Transatlantic Media Fellowships

2019 Transatlantic Media Fellowships Application

The Transatlantic Media Fellowships programme since several years supports well-researched transatlantic journalism. In 2019, the Heinrich Böll Foundation (including our office in Warsaw) sponsors a select number of journalists and publicists 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. The results of the 2018 edition of the programme can be found here

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 and publicists 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, 2019.  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 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 August 31, 2019.
  • 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 March 24th, 2019. 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: Two years of Donald Trump’s US Presidency were marked by announcements about the crucial role of the fossil fuels (oil and coal sector) in ensuring the key role of the country on the international energy markets (especially gas market). However, it is clear now that this American administration policy is not able to effectively limit the development of renewable energy sources that are growing rapidly. Governors of several U.S. states belong to the group of progressive leaders in the international climate movement and see the energy future “green”. 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?
  • Other: Is there another major energy challenge shared by 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.

2. Democracy & Social Policy

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

  • Women in politics: The Trump presidency has “helped” sparking a remarkable wave of female activism that is based on diversity, progressive values and care for burning social issues. The last parliamentary elections have brought a number of them to Congress. Similar developments can be observed in Poland as a reaction to the divisive and polarizing strategies of the national conservative government, esp. also in environmental affairs. We are interested in background stories on local activists and their wider perception of the role of women in politics and society.
  • 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”.
  • American Perception of Polish historical policy: Reactions on the so called “Holocaust Law” and the Institute of National Remembrance have made it clear that the American administration closely follows, and partially objects, the current Polish government’s take on interpreting and promoting Polish history, esp. in regards to Polish-Jewish relations. We seek reporting on how decision makers, influencers, journalists and experts interpret this tensed situation and whether they see options to resolve it in a mutually trusted way. 
  • 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 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.

Transatlantic Media Fellowship 2018