As the deadline approaches for applications to the IJ4EU fund’s Investigation Support Scheme, journalists are scrambling to submit proposals for cross-border investigations in the public interest.

With grants of up to €50,000 up for grabs, it’s in their interests to make sure they meet all the criteria published on the IJ4EU website. But what else can they do to give their projects an edge?

“My top tip is to try to put yourselves in the shoes of the independent jury who will make the decision on who gets grants,” said Timothy Large, coordinator of the IJ4EU programme for the International Press Institute.

“Ultimately, they’re looking for good stories, so hit them over the head with what is new and what is important about your proposal. What’s the big reveal? Why does it matter? What’s at stake? Why will your story reverberate across borders? Be concrete. Don’t fall back on abstraction.”

In the video below, Large gives these and other suggestions on how cross-border teams can beef up their applications to boost their chances of receiving IJ4EU support. 

See also: Wanted: Cross-border investigations in the public interest

The deadline for proposals is September 18. See full information and frequently asked questions.

About IJ4EU

The IJ4EU fund is managed by a consortium of three organisations: the International Press Institute (IPI), the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF).

IPI leads the consortium and manages the Investigation Support Scheme. EJC manages the Publication Support Scheme and ECPMF will shortly announce a new prize for cross-border investigative journalism.

The IJ4EU programme is co-funded by the European Commission, Fritt Ord and Open Society Foundations. The programme maintains complete independence from donors in the selection of projects and strictly guarantees the editorial independence of all grantees.


We encourage interested applicants to visit the IJ4EU website and our FAQ page on applying. If you still have questions, feel free to get in touch with us.


For general questions on the IJ4EU programme or specific questions on the Investigation Support Scheme, contact Timothy Large at tlarge[at]

This text reflects the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.