Investigative and General Reporting Award FAQ

The NIHCM Foundation Investigative and General Reporting Journalism Award recognizes excellence in reporting focused on written articles on important and emerging issues in health and health care.

Please contact NIHCM if you have entry-specific questions or technical problems when using the online entry system. We can be reached from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET.

Why did you change the name of the award from General Circulation to Investigative and General Reporting?

We changed the name of the award to better reflect shifts in journalism.

Who should apply in this category?

Entries will be accepted from print and online media outlets. If graphic or data elements are central to your story, please view the eligibility criteria for our Data-Driven Storytelling Award and submit your entry there.

If I do not meet these criteria, where should I submit?

This category is NOT for data-driven stories, documentaries, or audio production.

Documentaries will be accepted in the Television and Audio category if they aired on the web in affiliation with a television or radio news organization, or through an online streaming platform.

Data-Driven Storytelling will accept stories that rely on data elements or graphics.

How does the awards entry system work?

Our paperless awards entry system allows you to draft, edit, submit and monitor the status of your entries. You can log into the system and edit your entries as many times as necessary. Just be sure to click submit before the deadline. After the deadline the awards entry system will be closed to new submissions.

What will I need for the awards entry system?

  • contact information for the entrant and all co-contributors
  • basic citation information (i.e., when and where the article/series was published)
  • names of any organizations providing financial support for your article, series or publication
  • brief summary of relevance
  • the article (.pdf format required)
  • contributor biographies – a short paragraph for each author is sufficient (.pdf format required)

If sharing links to published articles, please also include PDFs of each article. If articles are behind a paywall, include a login to access the resources.

Please contact Mikayla Thompson at if you are unable to submit any required documents.

What is an entry?

An entry can be either a series or an individual piece of work.

Who is the submitter?

The submitter is the person completing the form via the online entry system. The submitter will not be credited as a contributor for the entry unless indicated elsewhere in the entry form. Typically the submitter is the entrant. Occasionally the submitter is an awards coordinator or editor who has been asked to submit the work on the entrant’s behalf.

How is the submitter information used?

After the submission is received, NIHCM will interact with this individual if there are any questions about the submission (such as incomplete information or illegible .pdf documents).

Who is the entrant?

The entrant is the main contact for the entry. You must choose a single entrant (typically the lead author or an editor, in the case of a news series with no lead author). If the entry is chosen as a finalist, the entrant will be notified. The entrant must be authorized to enter the work on behalf of the author(s)/publication.

The entrant is automatically credited as an author/contributor unless indicated in step 2. If the entrant should NOT be credited as a contributor to the entry, you will need to check the box next to "Entrant should not be credited as a contributor to the entry" at the bottom of the Entrant Information form (step 2).

How is the entrant information used?

The entrant may be asked to verify the citation of the entry for our finalist list. The entrant on a winning entry will determine how the prize is distributed.

Who is a contributor?

Anyone who should be credited for contributions to the entry should be listed as a contributor. It is common for the entrant to be the only contributor.

The entrant is listed as a contributor to the entry by default within the online entry system. In some cases an entrant may choose not to be a contributor; for example, an editor may list himself as an entrant instead of choosing a lead reporter, but prefer not to be mentioned in finalist credits. If the entrant should NOT be credited as a contributor to the entry, you will need to check the box next to "Entrant should not be credited as a contributor to the entry" at the bottom of the Entrant Information form (step 2).

You can list up to twenty contributors in the entry form. If you need to include more than twenty contributors, please contact NIHCM.

How is contributor information used?

Contributors to an entry will be informed via email if the entry is chosen as a finalist. They will also be acknowledged in the finalist list and invited to our awards dinner.

We understand that in some circumstances it is inappropriate to share contributor(s) contact information. If so, please select "In care of entrant" above the address fields in the Contributor(s) step. When this box is selected, the entrant assumes responsibility for forwarding and distributing NIHCM's announcements, invitations, physical mailings, monetary payments and physical awards (in case of winner) to the contributor(s).

What are the best practices for uploading documents?

Online Entry Form Requirements:

  • Standard-sized (8.5" x 11") .pdf documents are preferred. Newspaper- and centerfold-sized .pdf documents are discouraged.
  • Do not secure or password-protect the .pdf in any way.
  • The .pdf extension must use lowercase letters for our system to accept it.
  • Use only letters to define the name of the document (our system will not accept special characters such as & ' % #).
  • We recommend using Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat to create the .pdf. (Using a program such as Quark, Photoshop or InDesign to create the .pdf may cause compatibility issues.)

General Guidelines for Uploading Files:

  • Use a unique file name for each .pdf uploaded.
  • Use short but specific names
  • It is not necessary to name the entry or entrant in the .pdf file name. Instead, try to identify the piece specifically, e.g., by date of publication or topic keywords.
  • Name your .pdf before uploading as it cannot be changed after uploading.

What are supporting documents?

Some entrants like to include follow-up reporting or additional evidence of the impact of the work. You may include this type of information as a supporting document (.pdf only).

Supporting documentation is not required for entry, and the consideration of these materials is at the discretion of the judges.

How many entries may an individual submit?

For the Investigative & General Journalism Award, an individual may be listed as the primary contributor on no more than three (3) entries but may be listed as a co-contributor on additional entries.

Can an individual submit three entries for Investigative & General and three entries for Trade?

Yes, the two categories are considered two separate awards, as long as they are not the same applications.

What happens after an entry is submitted?

After you submit an entry, you will see the entry status on your Submission Dashboard change from "Draft" to "Submitted." You will also receive a confirmation email stating that the entry has been submitted. (The confirmation email will be sent to the submitter's email address.)

You will be able to edit your submitted application until the deadline.

The judges select finalists by mid March, and all entrants will be notified of the finalist decision shortly thereafter. The winners will be selected by our judges in April and announced in a press release.

Is there an entry fee?

No, there is no fee to enter the awards competition.