In general

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.

The applications are assessed by a jury with 4 members. The members of the jury are experienced editors, investigative journalists or media specialists. They remain anonymous until they leave the jury.

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 will be 10 application rounds over the three years (2018/2019/2020). For the 24th of September deadline, there is around 50.000 euro to distribute. Find the application deadlines below:

  • 25 March 2019, 11.59 PM Brussels time.
  • 25 June 2019, 11.59 PM Brussels time.
  • 24 September 2019, 11.59 PM Brussels time.
  • 16 December 2019, 11.59 PM Brussels time.

Further deadlines for 2020 to follow.

The Jury

All applications will be screened 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:


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.

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

1. Added value compared to mainstream coverage / a forgotten story


2. Relevance in society


3. Originality and innovative ideas, research methods


4. Feasibility


5. Experience of the applicants, references


6. Saleability, newsworthiness


7. Work effort requirement


8. Cross-border stories, cooperation between colleagues in different countries,
pooling research capacity and knowledge


9. Being a watchdog of institutions, policies, money





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 as well as the national codes of ethics that are in force. (see

For Who?

  • Preferably, intercontinental journalist teams consisting of at least one African, one Asian and/or one European journalist. Each team preferably consist of journalists from two continents. Ideally, the teams must provide letters of intent for publication from media organisations in two continents.  
  • We also accept regional cross-border collaborations in Africa and Asia. Each team must consist of journalists from at least two countries.
  • 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. 
  • Foreign correspondents based in African and Asia can apply with local journalists.
  • European journalists planning on applying must collaborate with an African or Asian journalist. 

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. 

Budget supports costs related to journalistic research for all media. This can include travel, translation, access to pay-databases or simply time to research. 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.

Download the budget template HERE. Your budget must be in Excel. 

How Much?

There will be 10 application rounds over the three years. The total amount per call is around 50.000 euro: this amount is distributed among different projects. The money comes from the Dutch Nationale Postcode Loterij.

Application procedure

Please download here the application procedure. Read, understand and respect the rules for application before applying. Download a Word document with the questions here


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