Announcing the 2024-2025 “Magic Grant” Funding Opportunity

The David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation is proud to announce the 2024-2025 Magic Grant Call for Proposals. Each year, the Brown Institute awards close to $1M in grants to help you “follow your passion and experiment with new approaches to storytelling,” to paraphrase Helen Gurley Brown.

Our “Magic Grants” are a unique blend of technology and media. Grantees develop new ways to find and tell stories —  producing platforms that extend our creativity, or creating powerful new works of journalism.

  • A Magic Grant can mean financial support for you and your team for up to a year (fellowships at Columbia, research positions at Stanford)
  • A Magic Grant can provide funding for your project — for production, prototyping, or purchasing services, software or equipment
  • A Magic Grant offers access to mentorship and our extensive alumni network

The Magic Grant program provides year-long funding awards of up to $150,000 ($300,000 for teams with members of both the Columbia and Stanford communities and their collaborators). In addition to funding, grantees have access to a distinguished advisory and mentoring group and an extensive and inspiring alumni network.

Successful Magic Grant projects have taken various forms — from novel works of journalism to new software platforms, and even innovations in hardware. Since its founding, the Brown Institute has funded over 120 projects and roughly 300 people through its Magic Grant program. A complete list can be found on our website.

To date, the Institute has funded new ventures in speech analysis and data sharing (Screenlake, Talkwell), the creation of AI-based editing tools that simplify audio and video production (RoughCut, Synthesizing Novel Video from GANS), advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning (Motico, Cable TV News Analyzer), the curation of data sets and new database technologies to support journalism (Documenting COVID-19, Democracy Fighters), and significant stories exploring new modes of expression through data visualization and immersion (Reaching for Air, 1000Cut).

The timeline for our granting and awards can be found below:

  • Proposal submission deadline: March 29, 2024
  • Announcement of finalists: April 15, 2024
  • Presentation/Q&A by Stanford finalists (virtual): April 25, 2024
  • Presentation/Q&A by Columbia finalists (virtual): April 26, 2024
  • Announcement of winners: April 30, 2024
  • Projects start: September 2024 (Summer 2024 by special arrangement)

Propose a Project

Read the full Call for Proposals, learn about the benefits and expectations of the program, review our eligibility requirements, and get answers to our most frequently asked questions.

If you have any questions about the program that are not addressed on our site, reach out to us at and

We can’t wait to see what you propose!