape. Both more structural, as well as case-focused approaches are possible. Stories could for example focus on the representation of women in governments and state institutions or best practices to advance women’s representation and the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
  • The new grand chessboard: How is the role of the US and the EU in the global peace and security architecture changing? We welcome stories that put the recent shifts in global power relations into future contexts. Contributions could focus on potential future power dynamics between main global players such as China and the USA, as well as the implications of potential shifts for global and regional security issues (political, economic, social, environmental or else) and the green vision of international relations.
  • Other: Is there another foreign and security policy topic that is relevant to both Europe/Poland and the US that you think should be covered? Pitch it, tell us why it’s important and relevant to our work, and we’ll take it into consideration.

2. Baltic Dialogue

We encourage applicants in this category to pitch stories related to one of the following issues:

  • Relations between the US and the Baltic States: We seek an insight into political and socioeconomic ties between the US and the Baltic States and the strategic and economical presence of the US in the Baltic States. Topics can also include the role of the US in shaping the democracies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the role of the US today, especially in terms of maintaining democracy, security and sovereignty of the Baltics.
  • US military presence in the Baltic States and NATO Eastern flank: How will it evolve after Russian full-scale aggression on Ukraine? How the US-Baltics relations might evolve in the future in terms of hard security in different scenarios of the Russian aggression in Ukraine? What might be the role of China in shaping the US military presence in NATO Eastern flank?
  • The role of the Baltic States in NATO Strategic concept after 24 February 2022: What will be the role of the US in new security architecture in Europe and especially in the Baltic States after 24 February and will the voice from the Baltic States be heard in the new security discourse on the NATO and EU levels?
  • Cooperation between the US and the Baltic States in enhancing energy security: What will be the role of the US in increasing energy security in the Baltic States? How might proceed the green energy transition in the US in the current geopolitical context? What will be the role of the US in nuclear energy development/plans in the Baltic States?
  • Lessons learnt from the US and the Baltic States regarding effective measures to fight cyber threats and disinformation. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are often described as having valuable experience and practical knowledge regarding effective methods for countering Kremlin-led or inspired disinformation. The Baltics' resilience stems from historical memory and awareness, which helps to recognize the malicious methods and tactics of influence practiced by foreign actors, learn from them and develop countermeasures. However, in spite of relative successes in this area, Baltic societies remain vulnerable to disinformation and seem not to be resistant enough to the increasing polarization. Consequently, we want to deepen our understanding of that matter by showcasing successful countermeasures taken in the US which could also be applied in the Baltic States.
  • Other: Is there another foreign and security policy, energy, democracy and human rights topic that is relevant to both Baltic States and the US that you think should be covered? Pitch it, tell us why it’s important and relevant to our work, and we’ll take it into consideration.

3. Democracy, Human Rights & Social Policy

We encourage applicants in this category to pitch stories related to one of the following issues:

  • Media and Press Freedom: We seek an insight into challenges faced by media and journalists in Poland and the US: hate speech, intimidation and threats against journalists, restriction of media pluralism, suppressing media freedom through SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) as well as misinformation and disinformation.
  • Racial Justice and Debates on Colonialism: We are looking for stories on how racism influences institutions and political attitudes and shapes response to the current political and social challenges. We also seek an insight into efforts to fight racism as well as debates about the role that colonialism has played in the US and transatlantic history and the impact it continues to have today.
  • Migration and Pluralism: US has been shaped by migration. But also Polish society is seeing a growth of its migrant populations, not only through the arrival of refugees from Ukraine after the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion. This presents challenges both to the newcomers and receiving communities. We are interested in stories on empowerment and self-organization of migrants and refugees, climate-induced migration, situation of people trying to cross the border into the US and EU, as well as policies and projects that support pluralism and diversity.
  • Challenges to Democracy: Democracy in Poland and the US is facing multiple crises. We are looking for stories on how those challenges change our societies and politics. Topics can focus on the rise of populism and the long-term effects of political polarization, the rule of law and situation of the judiciary, political radicalization, anti-democratic movements and international anti-democratic networks, fair elections and voter suppression, social and economic reforms under the Biden administration. 
  • Gender and LGBTQIA+ Equality: We appreciate contributions investigating transatlantic “anti-gender” movements, ideology and international networks of anti-feminism, reproductive justice and sexual self-determination, LGBTQIA+ equality, intersectional approaches to feminism and feminist perspectives on technology and digitization. 
  • Other: Is there another major challenge shared by the US and Poland that you think should be covered? Pitch it, tell us why it’s important and relevant to our work, and we’ll take it into consideration.

4. Energy & Climate

We encourage applicants in this category to pitch stories related to one of the following issues:

  • Energy security and energy market in times of crisis: Russia's aggression against Ukraine forced Europe to cut itself off from Russian gas, securing long-term LNG supply contracts from the US. Meanwhile, Russia is stepping up cooperation with China by renegotiating the country's gas supply contract for the next 30 years. The distance between the US and Russia and China is widening. How will recent political developments affect global energy security, the role of fossil fuels and the energy market?
  • The feminist, minority and Indigenous dimension of the climate movements: In recent years, we have seen a new approach to the climate transition that has dominated the discussion on the progressive side. Leaders of the climate movement are young politicians and grassroots groups like Sunrise Movement and Fridays for Future. Most climate activists are women. How does climate change affect women and minority groups such as Indigenous peoples? What is the common goal of feminist and climate groups?
  • Climate change in a scientific perspective: In recent years, we have observed a number of climate change-related phenomena affecting the USA: fires in California, floods, hurricanes, heat and cold waves. Coasts are exposed to flooding, climate migration is becoming a reality. At the same time, the USA is seeing the involvement of large corporations in reducing their carbon footprint. Business people such as Bill Gates invest in the development of geo-engineering, the use of which is associated with great environmental risk. Where is technology going in climate protection?
  • Biden's Green New Deal and European Green Deal: After 3 years of Donald Trump's US Presidency, Joe Biden reinstated the Paris Agreement, held a climate summit where he announced his Green Deal. Both the European Green Deal with the Fit for 55 package and the Biden’s Deal assume greenhouse gas emission reductions and climate neutrality by 2050. Do the two Green Deals have much in common? Will the US or the EU lead the way in setting climate trends?
  • Other: Is there another major energy challenge shared by the US and Poland that you think should be covered? Pitch it, tell us why it’s important and relevant to our work, and we’ll take it into consideration.

5. Transition in Agriculture

We encourage applicants in this category to pitch stories related to one of the following issues:

  • Greening of agriculture: In a country highly dominated by destructive industrial farming (both in animal breeding and plant growing sectors), alternative models are still marginal in the US, but already existing and on the rise. We seek reporting on the growing movement of regenerative agriculture and agroecology (in its various forms and scopes).
  • The role of women: The grassroots efforts of trying to modify the dominant industrial and corporate food system into the system that is inclusive, just and sustainable, are mostly driven and carried out by women. We are interested in strong leadership and role-model examples in this area.
  • Technology and agroecological transition: Under the guise of combating climate change and environmental degradation, technological modernization is fostering further intensification and industrialization of agriculture, taking over the means of production by large corporations, and monopolizing the food market. But does it have to be like this? We are interested in the technological and digital tools that are being developed and controlled within farming and consumer communities. We are looking for answers to the question: what grassroots activities based on open source technologies can support food systems in the framework of agroecology?
  • Other: Is there another major agriculture challenge shared by the US and Poland that you think should be covered? Pitch it, tell us why it’s important and relevant to our work, and we’ll take it into consideration.


Please read the application instructions carefully before submitting your application. We will not consider incomplete applications. A complete application consists of:

CV: Please use a standard EU format or other including the same type of information

Cover Letter: A one-page document outlining your motivation, qualifications and experience.

Proposal: Please include the following three sections:

Story proposals: Please include a short description of the stories you plan to cover (about 200 words each). You do not need to have interviews confirmed, but you should indicate whom you plan to contact. Please also specify the language of publication, medium, audience, and plans for publication.

Travel Itinerary: Please outline your dates of travel, destinations, and possible interviews in each location. Travel should be for a minimum of 5 days and shall be completed by 31 August 2023.

Social Media Engagement: Briefly explain how you plan to engage with the Heinrich Böll Foundation in the course of your fellowship.

Work samples: Please submit two work samples. If your previous work is not in Polish, English or German, please provide a brief summary of each of your work samples in English.

Click here to submit your application. 

For questions and inquiries, please contact Aleksandra Janowska at

The application deadline is 5 March 2023

We plan to contract selected journalists and publicists by 25 March 2023.

The results of the 2018 and 2019 edition of the program can be found here: in Polish and in English.