Earth Journalism Network (EJN) STOP Spillover Story Grants 2023

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Applications are open for the EJN STOP Spillover Story Grants 2023. EJN is offering story grants to journalists from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Vietnam to report on viral zoonotic diseases and efforts to prevent their spillover from animals to humans.


More than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases are zoonotic – transmitted from animals to humans through direct contact or through food, water or the environment. One estimate suggests that 75% of emerging pathogens are zoonotic in origin. COVID-19 highlights the devastating global consequences of zoonotic diseases, yet, more than two years into this pandemic, they do not yet understand everything we need to know in order to prevent the next one.

Public awareness of the risks of zoonotic diseases is limited, and in many parts of the world the pandemic response has been characterized by a lack of data and rampant misinformation. In order to act effectively, governments, policymakers and communities need reliable, evidence-based and robust information to make informed decisions and push for change.

To enable journalists to disseminate science-based information to the communities most at risk, EJN has joined a global consortium led by Tufts University and USAID, known as STOP Spillover, which is working to understand and address the risks posed by known zoonotic viruses with the potential to spill over from animals and cause outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics in humans.

As part of this project, EJN is offering story grants to journalists to increase public information and journalists’ capacity around this topic. With 1-1 mentoring, journalists will be well-positioned to combat mis- and disinformation and produce high-quality reporting on the threats of zoonotic diseases as well as the solutions to prevent future spillover events.

Story Themes

They welcome story ideas that focus on the following zoonotic viruses:

  • Ebola
  • Marburg
  • Animal-origin zoonotic influenza viruses
  • Animal-origin coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV)
  • Nipah virus
  • Lassa virus


  • EJN expects to award at least one grant to each target country, with an average budget of $1,200 each.


  • Applications are open to journalists working in any medium (online, print, television, radio). Freelance reporters and staff reporters from international, national, local or community-based outlets are eligible. They encourage applications from early-career journalists, but experienced reporters with a track record of reporting on health and environmental issues are also welcome to apply.
  • Only journalists based in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Vietnam are eligible to apply.
  • Groups of journalists are eligible. However, the application must be made in the name of one lead applicant. Lead applicants are responsible for communicating with EJN and receiving funds on the group’s behalf if awarded.
  • For the purposes of this grant opportunity, they will accept applications in English and French. However, stories may be produced in any language.

Judging Criteria

Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals.

  • Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of the call? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context, and overall value to the target audience clearly defined?
  • Angle: If the story has been covered, does your proposal bring new insights to the topic or offer a fresh angle?
  • Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate, and spur action?
  • Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches, multimedia and data visualization will be considered a plus.
  • Plan for timely publicationReporters, whether freelance or employed at a media outlet, will need to include a letter of support from an editor in their application, committing to publish the stories by November 30.

How to Apply

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Please consider submitting at least one day in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues.

Interested applicants should Click here to apply. For more information, visit EJN Grants.

Application Deadline: August 2, 2023


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