OCCRP Investigative reporting Fellowship Application

Download the application here (PDF). If you would prefer a Word document, email David at

Press Partners must receive completed applications by November 11, 2021.

email to:, and | subject: OCCRP Fellowship Application AFPP

The fellowship program:

In the conviction that a strong, free press is essential to the healthy functioning of a democracy, the late Alfred Friendly, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and former managing editor of The Washington Post, conceived a fellowship program that would both impart American journalistic traditions and respond to worldwide interest in the dissemination of fair and accurate news. It was Alfred Friendly’s belief that working side by side with reporters and editors is the best way to absorb the practical realities of journalism in this country and the instrumental role it plays in our society. He created the program that bears his name to immerse journalists in American newsrooms. Since 1984 the Alfred Friendly Press Partners has trained more than 330 journalists from 80+ countries and placed them in nearly 70 newsrooms for three to six months.

The overall goal of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project in this partnership with Alfred Friendly is to strengthen investigative reporting in South Asia by ensuring journalists have the capacity to expose corruption, inform citizens, and empower the public to push for greater government accountability and transparency. This involves creating a network of journalists doing cross-border investigations both in the region and beyond, as well as creating a platform consisting of technology, research and security support necessary for investigative work.

Participants must be accomplished investigative reporters from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, or Sri Lanka aged 25-35.

After the online training conducted by OCCRP, the OCCRP fellowship program begins with a one-week orientation and training seminar at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri. The training is designed to prepare the fellows – both personally and professionally – for the challenges of living and working in the United States. Fellows join the staffs of one or more major U.S. media outlets for three months. A final seminar allows them to compare and evaluate their experiences and discuss their impressions of the American media, and to learn and practice presentations to make in their home countries, sharing lessons learned with colleagues.

The fellowship arranges participants to get J1 visas, and covers all costs of program-related international and domestic U.S. travel, health insurance and provides a monthly stipend to cover basic living expenses. It is highly recommended that fellows bring additional money with them. Family members may visit for up to two weeks.

program goals:

  • To provide the fellow with experience in reporting, writing, editing, producing and editorial decision-making that will enhance future professional performance;
  • To expose the fellow to the technological changes that are occurring in the industry;
  • To enable the fellow to gain a practical understanding of the function and significance of the free press in American society;
  • To transfer knowledge gained on the program to colleagues at home;
  • To foster continuing ties between free press institutions and journalists in the United States and their counterparts in other countries.


OCCRP The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project is dedicated to developing and equipping a global network of investigative journalists who hold power to account. OCCRP provides a range of critical resources and tools, including digital and physical security, and teams journalists worldwide with trusted editors. In less than two decades OCCRP has grown into a true global network with hundreds of affiliated reporters and editors and dozens of member centers in Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Central Asia. It began operations in South Asia in 2021. More information:


A complete application includes ALL items A through J. Please check the boxes next to the items as you complete them. Applications are only accepted by email. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  • A application form. The application form must be completed in full. Please attach one additional page to the application form if more space is needed to answer questions.
  • B cv/résumé. A curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé that outlines your professional and educational history. Briefly describe your responsibilities and achievements in each job. The CV/résumé should be one to two pages, typed and in English.
  • C essays. Each of the essays should be one to two pages, 400 to 800 words, typed and in English.
    1. Professional Statement. Please describe your journalistic experience, career plans and goals, and how you will work in and outside your home newsroom to share what you learn during the Press Partners/OCCRP program with others.
    2. Individual Fellowship Goals. Outline the specific goals you’d like to achieve if awarded a OCCRP Investigative Reporting Fellowship administered by Alfred Friendly.
  • D letters of reference. Two confidential reference letters are required. A third reference from someone familiar with your personality, character, background, etc., is optional. References must be written on the forms provided (pages 4 and 5) and sent directly to Press Partners. English translations must accompany letters not written in English originally. Effective letters of reference are those offering significant insights into the candidate’s ability and experiences that best indicate his/her suitability to be a fellow.
      1. Required Reference #1 must be written by the publisher, editor, manager or director of your news organization. (Freelancers’ references can be from an editor at an outlet where they are published.)
      2. Required Reference #2 must be written by your immediate supervisor – or another person for whom you have worked who can attest to your journalistic abilities and professional character.
  • E employer’s endorsement. Please have your employer complete and sign the form on page 6 endorsing your participation and granting a six-month leave of absence should you be chosen. (Freelancers exempt)
  • F articles. Links to four published/broadcast stories that best show your interests and abilities. Full English translations, completed by the applicant, must accompany articles not written in English originally. Note: Editors who do not have recent clips may include copies of published work along with a description of your editing role in these samples. Internet journalists must submit samples that are journalistic in nature and demonstrate that your job involves news gathering, writing, editing or producing. Broadcast journalists should submit links of video samples with translations or summaries in English if necessary.
  • G photograph. One passport-size head-shot photo, taken in the last six months.
  • H press credentials. A clear photocopy/scan of your working press credentials, press pass or equivalent.
  • I copy of passport. A clear photocopy/scan of your valid passport. Please include picture, information pages and any U.S. visas you’ve had. (If you hold more than one passport please send copies of each.)
  • J copy of driver’s license. (if applicable) A clear photocopy/scan of your valid automobile driver’s license.

** english language assessment. Top candidates may be required to demonstrate their English language proficiency prior to receiving a fellowship. Evaluations would be administered in the candidate’s country of residence.