Transatlantic Media Fellowships

Transatlantic Media Fellowships

2018 Transatlantic Media Fellowships Application

The Transatlantic Media Fellowships programme since several years supports well-researched transatlantic journalism. In 2018, the Heinrich Böll Foundation (including our office in Warsaw) sponsors a select number of journalists from the US and Europe for an independent, minimum five-day, transatlantic trip to research stories relevant to the foundation’s work on climate and energy policy, democracy and social policy, or foreign and security policy. Fellowships are selected annually and are open to journalists in any medium. Please note that eligibility criteria differ by issue area and may vary between participating offices.

What we offer

The Heinrich Böll Foundation Warsaw offers a stipend of EUR 3,000. The stipend is partially paid in advance to cover travel costs related to the project and partially paid after completion of the reporting.  

Who can apply

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 three issue areas - Foreign & Security Policy, Climate & Energy Policy and Democracy & Human Rights should be based in Poland and demonstrate a strong motivation for engaging in research and reporting on the United States.

Note: We do not require fellows to be citizens of Poland; however, fellows are responsible for securing their own visas, if necessary. We can provide a letter of support for the visa application process.

What's expected 

Reporting: Each fellow is expected to publish content from their trip in any print or online medium no later than October 31, 2018.  Reporting can be in the form of one longer, investigative piece, three shorter articles, or multimedia content (i.e., podcasts, videos, or photo essays).

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 control over the reporting but should 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. In cases where publication with a media outlet cannot be secured, articles may be published on the website of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Active social media engagement: While traveling and developing their stories, fellows are expected to actively engage with the Heinrich Böll Foundation over Facebook ( and/or Twitter (@Boell_PL).






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

  1. CV: Please use a standard EU format or other including the same type of information
  2. Cover Letter: A one-page document outlining your motivation, qualifications and experience.
  3. Proposal: Please include the following three sections:
  • Story proposals: Please include a short description 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 must be completed by August 31, 2018.
  • 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.

 The application deadline is midnight April 3rd, 2018. We strongly encourage early applications. 

For questions and inquiries, please contact Gert Röhrborn at


Issue areas  

Please apply for only one of the following issue areas:

1. Climate & Energy Policy

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

  • Progressive climate policy measures/engagement on a local, regional and/or federal level: Last summer, US President Trump announced to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Following his announcement, governors of several U.S. states formed the United States Climate Alliance and declared that they would follow the climate change ambitions formulated in the Agreement. How does this discrepancy in climate & energy policy between the federal and state/city level reflect within the society? What are the reasons to develop such progressive measures? How do citizens and companies engage (or not) in this process and why?
  • Energy transition, phase-out of coal, just transition and economic development in coal communities: Not only in Poland and in different European regions, but also in the United States coal is part of identity, culture, and economy in several regions. However, because of economic and / or political reasons, coal regions and communities are already in or face transition process. In which way do U.S. coal communities adapt to this challenge? How do they address the economic, social and cultural aspects of this process? To what extent could renewable energy become an answer to these challenges? How does the mainstream debate on the future of coal in the U.S. look like?

2. Democracy & Social Policy

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

  • Migration policy as a political catalyst: One of the major, yet socially and institutionally contested claims of the Trump Presidency is the reduction of immigration to the United States. Does the dispute about migration organize and exacerbate political struggle along existing political lines, or does it create a new momentum?
  • #MeToo effects on vulnerable or less visible groups: #MeToo probably has been the most influential social campaign in the USA in 2017. Whereas a lot of media coverage so far has spotted mainly cases in show business, politics, academia and sports, of particular interest would be also disclosures in workplaces and everyday life, esp. when relating to vulnerable groups like the elderly, people with disabilities and LGBTQ individuals.   
  • Financing “gender backlash”:  After more than one decade of a rising attack on social diversity, gender equality and sexual minority rights, many observers in Europe perceive the Kremlin as the ideological driving force behind the massive proliferation of this propaganda. However, some sources also refer to certain evidence for the financial involvement of private actors operating from the United States. We are seeking for deeper research into the interconnections between American and European “anti-gender movements”.
  • Role of Polonia in the US: Diasporas with a high number of members, esp. when located in countries politically and economically more powerful than the country of descend, tend to have a certain amount of political influence. In comparison with Polish immigrants in various European countries, the Polonia in the United States seems to be much better organized and politically unified as a strong supporter of the national conservative camp in Poland. We seek background stories on local activists, their perception of the Polish transformation and motivation for involvement in political affairs in support of national conservative reforms.   
  • American Perception of Polish-German Cooperation: One of the major elements of the political tactics of the ruling Polish Law and Justice party in order to implement its grand strategy of “realization of national sovereignty and dignity” is to forge internal political consent through symbolic antagonizing of external partners, e.g. European Commission, Germany and France, lately even Israel and the United States. On various occasions, subsequent US administrations have expressed their increasing concerns about this developments. We seek reporting on how both decision makers from politics and business and social actors see this situation and whether it might influence its future actions. 
  • Other: Is there another major challenge shared by US and Poland or V4/Europe generally 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. Foreign & Security Policy

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

  • Perceptions of the European Union in the US: We seek reporting on how are the changing Europe “after Brexit” and different integration scenarios in the European Union perceive in US public debate or political strategies and the vision of the future of transatlantic relations.
  • Implications of the ongoing tensions with Russia: We are looking for stories on how the ongoing tensions with Russia have affected the public discourse on engagement of US in the defense of Europe /European Union. Stories could for example focus on (renewed) discussions on compulsory military service, strengthening of cyber security capabilities, or nuclear deterrence.
  • Perception of the European security policy: We seek reporting on how is the European security policy, in particular the Polish security policy perceive in the US public debate or political strategies for the further cooperation
  • Other: Is there a foreign and security policy topic that is relevant to both Europe/Poland and the US, and that you think is not well covered in Poland? Tell us why it’s important and relevant, and we'll take it into consideration.