Bertha Challenge Fellowship Application Details

Bertha Challenge Fellowship application form | All Eligible and Interested applicants should apply online for this opportunity before the application deadline-closing date.

The Bertha Challenge Fellowship application form, requirements, eligibility, application guidelines, application deadline, how to apply, closing date, and other opportunities links for South Africans is published here on as well as on the official website/application portal.

Bertha Challenge Fellowship 2020 for Activists and Investigative Journalists (Funding available)

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Details of Bertha Challenge Fellowship.

Applications are open for the Bertha Challenge Fellowship 2020 for Activists and Investigative Journalists. The fellowship is an opportunity for activists and investigative journalists to spend a year deep-diving into one pressing social justice challenge. Successful applicants will receive non-residential paid fellowships and project budgets to work independently and together to:

  • Investigate the causes of and solutions to the annual Bertha Challenge
  • Amplify their findings to a wider targeted audience
  • Connect with diverse stakeholders for information, support and sustainable impact

The second Bertha Challenge will begin in July 2020 with a focus on our global climate and ecological crises, specifically supporting Bertha Fellows to answer the following question: How is the relationship between profit and politics contributing to our interconnected climate and ecological crises and what can activists and investigative journalists do to address this?


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The fellowships offer:

  • Income for each Bertha Fellow for one year, not exceeding USD $60,000 and commensurate with the applicant’s current or equivalent salary at the host organization – ideally a media outlet for an investigative journalist and an NGO, community organization or social movement for an activist.
  • Project funding of up to USD $10,000 for each Bertha Fellow to produce a culminating product that responds to the question posed by the Bertha Challenge. Directed toward a specified target audience, this could be a series of articles, videos, podcasts, games or drama productions, for example. Bertha Fellows working together will have the option to pool their project funding to produce on a larger scale.
  • A connect fund specifically designed to encourage collaboration between fellows.
  • Training through regular webinars, with topics on a range of issues from current debates around the climate crisis and ecological collapse to methods of investigation, methods of communicating findings through news media, storytelling, popular education and more.
  • Peer and mentor support in the form of regular virtual check-ins with Bertha staff and a cohort of Bertha Fellows. Like many fellowships, the Bertha Challenge aims to provide space for personal development. However, we also believe that work is most impactful when it is done in collaboration with peers conducting similar work on a sustained basis.
  • Network development through the global cohort of Bertha Fellows and exposure to relevant partners within and beyond the Bertha network, including our legal partners in the Bertha Justice Network, many of whom are at the forefront of creating legal strategies to address the climate crisis. Bertha can also support in strengthening local networks.
  • Global convenings of Bertha Fellows and selected guests at the start (July 2020) and end (June 2021) of the Bertha Challenge.
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  • For Activists
    • At least five years’ experience working with activists, social movements, grassroots and community organizations, social justice organizations or campaigns.
    • Strong connections to a diverse range of groups working in support of climate and ecological justice in the fellow’s city, country or region including with social movements, community organizations, NGOs, academics, journalists, progressive government officials etc.
    • Experience in developing organizing tools or popular educational products and materials including training courses, publications, pamphlets, films, podcasts, arts, theater productions, etc.
    • Experience in using research, media and the law in advocacy.
    • Affiliation to an appropriate host organization to amplify work produced during the Bertha Challenge.
  • For Investigative Journalists
    • Mid-career journalists with at least five years’ experience and a track record and passion for doing investigative journalism.
    • Strong connections to a diverse range of people or groups working in the field of ecological breakdown and climate crisis including social movements, community organizations, NGO’s, academics, scientists etc.
    • Research ability, comprehensive understanding of the political landscape concerning the subject matter, understanding of the law(s) and political structures determining policy direction and power and the ability to work independently.
    • Affiliation to an appropriate host media organization that could publish/broadcast work produced during the Bertha Challenge

Selection Criteria

  • Bertha endeavours to select an inclusive and representative cohort of Bertha Fellows that celebrates diversity.
  • Bertha Fellows will be selected on individual merit but also on their complementary skills to the cohort, their existing and/or proposed networks and prospects for long-term impact of their work.
  • Applicants may come from and work in any country, but to ensure that this cohort of Bertha Fellows is able to be fully participatory, they require all applicants to be proficient in spoken and written English.
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All applicants must submit:

  • Completed online application form
  • A brief resume/CV of no more than three pages
  • A list of 2-4 referees including name, relationship to applicant and contact details
  • A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from your prospective host organization – including commensurate salary and any benefits provided.

For Activists: click here to apply
For investigative journalists: click here to apply

For more information, visit Bertha Challenge.

Deadline: February 10, 2020

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