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2023 Financial Assistance Grants

SAJA provides Professional Financial Assistance Grants to working journalists to help them pay for training, professional development, and other qualifying miscellaneous costs associated with reporting and editing. The grant essentially functions as a reimbursement of up to $500 per applicant for costs incurred during calendar year 2023.

A broad range of activities may be eligible, including: conference registration, course fees, training materials like books and software, and costs associated with fact-checking. Applicants with financial hardships will be given special consideration.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Applications are due on Feb. 28 for activities and costs expected to be incurred between Feb. 28 and April 30.



Professional development fund grants are open to journalists of South Asian descent or covering South Asia(ns) and based in the United States and Canada. Applicants must be working for news organizations located in the United States and Canada or working as full-time North America correspondents for South Asian media outlets. Freelance journalists are also eligible for the grants

The following persons are ineligible to apply: (a) current Board Members (b) any person who serves as a judge in screening and selection of candidates for grants under this program and (c) immediate relatives of (a) and (b) above.

Evaluation Procedure

Applicants must submit a statement clearly and concisely explaining how they would use the funds.

A committee of judges appointed by the SAJA Board will review applications. Applications will be evaluated on financial need and the relevance and importance of the activity the grant recipient proposes to pursue in order to fulfill their professional or reporting needs. Applicants may be interviewed by phone, Skype or in-person by a member of the committee. Winners will be notified after formal approval of the grant by the Board.

Award process

This award functions as a reimbursement of costs actually incurred or to be incurred by the grant applicant. Recipients should submit the necessary receipts and documentation to SAJA in order to receive the award.

Recipients are expected to become SAJA members if they are not already and to contribute to SAJA by volunteering at SAJA events or in SAJA’s programs, to the extent possible. Other ways to contribute to SAJA include helping in promoting SAJA activities, events, membership drives and donation appeals on social media platforms in order to help SAJA achieve its mission and expand the network. All recipients of the grants must also agree to provide an update on their journalistic achievements as soon as possible, after the grant funds are used. SAJA reserves the right to post excerpts from these statements on the SAJA website and social media platforms to share with the public the impact of the program.

Here are some of our recent awardees:

Aisha Sultan is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who also hosts a weekly podcast and appears as a regular radio and TV commentator. Her work has run in more than a hundred publications, including the The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. She has won several national awards recognizing her column and feature writing. Her work focuses on families and social change. Twitter: @AishaS

Fatima Bhojani reports on foreign policy and counter-terrorism. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs. She tweets at @bhojanif. 

Pavni Mittal is an award-winning broadcast journalist from India. She spent nearly four years at CNBC-TV18 in Mumbai where she interviewed some of the biggest newsmakers of our times and became the first and only Indian journalist to have hosted an international session at the Cannes Lions. After graduating from Columbia Journalism School with an M.A. in Politics & Global Affairs, she joined Al Jazeera English's New York bureau where she was a producer on the first Un Secretary-General debate and Trump's victory on election night. A Brooklynite, she loves cooking, taking long walks, and rooftop views.Twitter: @pavnimittal

Binoy Prabhakar is a fellow at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism in New York  and  a senior editor at The Economic Times, India's biggest business daily. He was previously the deputy editor of ET Magazine, the paper's weekly Sunday product. Binoy has been a journalist for the past 17 years, the last 11 of which he has spent with The Economic Times. He has worked with India's leading newspapers such as The Hindustan Times, The Times of India and The Indian Express.Twitter: @binawy.

The SAJA Scholarships are made possible through generous contributions from the Krishna Kumar Gaur Scholarship Fund, the Arun I & Asmita Bhatia Foundation, and numerous individual and institutional donations. To donate to SAJA and help future scholarship classes, please click here.

The SAJA Scholarships and other educational and training programs are made possible through generous contributions from individual and institutional donations. To donate to SAJA and help its programs:

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