Call for Applications – Project 39A Criminal Justice Journalism Fellowship

Apply by March 30, 2022

The National Law University, Delhi (‘University’) through Project 39A is offering a 6-month journalism fellowship (‘Fellowship’) to journalists to undertake projects that spur debate, and catalyse change on a range of issues facing the Indian criminal justice system. In its first edition, applications are invited from freelance journalists to work on criminal justice issues in Kerala. Proficiency in Malayalam (reading, writing, and speaking) is mandatory for this edition of the Fellowship. The Fellowship will be awarded to one person.

The fellowships will be offered on a rolling basis as per project requirements.

About Project 39A:
Project 39A (‘P39A’) draws inspiration from Article 39-A in the Indian Constitution on equal justice and signals the broadening of our work on the criminal justice system in India. We undertake litigation, research and outreach relating to forensics, mental health and criminal justice, torture, legal aid, and death penalty (for more information on P39A, visit

About the P39A Criminal Justice Journalism Fellowship:

Over the course of the extensive research and litigation conducted by P39A, we have realized the value and importance of investigative, informed and sensitive journalism in building crucial debates on the criminal justice system. To further this aim, the Fellowship aims to train journalists to explore, investigate, pitch and publish long-form journalism pieces on the Indian criminal justice system. During the course of six months, the fellows will get the opportunity to:

  1. Access and understand legal files – FIR, chargesheet, forensic reports etc
  2. Read and analyse judgments.
  3. Navigate legal databases like SCC, Manupatra, e-courts etc.
  4. Interact with the litigation and mitigation teams and observe case discussions.
  5. Interact with stakeholders across the system including senior lawyers, legal aid institutions and judiciary; and
  6. Access P39A research and publications.

On completion of the training period, the fellow and P39A will mutually decide on the case/issue to be worked on. Exclusive access to case records and other materials will be provided by P39A (where applicable).

What is expected from you?

  1. Conduct in-depth research on a mutually decided topic of research/investigation.
  2. Read case documents, access media reports and brainstorm for special stories.
  3. Talk to lawyers and other stakeholders of the case, including family members and prisoners if applicable.
  4. Conduct on-ground investigation, interviews and anything else that might be required for the fulfillment of the fellowship.
  5. A minimum of one long form written piece is required for the fulfillment of the Fellowship. Any other outputs including but not limited to podcasts and video interviews will be decided in consultation with P39A at the time of finalization of the contract.


  1. Bachelors in any of the relevant fields in Journalism, Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences. A postgraduate degree in journalism is desirable.
  2. Minimum 5 years of experience working with any national print or English online publication. However, the applicant MUST NOT currently be a full-time employee with any organisation.
  3. A minimum of 5 publications in any reputed Malayalam print or online media (copies to be provided).
  4. Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking Malayalam.
  5. Prior track record of working on projects related to human rights and the criminal justice system.
  6. Demonstrable experience in working on long-form narrative journalism pieces (samples to be provided); and
  7. Demonstrable experience of collecting oral histories of individuals, families and communities, as well as the biography of things to tell individual and collective stories.

Application Process:

Applicants must fill the online form available here (accessible on and upload three documents-

  1. a)  Curriculum Vitae
  2. b)  Statement of Purpose of not more than 500 words explaining their interest in this Fellowship, and
  3. c)  Upload documents or attach links to
  4. (i) Long form journalism pieces dealing with any issue related to human rights and criminal justice that the applicant has published; and
  5. (ii) Published articles in Malayalam in leading newspapers, magazines or online media.

Only completed applications will be considered. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a virtual interview. Project 39A reserves the right to conduct further rounds of assessment.


  • Rs. 1,25,000 for the duration of the Fellowship (6 months). A travel allowance in addition to the stipend will also be provided.
  • Deadline: Applications must be submitted by March 30, 2022. Applicants shortlisted for interviews will be informed within 14 days of the deadline.


  1. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted via email. If you do not hear from us within 3 weeks after the deadline, please assume that your application has not succeeded. Unfortunately, we cannot reply to individual queries about the status of applications.
  2. National Law University, Delhi is an equal opportunity employer and P39A ensures access to legal representation for prisoners regardless of the offence.
  3. National Law University, Delhi reserves the right to conduct additional rounds of interviews or written tests/ presentations.
  4. The position shall be paid under the grants received by P39A.

For More Details Click HERE

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