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Professional Development Grants

SAJA's Professional Development Grant program provides grants to working journalists for pursuing training and professional development goals.  The program helps journalists attend journalism conferences and training programs and meet other career advancement needs.

Grants under this program must be consistent with SAJA’s goals of improving coverage of South Asia in the U.S. media, promote diversity in newsrooms and assist journalists with their professional development and training needs.


Professional development fund grants are open to journalists of South Asian descent and journalists based in the United States involved in active reporting on South Asia. Applicants must be employed at news organizations located in the United States  or be working as full-time  America-based correspondents for South Asian media outlets. Freelance journalists, photographers and videographers may also be eligible for the grants.

Immediate relatives of SAJA Board members and judges are INELIGIBLE to apply.

Evaluation Procedure

A committee of judges appointed by the SAJA Board reviews professional development grant applications. The applications are evaluated based on genuine financial need and the relevance and importance of the activity the grant recipient will pursue to fulfill their professional needs and SAJA's goals. Applicants may be interviewed by phone, video-calls or in-person by a member of the board.

Award process

Recipients are expected to become SAJA members if they are not already and give back to SAJA by volunteering at  SAJA events. They should commit to promoting SAJA activities, events, membership drive and donation appeals on social media platforms in order to help SAJA achieve its mission and expand the network. All recipients of the professional development fund grants must also agree to provide an update on their journalistic achievements one year after the award is given. 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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