The George Weidenfeld BursaryBritish-German Programme

Every year, IJP George Weidenfeld Bursary gives British and German journalists the opportunity to gain work experience in the other country. Delegates work in British or German newsrooms of their choice while also researching stories for their home organisations. By fully taking part in the day-to-day journalism, the participants will get a valuable insight into the way the media work differently in Germany and in the UK as well as they will learn more about politics, economy, culture and the social fabric of the host country. The bursary was endowed in 1995. Five years later, it was named after the London-based publisher Lord Weidenfeld of Chelsea.


Delegates receive a lump sum of 3,800 Euro in order to cover most of their travel, accommodation and living expenses. They are expected to use their own funds for any further costs. Payment for their work with the host media is not envisaged.


Journalists between the age of 18 and 40 years who regularly contribute as staff or freelance journalists to the German or British media can apply. There is no formal language requirement concerning the host language. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended for German applicants to present evidence of fluency in English in their application. British applicants do not have to have any prior knowledge of German, though we recommend that they start to prepare themselves to work in a mostly German language workplace once the bursary is granted.  The conferences are primarily conducted in English. IJP put great emphasis on intensive individual preparation by participants prior to departure and look for applicants with relevant interests and expertise.

All applicants are asked to send the following documents (in English or German language) via e-mail to the address given in the right margin of this page:

  • CV, incl. photograph
  • letter of recommendation by an editor, supporting the application
  • four written samples of work (TV and radio journalists are asked to send a comprehensive list of contributions)
  • preferences of host media outlets

If applicants are in contact with media organizations and if they have worked for any media organization in the host country, this should be indicated.



Through its exchange programmes, IJP support journalists in two ways: It provides a unique vocational qualification and new career horizons for the participants. Secondly, it promotes Germany and the UK abroad and contributes to more in depth and informed reporting of foreign affairs in the British and the German media. At the same time, the IJP Alumni network fosters professional and personal contacts amongst participants. More than 2,700 journalists have taken part in IJP programmes since 1988.

The world-wide IJP alumni network is unique. Many former delegates of IJP programmes are distinguished correspondents, reporters or book authors. Some hold leading editorial as well as managerial positions in the international media industry. Exchange of ideas amongst them is an important aim of the IJP. Regular Alumni events and newsletters keep all former participants up to date on the current programmes and on colleagues with whom they have in many cases developed very good personal contacts and become friends. Meetings such as regular (annual) Alumni dinners as well as informal events such as picnics, brunches and other trips are part of IJP's Alumni reunion activities.
Keynote Speakers at the Alumni-dinner of IJP's British-German Programme:

  • 2000: Richard von Weizsaecker, former German President (in Berlin)
  • 2001: The Lord Hurd of Westwell, former Secretary of State (in London)
  • 2002: Andrew Gowers, then editor of the Financial Times and founder of the Financial Times Deutschland (in London)
  • 2003: Helmut Kohl, former German Chancellor (in Berlin)
  • 2004: Thomas Middelhoff, former CEO of Bertelsmann, now CEO of KarstadtQuelle AG and a board member of the New York Times (in London)
  • 2005: The Lord May of Oxford, then President of The Royal Society (in Berlin)
  • 2006: Otto Schily, former German Minister of the Interior (in Berlin); David Schlesinger, Global Managing Editor of Reuters plc. (in London)
  • 2007: David Montgomery, CEO of Mecom (in London); Hans-Werner Kilz, Editor, Süddeutsche Zeitung (in Berlin)
  • 2008: Alan Rusbridger, Editor, The Guardian (in London); Alexander Dibelius, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co (in Berlin).
  • 2009:  Gala-Dinner in honour of Lord Weidenfeld's 90th birthday – nine speeches were held on every decade of the Lord's life: Anthony C. Grayling, Philosopher (2010's); The Lord Heseltine, Founder of Haymarket Media, former Home Secretary and Dep. Prime Minister (1980's); Thomas Kielinger, OBE, Correspondent of the German daily Die Welt and book author (1990's); Dr Denis MacShane, Labour MP for Rotherham, former Minister for Europe (1970's); five decades were covered by the following Alumni of the programme: Rob Davies (1920's/1930's), Mark Espiner (1940's), Helen Pidd (1950'S), Michelle Henry (1960's), Richard Edgar (2000's) (in London) 
  • 2010: Lionel Barber, Editor in Chief, Financial Times London
  • 2011: David Miliband, MP (in Berlin)
  • 2012: Professor Christopher Clark, Professor of Modern European History, University of Cambridge (London); Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (in Berlin)
  • 2013: Andrew Jennings, CEO Karstadt (German department store company) (in Berlin)
  • 2014: David Willets, MP (in Berlin)
  • 2015: Sir Sebastian Wood, British Ambassador (in Berlin)
  • 2017: Lord Peter Forbes Ricketts GCMG GCVO, British senior diplomat, member in the House of Lords (in Berlin)
  • 2018: Peter Watkins CBE, Director General Strategy & International, Ministry of Defence (in Berlin)

Partner Media

Media organisations in United Kingdom which have contributed in the past include: BBC Radio, BBC Television, BBC Online, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, ITN, The Observer, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, Thomson Reuters, The Times, Wallpaper etc.

German media organisations which have contributed in the past include: Arte, Berliner Zeitung, Deutsche Welle, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau, Handelsblatt, Hessischer Rundfunk, Kieler Nachrichten, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Spiegel Online, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, die tageszeitung, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Die Welt, ZDF etc.


Like all IJP programmes, IJP's British-German Journalists' Programme (both the Bursary and the Conference) rely year after year on the moral and financial support from the public and the private sector.
The patrons of IJP's British-German Journalists' Programmes are the incumbent ambassadors of the respective countries:

Jill Gallard
Miguel Berger

The main sponsors of the IJPs German-British Journalists' Programmes are both governments: the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin
the Foreign- and Commonwealth Office in London.

Moreover, IJP's British-German Journalists' Programmes receives financial support from a small circle of major sponsors:

IJP thanks all sponsors and partners for supporting and trusting in the British-German Journalists Programme.