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Journalism Grants FAQ's

Please contact NIHCM if you have entry-specific questions or technical problems when using the online entry system. We can be reached from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET.


Why is NIHCM supporting health journalism?

NIHCM Foundation wishes to support innovative journalism covering consumer health and health care. The reporting should have a strong evidence base and explore and/or inform the public about important health issues.


What type of support will be available?

Support can be used for reporting, writing, research, data visualizations, documentary promotion (but not full production costs).


Who may apply for these grants?

We welcome applications from journalists from national and local print, digital, and broadcast outlets, both nonprofit and for-profit news organizations, as well as freelancers. We also welcome applications from universities, nonprofits and documentary filmmakers.


What timeframe is expected for the funded projects?

Applications will be judged on their potential to produce timely results. Projects should be published within a year of the grant awarded.


What is the application process and timeline?

The awards will be made using the following process:

  • All applicants are required to submit an initial letter of inquiry (LOI) for each of their proposed projects by 5:00 PM EDT on July 12, 2021. Applications are welcome at any time prior to that deadline. LOIs must be submitted using NIHCM's online entry system and must conform to the required structure.

  • NIHCM will notify grant winners in the fall of 2021, for project start dates ranging from winter 2021 or January 2022.


How do I submit a letter of inquiry/application (LOI)? What information must be included?

Letters of inquiry (our application) must be submitted via NIHCM’s online entry system by 5:00 PM EDT on July 12, 2021. In addition to entering basic information about the submitter and the project, you will also upload a pdf narrative summary of your study.

Narrative summaries are limited to no more than 1000 words and must present information using the required structure.

You may complete your submission in stages, if needed. The Submission Dashboard of the online entry system will show the status as "Draft" until you complete your submission.


What happens after an LOI is submitted?

After you submit the LOI, the status on your Submission Dashboard will change from "Draft" to "Submitted." A confirmation email will also be sent to the submitter stating that the LOI has been submitted. If you submit a draft in error or find that you need to revise the LOI after it has been submitted (but before the entry deadline of July 12, 2021), please contact NIHCM at 202-296-4426 or nihcm@nihcm.org as soon as possible.

NIHCM staff will review your LOI submission to ensure that all necessary elements are present and legible. If any problems are identified, someone from NIHCM will contact you to resolve the issue. If the submission is complete, the LOI status on the dashboard will be changed to "Accepted."


What criteria will be used to select the winning entries?

Proposals will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Significance – Is the proposed topic area or project objective important and significant?

  • Impact – Is the project likely to result in products or other deliverables that improve the public’s health literacy or understanding of emerging health issues impacting the United States health care system and consumers, such as access to care, cost and quality, and equity?

  • Qualifications of Key Personnel – Do the key personnel have the necessary experience to complete this project successfully?

  • Dissemination Plans: Anticipated Products or Deliverables and Target Audience - Will the products or other deliverables be disseminated to appropriate target audiences in ways that can maximize the project’s impact? Does the project serve a unique or underserved audience?

  • Timeliness – Will the project be completed in a timeframe that enables it to have sufficient impact? Is the proposed timeline realistic and feasible?

  • Budget - Is the level of support requested consistent with the proposed project scope?


What types of expenses are permitted in the project budget?

NIHCM Foundation does not pay indirect costs to journalism grantee organizations. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis if your organization requires an indirect cost rate. NIHCM Foundation will consider indirect costs up to a maximum of 12 percent of direct costs.


May I speak with anyone from NIHCM about these grants?

For questions related to this initiative, please contact Kathryn Santoro at ksantoro@nihcm.org using "JOURNALISM GRANT QUESTION" in the subject line.