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Rules + Timing

There are 10 application rounds over the three years 2018 – 2020. For each round, there is around 50,000 euro to distribute to different teams. 
The next AND LAST deadline is on 14 September 2020.
On this page you can find the necessary information about the grant criteria, application timeline, budget and grant criteria.

In general

Money Trail offers working grants for African, Asian and European journalists to investigate cross-border illicit financial flows, tax abuse and corruption in Africa, Asia and Europe.

After the application deadline, checks that formalities are in order and may call for more information from applicants. This usually takes one week.

After this, the applications go to the jury who makes the final decision.

Applicants are usually informed around 30 days after the deadline.

Both and the jury are bound to strict confidentiality—before, during and after evaluation of the proposals.

Some applications can be refused on budget grounds. See budget template further below. 


There are 10 application rounds over the three project years (2018/2019/2020). There is one application deadline left:

  • 14 September 2020, 4.00 p.m. CEST

The Jury

The applications are assessed by a separate, independent, anonymous jury of four people with ample experience in investigative journalism in Africa, Asia and Europe. The jury members are chosen by and suggested by the Money Trail consortium and the advisory board of Their names will be made public after all grants have been awarded.

The jury will decide on journalistic criteria:


Applications will be assessed based on 9 criteria in relative weight to each other:

1. Added value compared to mainstream coverage / a forgotten story13
2. Relevance in society13
3. Originality and innovative ideas, research methods9
4. Feasibility11
5. Experience of the applicants, references5
6. Saleability, newsworthiness11
7. Work effort requirement8
8. Cross-border stories, cooperation between colleagues in different countries,
pooling research capacity and knowledge
9. Being a watchdog of institutions, policies, money15

For Who?

  • Intercontinental journalist teams from Africa, Asia and Europe.
  • Regional cross-border collaborations in Africa and Asia. 
  • Exceptional proposals from individual journalists in Africa and Asia whose story includes an offshore element in a national story – where the money trail leads to a tax haven – can be accepted. 
  • European journalists planning on applying must collaborate with an African or Asian journalist. 
  • Foreign correspondents in Africa or Asia can apply with local journalists.

Letter of intent for publication

In order to be eligible for application, the journalists have to ensure that their story will be published. Therefore, during the application procedure, they must upload commitment of publication from relevant media organisations. 

Which Costs? supports costs related to journalistic research for all media. A grant can cover two types of costs:

  • Working expenses: these can include travel, accommodation, translation, access to pay-databases, etc.
    We do not support fixed costs such as office costs, investments such as cameras or computers or production costs, nor do we support food and beverages.
  • Research time (only for freelance journalists).

Download the budget template HERE (new template as of May 2020).

The total available amount per application round is around 50,000 euro: this amount is distributed among different projects. The money comes from the Dutch Nationale Postcode Loterij.

Grant Conditions

  • The applicant endorses the five ethical principles of journalism (truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity, and accountability) as suggested by the Ethical Journalism Network.
  • Every grantee signs an Agreement with that states the mutual arrangements and conditions.
  • Grants are paid in two instalments: the first (2/3) upon signature of the Agreement, the second (1/3) upon the completion of the project and finalisation of the administration.
  • Grants are paid in euro. They are only paid out on bank accounts, not via other money transfer services. Any bank charges for international payments are carried by, except for exchange rates.
  • Any journalistic product that is the result of the supported project explicitly has to mention the support of the Money Trail project.
  • The signed Agreements (at the beginning of the project) and the original receipts of the expenses (after completion of the project) must be sent in hard (physical) copy to (This is due to the legislative and highest audit requirements has to comply with, which enables it to receive funding from donors and transfer it to journalists.) Applicants can include shipping costs for these required documents in their budget.

If you think you will not be able to meet all these conditions, please contact before applying.

How to apply?

Through a secure online application module. You can enter the module by clicking at the bottom of this page.

To see a preview of the application form, you can download it here. You can download a Word document with the questions here.

Check here’s General Grant Rules. Read, understand and respect the rules for application before applying.

For more information please open this link

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