The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), which received a £2 million grant in July, has started advertising for an initial team of between three and four investigative journalists.
But Iain Overton, who was appointed as MD in September, told Journalism.co.uk that the bureau will aim to expand the team as investigations demand.
"There will be small teams established for each investigation. Initially, some investigations may start as the work of an individual, but as the story develops, we will take on more people to staff up teams. These teams will usually be compromised of investigative journalists first and foremost, but journalists from a variety of different media backgrounds," Overton explained.
"As such, the collaborative relationships between print and TV broadcast journalists, or online and radio journalists, will help establish investigations where the quality of which will not only benefit from the different skills brought to the table, but also the end material will be better suited to be used across a wider variety of media platforms."
The bureau will seek to incorporate the work of the Investigations Fund, launched in June by a group of the UK's leading investigative journalists to support work in this field, by organising the fund's work to promote investigative, not-for-profit journalism, in the public interest.
"Once a core team is in place we intend to identify a number of central issues we want to concentrate on. Once we have identified these, we will invest significant resources and time into investigating them. We are interested in ensuring that our stories are not one-hit wonders, but are rather issues we will come back to again and again until change for the better takes place," said Overton.
The bureau will also work on sustainable business models for the long-term future of investigative journalism, he said.
Speaking about the foundation of the bureau, Overton said the launch of ProPublica in the US had been 'a real trigger' having already monitored similar developments in non-profit, journalism start-ups in America.
"ProPublica declared its intention to set up a newsroom of quality journalists to pursue journalism in the public interest, focusing on important stories, scrutinising exploitation of the weak by the strong, holding those with power to public account and uncovering unsavoury practices to stimulate reform," he said.
"This particularly struck a chord when it announced its intention to be persistent [in its method], which experience suggests matters as much as doing the investigations in the first place. We shared these intentions, respecting much of what its founders were proposing," he said.
"We recognised from the outset that the ProPublica model would be difficult to reproduce due in part to the sheer magnitude of its funding, a significant portion of which came from one donor. Still, it was a model we liked and were inspired by. Since then America has raced ahead and there has been the most extraordinary proliferation of organisations, many of which are philanthropically supported, addressing these same issues."