LaunchPad Career Development Grants for NextGen Journalists

Renaissance Journalism is excited to introduce LaunchPad Career Development Grants for NextGen Journalists. This new pilot project aims to support entry-level journalists—from diverse backgrounds and who are passionate about social justice journalism—by increasing their access to professional training and development opportunities previously unavailable to them due to financial barriers. Qualified applicants will receive a grant of up to $1,000 to underwrite such activities as attending a journalism conference, taking an online or in-person skills-building course, or joining a professional journalists association.


Who is eligible to apply?

To be considered for a career opportunity grant, applicants must:

  • Have at least one and no more than five years of professional journalism experience in any medium (e.g. print, radio, TV, online, podcast, data, illustration).
  • Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to covering equity and racial and social justice issues.
  • Demonstrate a financial need.
  • Reside in the United States.

Integral to Renaissance Journalism’s mission is to diversify our nation’s newsrooms and to amplify the voices and stories of marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented, misrepresented or ignored by the mainstream media. We strongly encourage early-career journalists from those communities to apply, including journalists of color, indigenous journalists, those from working-class backgrounds, women and LGBTQ+ journalists. We will also take into consideration the financial barriers and/or limited access to career opportunities that an applicant faces.

What is the maximum amount I can request?

The maximum grant award is $1,000 per person. As part of the application process, you will be required to provide an itemized budget of the cost(s) of your requested career development opportunity. You will also be required to provide a final report of how grant funds were used and what you got out of the opportunity, with receipts attached.

What types of career development opportunities will the fund cover?

The types of career opportunities we will consider include:

  • Journalism conferences/conventions
  • Journalism skills training classes or workshops
  • Professional development training classes or workshops
  • Journalism/Media networking opportunities
  • Professional association membership fee
  • Travel expenses related to attending the opportunity

The following do not qualify:

  • College tuition (or college loan payments)
  • Personal living expenses (e.g. rent or mortgage)
  • Equipment cost

When do I have to complete my proposed professional development opportunity?

Given the timing of the application, selection and disbursement process, your proposed opportunity must occur between June 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.

Can I apply for multiple professional development opportunities?

No. During this pilot project year, you can apply for one career opportunity. For example, you can apply to attend a journalism conference and include the conference registration fee and travel costs. We will underwrite up to $1,000 of the costs of the one opportunity.

Can I apply for the LaunchPad fellowship and career development grant?

Yes, but acceptance into the fellowship program does not guarantee you will receive a career development grant or vice versa. Each program has its own application and competitive selection process.

What criteria will you be using to make your selections?

Among the criteria we will use in making our selection are:

  • The applicant’s financial need;
  • The value of the opportunity in terms of advancing/helping the applicant’s career;
  • The applicant’s demonstrated interest in and commitment to principled, quality equity and racial/social justice-focused journalism.

When and how will I receive the grant?

We anticipate applicants will be selected by late April, with funds disbursed by mid-May. Once your grant has been approved, you will be required to fill out and sign a grant agreement with Renaissance Journalism before we can disburse the funds to you.

Once I complete the opportunity, what will be expected of me?

Once you’ve completed your opportunity, you will be required to provide us with a final report of how the grant funds were used and what you got out of the experience (“lessons learned”). We will have more details regarding this report at a later date. Grant recipients will also have to submit receipts for the opportunity, including travel costs, if relevant.

How do I apply?

  • Please complete the application by Friday, April 15, 2022. Note that you will need a Google email account to access the application.
  • For your convenience, here’s a copy of the application form in Word if you would like to review the application in its entirety. If the form does not download automatically, copy the link and paste it into a browser.
  • The application form will automatically save your responses, which allows you to complete the application in different sittings.
  • Once you complete and submit the application, you will be emailed a copy of your responses.


Please don’t hesitate to contact us at launchpad@renjournalism[dot]org, if you have questions, need our assistance completing the application form, or want to talk to someone about your proposed career development opportunity. We’re here to help you!


Our warmest thanks to The Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Ford Foundation for their support of LaunchPad.