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REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA) – Media Incubation Grants

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Publication Date: December 12, 2023
Open to independent media outlets, civil society organizations (CSOs), civic activists, journalists, bloggers, vloggers, influencers, and other creators from Moldova.
Application Submission Deadline: January 15, 2024, 18:00

Internews in Moldova, in partnership with Mediacor, is announcing a small grants competition to promote innovation and a healthy informational environment. Mediacor is a creative media technology hub at Moldova State University that offers cutting‐edge technological resources for traditional media outlets and start‐ups, bloggers, influencers, and other content creators to pilot projects and test new concepts. Applicants should focus on innovative, creative, and interactive activities that leverage Mediacor’s cutting-edge resources and develop content that promotes critical thinking skills. In this regard, one of the competition’s requirements is that all proposed projects take advantage of and use the technological resources offered by Mediacor to entice new audiences across diverse platforms and mediums.

Proposed projects should also be directly related to the applicant’s organizational mission or expertise, which may include meeting the information needs of particular groups (e.g., women, youth, vulnerable communities, the elderly, under-informed communities, ethnical and language groups, etc.), or covering specific themes (e.g., anti‐corruption, elections, media literacy, social cohesion, etc.). Media/information literacy and critical thinking should be integrated as cross-cutting elements in all projects to empower individuals with the skills necessary to navigate, analyze, and engage with the diverse and rapidly evolving information landscape.

At least 20% of the proposed project budget must be allocated to services procured from Mediacor, in connection with project-related activities. The list of Mediacor’s services and costs can be accessed HERE and should be reflected in the application form and budget.

Illustrative angles for projects include but are not limited to: 

  • Media-literacy-oriented content, such as debate clubs, games, competitions, satirical shows, cartoons, etc;
  • Online, and offline campaigns and initiatives that engage, inform, and inoculate citizens against disinformation;
  • Activities to improve people’s abilities to analyze, use, create, and disseminate information, both online and offline, more effectively and responsibly;
  • Media literacy campaigns that involve influencers, community leaders, actors, and other professionals;
  • Community activities on online information verification;
  • Viral content production to promote citizen engagement;
  • Collaborations with other COR Association residents to exchange ideas;
  • Investigative reporting and data-driven storytelling;
  • Content production that uses emerging technologies, such as AI, augmented reality, and virtual reality, to explore novel ways of engaging audiences.

The list is not exhaustive, and applicants are encouraged to propose alternative/different approaches and activities.

Under this RFA, Internews anticipates awarding up to 12 (twelve) subgrants, with a maximum budget of USD 10,000 each. The exact number of grants awarded will depend on the size of the proposed budgets of winning proposals. The final budget value will be reviewed and adjusted, if needed, with Internews guidance only for selected candidates.

Internews anticipates signing the subgrant awards between February – March 2024, with an expected performance period from March to August 2024.

To be eligible applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be independent media outlets, civil society organizations (CSOs), civic activists, journalists, bloggers, vloggers, influencers, or other creators from Moldova;
  • Applicants must be registered in accordance with Moldovan legislation;
  • Applicants should not be affiliated with elected officials, political parties, or religious groups;
  • Applicants should demonstrate commitment to using Mediacor resources to develop the projects’ ideas;
  • Applicants lacking budgets allocating a minimum of 20% to Mediacor services will be automatically disqualified.

Individuals, freelancers, and other content producers (or groups thereof) without official registration should establish partnerships with legal entities. In the absence of individually-owned channels for content distribution, these applicants should include media outlets/channels that are prepared to publish or distribute the proposed content. This plan should be described in the application and should be supported by letters of intent from these institutions.

Internews in Moldova grantees are not eligible, but the applicants could do partnerships for content distribution on the Internews in Moldova Key Partners platforms.

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a technical committee on a range of selection criteria.  Each application will receive a score, with a maximum potential score of 100 points. Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Evaluation CriteriaMax points
Proposed activities are clear and detailed20
Proposed activities reflect media/information literacy and critical thinking as a cross-cutting activity20
Novelty and innovation of the project20
Capacity and experience to carry out projects20
Cost-effectiveness (costs are reasonably set in the budget and ensure the best possible delivery of the proposed activities) 20
Total100 points

Selected sub-grantees will undergo standard vetting and due diligence procedures in line with Internews’ and donor policies.

To apply for the support the following documents must be submitted either in Romanian, Russian, or English:

  1. Completed Application Form;
  2. Detailed Budget in Excel sheet;
  3. Copy of the Registration Certificate or Decision according to Moldovan law;
  4. Copy of the Organization’s Statutes (for CSOs).

Applications must be submitted electronically to the following e-mail address: by January 15, 2024, 18:00. The subject line must include the words “RFA: Media Incubation Grants.” The documents constituting the application must be included as attachments. The email must list and describe the documents to be included as parts of the application. If more than one message is required to transmit the application, each message must be identified as part of a multi-part submission in the email subject line (e.g., “message 1 of 3”).

All applications received will be acknowledged within two (2) working days following the application submission deadline and will note the documents received. The applicant is responsible for ensuring and confirming that the emails comprising the application reach Internews representatives. Only successful applicants will be notified of selection within twenty (20) working days following the deadline for submission of applications.

The successful applicant(s) must confirm notification of selection and acceptance of selection within five (5) working days of selection notification or the selection will be withdrawn due to non-response and offered to the next most qualified applicant.

NOTICE OF SELECTION OF APPLICATION IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS A CONTRACT OR SUBGRANT AWARD. Once the selection is confirmed, a final subgrant agreement will be negotiated and signed with the successful applicant, subject to donor approval and successful vetting of eligibility.

This activity is part of the USAID and UK funded project “Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova” (MEDIA-M) and implemented by Internews in Moldova, which aims to promote the development of an independent, professional media, and to create a media sector that is more resilient to political and financial pressures.