Khadija Ismayilova Investigative Journalism Fellowship

​The Khadija Ismayilova Investigative Journalism Fellowship is a living tribute to Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning Azeri journalist, who was imprisoned by authorities on December 5, 2014 and sentenced to 7.5 years in jail in an attempt to silence her.

Learn more about Khadija Ismayilova’s work and the campaign to free her.

This Fellowship seeks to ensure that her voice is heard, and that her work to use journalism in support of democracy continues. It is sponsored by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in partnership with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Program Description

The Fellowship will support reporting projects within RFE/RL’s broadcast region that investigate persons in power and corruption.

The Fellowship is for a six-month period, during which the Fellow will be placed with an appropriate RFE/RL local bureau and visit RFE/RL’s Prague headquarters to receive training and mentoring in modern, western journalistic practices, and to conduct supervised research. Specific training in investigative techniques and additional professional support will be provided by OCCRP and other partners.

The Fellowship can be used to produce a specific investigative report, or to advance an ongoing investigative project. Some work must be completed by the end of the Fellowship for publication by RFE/RL or its partners.

Fellows will receive any necessary visa support to participate in the Fellowship, round-trip travel to Prague, housing, insurance, and a monthly stipend for the period of the program. Additional resources for research purposes may be available.


Download the Application for the Khadija Ismayilova Investigative Journalism Fellowship.

Completed applications must be submitted via email to <[email protected]> by 0600 CET on February 1, 2016.

The Fellowship will be awarded on a competitive basis to one candidate who is a citizen of an RFE/RL target country and has a reporting interest relating to an RFE/RL target country. These countries are: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

The successful candidate will demonstrate previous experience in investigative journalism; have a proven ability to pursue and complete an original, investigative project; and provide a compelling and plausible proposal for an investigative report of interest to RFE/RL target audiences. English-language proficiency is also necessary.


The deadline for applications is February 1, 2016. The selected Fellow will be announced on February 19, 2016. The term of the Fellowship is May 1 – October 31, 2016.