Call for Applications: PANTAO Human Rights Fellowship on Journalism and Research

PhilRights believes in the power of storytelling as an instrument for advancing human rights. At a time when civic spaces are at risk and the journalism establishment faces mounting state and industry pressures, the public is deprived of substantial and in-depth issues-based exploration of human rights issues. Now, more than ever, we believe that human rights journalism must be harnessed and supported.The PANTAO Human Rights Journalism Fellowship is PhilRights’ contribution to the building of spaces for truthful and changemaking journalism. It is intended to provide opportunities for journalists, artists and advocates to conduct intelligent, nuanced and brave reporting on human rights issues.

Equally important is the expansion of the role of research in understanding and addressing human rights issues. The PANTAO Human Rights Research Fellowship is intended to provide opportunities for academics, independent researchers, and human rights advocates.

With the PANTAO Fellowship, we want to support journalism and research projects that reveal state abuses and wrongdoing and their multifarious negative impacts on the human rights and dignity of Filipinos.

Who are eligible for the Fellowship?

Filipinos who are professional and citizen journalists, researchers, artists, and advocates with a strong understanding of human rights issues in the country and are passionate in communicating these issues to the public. Applicants with existing affiliations and connections with reputable human rights organizations are highly encouraged to join. Individuals or teams may apply.

What does the Fellowship entail?

For the Journalism Fellowship, the 2019 round will provide a minimum Php 20,000 and maximum Php 40,000 to fund, entirely or partially, at least one story focusing on the government’s so-called war on drugs.

For the Research Fellowship, the 2019 round will provide a minimum Php 30,000 and maximum Php 60,000 to fund, entirely or partially, at least one research project focusing on the government’s so-called war on drugs.

The funds will be disbursed in two tranches, 50% upon proposal approval and 50% upon submission of first draft.

Submitted applications will be subject for review and approval by a committee of human rights experts, journalists, and researchers. PhilRights will also offer guidance in project development and direction to ensure adherence to the human rights framework and to rights-based approaches in reporting and research.
Publication and release of the story or research will be subject to editorial processes, including fact-checking and legal review.

What subject areas can be explored?

We want to support stories that involve the government’s so-called war on drugs, including issues such as:
  • Impact on the families left behind
  • Impact on communities
  • Government accountability
  • Actions taken by communities impacted by EJKs
  • Impunity
  • Legal environment and Rule of Law
  • International and local support to communities
  • Non-government support for families and victims

For the Journalism Fellowship

What story formats are accepted?

Traditional longform storytelling is welcome. Applications that aim to incorporate multimedia forms such as photography and audio-visual media are also encouraged. Any and all innovations in presentation and format must always be in the service of telling the story in the best and most accessible manner possible.

How will applications be evaluated?

The applications will be assessed by their strengths in the following areas:
  • Urgency of the proposed story
  • Impact potential on state accountability
  • Strength of storytelling approach/es
  • Public engagement potential

For the Research Fellowship

How will applications be evaluated?

The applications will be assessed by their strengths in the following areas:
  • Relevance of the topic to the mandate and objectives of the institution
  • Uniqueness and timeliness of the topic
  • Clarity and coherence of the research objectives
  • Measurability and Achievability of the methods vis-à-vis proposed timeline

Deadlines and Timetables

Applications may be submitted until Friday, October 4, 2019. Applicants will be contacted on the last week of October if their applications have been shortlisted. Additional supporting documents may be requested.
All Fellows must submit their final outputs no later than Friday, April 3, 2020.

Submission of Applications

Applications for the Journalism Fellowship may be accessed here:
Applications for the Research Fellowship may be accessed here: