The European Union has launched a call for proposals for €1 million worth of pilot funding for journalism research projects, based on an amendment introduced by the European Parliament in this year's budget.

The grants are aimed at funding investigative stories which involve two or more EU countries, with a national, regional or local perspective 'on a topic of substantial interest to a European audience', according to the European Commission's call for proposals.

In its call for proposals, which outline in detail the eligibility criteria, the EU claims it has "earmarked" a total budget for the co-financing of projects of €1,100,000.

According to a report by the European Fund for Investigative Journalism, the money will be safeguarded by an external 'Assistance Body'. This body will also be charged with appointing an expert jury to assess proposals, developing and maintaining a website, arranging publication of the results and providing "expert assessment" of the quality of the final products.

Journalism students in their final year can also take part, but they must have a working journalist 'team leader'.

Applications must be made to the European Commission by 15 January 2011 and will be retrieved by the Assistance Body for evaluation after the submission deadline. It is understood that there will be a second round of applications.

Find out more about collaborative journalism projects here, where two reporters, one from Latvia and the other from Ireland, talk about their cooperative investigation into sham marriages, supported by funding from the European Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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