CiFAR's second investigative journalism programme

We wish to thank all applicants. The call for applications is now closed. We will be in touch soon with shortlisted applicants.

CiFAR is a civil society organisation committed to fighting the flow of corrupt wealth by political leaders across borders and to secure the return of any stolen money to the victims of grand corruption. To do this we work closely with both civil society organisations and investigative journalists across the world to investigate, expose, and secure the return of dark money.

These flows of money affect both richer and poorer countries. Illicitly acquired wealth is funnelled into Europe and North America, amongst other financial centres, by corrupt officials keen to hide their wealth outside of their home countries and beyond the reach of domestic law enforcement.

This money often originates from poorer countries, especially where political power is in the hands of the few and opposition is limited and is transferred through offshore havens to reach its destination. In richer countries, the exposure of this wealth by journalists also exposes the complicity of financial centres and institutions in supporting oppression overseas, in poorer countries it has lead to reactions that have changed the political system.

In 2017 and 2018 we organised our first programme dedicated to supporting young investigative journalists to investigate illicit financial flows. Bringing together 20 journalists from Europe and North Africa, we trained them in both how cross-border financial crime by political figures works and how to investigate these cases, including how to do this in a safer way. We then worked with them in groups to actually investigate cases and supported them to develop, pitch and publish their stories. You can read the stories here.

In January 2020, we will hold the second instalment of Investigate – this time open to applicants from North Africa, the Western Balkans and Western Europe. With this combination we aim to support journalists to develop stories that are more in-depth and more cross-regional than ever before.

You’ll spend five days in Skopje learning and improving your skills in investigative journalism with a focus on financial crime by public officials. Following that, you’ll spend three days in Berlin at an investigative journalism camp, where you’ll work on stories in teams with other, experienced young journalists. Teams will be able to pitch for funding to develop their stories, to attend further networking and training events and we’ll also support you to develop your stories through a mentor and pitch them for publication.

About you

  • An early career journalist (2-3 years experience)
  • between 20 and 35 years old
  • Excited to move into investigative work
  • Committed to work on exposing corruption at the highest levels of public office in your country or flows of corrupt wealth into your country
  • Interested in working as part of a cross-border team with others like you
  • Able to commit to six days in January in Berlin and to working on a story with your peers for 3 months after
  • You speak and understand English to a working level

What we offer

Five days of intensive training (22-26 January 2020), Skopje with expert trainers covering:

  • Financial crime and cross-border corruption
  • Anti-corruption laws
  • Reading financial documents
  • Asset recovery
  • Investigative journalism 101
  • Specificities of investigating financial crime by public figures
  • Interview techniques
  • Online databases
  • Safety and security in investigations

Three days of camp, Berlin (27-29 March 2020) where you will work on a story with your peers. The aim of this camp will be to go in depth into your stories as a group and plan how to get them out. You will be joined by other young journalists, who you can collaborate and share ideas with, as well as support each other on your stories.

Following this, you’ll pitch the stories to us and we will provide support for further investigation and for attending events relevant to your career development via grants.

What's covered

Accepted participants will have their costs covered for the entire programme. We will cover:

  • Return flights for both sessions
  • Visa fees
  • Accomodation costs and meal allowance
  • Training costs


If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at applications@cifar.eu