The Louise Behan Reporting Grant in support of science journalism in lower-income countries

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) is pleased to announce the Louise Behan Reporting Grants to support science journalism.

Grants objective

The Louise Behan Reporting Grants is to support science journalists in lower-income countries [as defined by the World Bank] [2] report on stories of importance to that country or region.

Because of its experience in the training of journalists and to maximize their impact, WFSJ will make sure that the grants are used in synergy with its regular activities, such as its training programs and the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ).

Grant history

Louise Behan graduated from Ottawa’s Carleton University School of Journalism in 1978. She worked for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for 13 years. Her employer also has a long history of supporting science journalism in the developing world and has been a key donor to the WFSJ, such as for its SjCOOP flagship project and the 4th World Conference of Science Journalists in Montreal.

The Grant

With the goal of maximizing the number of recipients and make the best use of the available funds. WFSJ has often seen how a relatively small amount between 300$ and 800$ CAN a year, i.e. travel funds to a specific region of one’s own country, can help produce award-winning reporting.

For practical reasons, the grants might be divided into two payments, depending on the scope and nature of the reporting project, with an amount made available upon acceptance of the project with the remainder attributed after the publication of the reporting piece.


Reporting grants will exclusively be awarded to the journalists that have already been selected to participate in a WFSJ activity or as a recipient of a scholarship to attend a forthcoming World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ). The Louise Behan Reporting Grants will, therefore help journalists already involved in a WFSJ training activity to produce more stories meeting the criteria of good science journalism, by putting into practice training’s learning.

The WFSJ regularly implements training workshops and activities. Participants in these activities will be invited to apply for this grant. The Federation will prioritize reporting projects that promise the most synergy with the training programs.

Eligible reporting projects must meet basic criteria of science journalism. They must include a scientific perspective on an issue and include interviews of researchers or scientists.

How to apply 

If invited to apply, an online form will be made available to selected candidates.

Upon story completion, the winners agree to see their work posted on the World Federation of Science Journalists’ website and/or highlighted at the World Conference of Science Journalists.

The winners also agree to respond to questions on the impact and benefits the Louise Behan Reporting Grant has on their profession as a science journalist. The outcome will be posted as an article on the WFSJ blog that includes a photograph of the winner and will be shared across the WFSJ’s social media channels.

Grant partners

The grants are organized in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and managed by the WFSJ thanks to a generous donation from Louise Behan in support of science journalism.

[1] The grants are eligible to journalists from lower-income countries in three categories and as listed by the World Bank: low-income economies, lower-middle-income economies, and higher-middle-income economies. [World Bank database consulted August 2018]

[2] Ibid

View the Science Talks on understanding HIV/AIDS online

View or review our 3rd Science Talks on Understanding HIV/AIDS for accurate news reporting on Tuesday 25 September 2018. Our hosts for this webinar organized with Wiley Publishers were Dr. Kenneth Mayer and Dr. Annette Sohn from the International AIDS Society.

Media who view/review this webinar will learn more about:

• A brief history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
• What regions are most affected by HIV/AIDS, areas with an uptick in reported cases and the reasons for regional disparities
• How countries respond to the epidemic and the most effective tactics being used in the fight against HIV and AIDS
• Why the current approach to confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic is drawing criticism; who are those critics and what is their impact on prevention and treatment options
• What treatments are available now and in the future
• Which sources of information are most reliable for journalists reporting on HIV and AIDS

Looking back on the 2018 Kavli Prize Week in Oslo. Our fellows share their impressions.

The successful 2018 Kavli Prize Week in Oslo (1-6 September) was a unique occasion for our five fellows, all science journalists, to attend the multiple events across the city honouring the seven laureates and recognizing them for their seminal advances in the research areas of astrophysics [the origin, structure, and composition of the cosmos], nanoscience [science at the atomic scale], and neuroscience [science of the brain].

What definitely made a big impression on our fellows were the casual and straightforward meetings with the seven laureates. In this post, each of the fellows shares some highlights that had a significant impact on them as a person and on their careers as science journalists. In the following weeks, we will also publish on this blog some of the fellows’ articles based on their Kavli Prize Week experiences and exchanges. READ MORE

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MONTREAL 13 SEPTEMBER – The Board of Directors of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) is pleased to announce that Mr. Christophe Bourillon has been appointed as new Executive Director (ED).

Bourillon comes with 25 years of solid experience in senior management and communication at the national and international levels. He founded and led various industry associations, such as the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). He drove other organizations through major transformations, such as the Uranium Institute, the European Biofuels Association, and the European Robotics Association.READ MORE

Kavli Prize Week 2018 – Follow the events via our Twitter account

Saturday, September 1st will be kick-off day for The Kavli Prize Week in Oslo, Norway (1-6 September).

Follow the six-day events via the WFSJ’s Twitter account: @WFSJ  – Hashtag: #KAVLIPRIZE

This years Kavli Prize Fellows, five science journalists from Colombia, China, Mexico, Australia/Japan and South Africa, will be participating in the award ceremony and the exciting six-day program. Some of the fellows will be taking over our Twitter account and will tweet live from the events.

The profiles of the five science journalists that will attend can be consulted here. Shorty after the Kavli Prize Week we will post on the WFSJ blog some of the journalists’ lived experiences.

Also follow the events through the Kavli Prize’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.


The Kavli Prize Week 2018 is a high-profile event honoring and recognizing this year’s laureates/scientists for their seminal advances in the research areas of Astrophysics: the origin, structure, and composition of the cosmos, Nanoscience: science at the atomic scale, and Neuroscience: science of the human brain. Discover the 2018 Kavli Prize Week’s program here.

Croatian science journalist sued for revealing alternative medicine ‘bioenergy’ healer

Alternative medicine and pseudoscience have found a footing in Croatian society, so much so that they are reported as facts on public TV stations (HRT) in shows such as At the Edge of Science (Na Rubu Znanosti) and even the Alphabet of Health (Abeceda Zdravlja), which recently aired a programme about cancer focused on dubious assertions made by a bioenergy healer.READ MORE

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The second Science Talk on Tackling Ebola took place on Tuesday 24 July at 11:00 am EST. In this session, Dr. Peter Halfmann, Research Associate Professor at the Influenza Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, discussed the latest facts and figures on this infectious disease including news about vaccines.

Attendees learned more about:

  • The current situation in regions affected by the Ebola virus and if there is still any danger.
  • Where we stand with the research on finding a vaccine and if the latest human trials were successful.
  • When the vaccine will be made available for humans affected in regions by the Ebola virus.
  • What the future will bring in terms of infectious diseases, such as Ebola.
  • How local journalists can better report on infectious diseases including what they should look for, what kind of questions to ask, what resources they should use.