2021 Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Transatlantic Media Fellowships for Journalists

Deadline: June 14, 2021.

Transatlantic Media Fellowships are coming back to the real world! As Germany is headed into elections this fall, and as the Biden administration is changing the course of US domestic and foreign policy, we’re thrilled to see that travel seems to be possible after a year of digital-only fellowships in 2020. In this transition period, we accept applications for either travel-based or virtual research and reporting.

The Transatlantic Media Fellowship program supports well-researched transatlantic journalism. As in previous years, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Washington, DC, will give a select number of journalists from the United States, Canada, and Germany the opportunity for on-the-ground reporting relevant to the foundation’s work on climate & energy policy, democracy & social policy, or technology & digital policy. They will not be able to offer a specific fellowship in the field of foreign and security policy this year, but plan to include this area again in 2022.


Climate & Energy Policy

Applicants in this category should pitch stories on climate and energy policy/issues in the United States, Canada, or in EU member states. Possible topics include:

  • The Green New Deal / The European Green Deal
  • Green stimulus packages
  • Phase-out of fossil fuels and nuclear power
  • Transformation towards renewable energy
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Environmental justice
  • Methane emissions
  • Climate change litigation

2. Democracy & Social Policy

Applicants in this category should pitch stories on challenges to democracy in the United States, Canada or in EU member states. Possible topics include:

  • The upcoming German federal election in September 2021
  • Challenges to democracy, such as radicalization and anti-democratic movements
  • Migration (climate-induced migration is of particular interest)
  • LGBTQ, gender equality and racial justice
  • Debates on colonialism and historical reconciliation (Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung)
  • US society and transatlantic relations in a post-Trump era
  • Social, democratic and economic reforms under the Biden administration

3. Technology & Digital Policy

Applicants in this category should pitch stories on technology and digital policy in North America (United States and/or Canada) or in EU member states. Possible topics include:

  • EU, US or transatlantic digital governance debates (e.g. platform regulation, privacy, data flows)
  • Debates on disinformation and misinformation online
  • EU, US or transatlantic debates over digital innovation and competition with China
  • Digital technologies and sustainability
  • Public interest technology and open data
  • Ethical debates about the use of data and digital technologies


 They seek journalists with a strong track record of publications who offer new perspectives on transatlantic policy debates. Fellowships are open to journalists in any medium.

Applicants should be:

  • based in the United States or Canada and demonstrate a strong motivation for engaging in research and reporting about Europe; OR
  • based in Germany and demonstrate a strong motivation for engaging in research and reporting about the United States or Canada

They will give special consideration to journalists

  • from regional or local media outlets
  • from diverse backgrounds who can offer lesser-heard perspectives
  • who may not otherwise have the opportunity to conduct transatlantic research


  • A stipend of $3,500 for an on-the-ground fellowship (including transatlantic travel); OR
  • A stipend of $1,500 for a digital fellowship (virtual interviews, no travel)


Applications should consist of:

  • Resume: Please use a standard US format (no picture, date of birth, religion or marital status).
  • 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), and whom you plan to contact for interviews.
    • Publication plan: Specify your plan for publication (language and target publication).
    • Social media: Briefly explain how you plan to engage with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Washington, DC in the course of your fellowship.
  • Work samples: Please submit two work samples. If your previous work is not in English, German, Spanish, or French, please provide a brief summary of each of your work samples


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