LINCS now accepts projects year-round. Contact us if you have any questions.

The application review process

ITVS staff review and evaluate application materials. If your project is recommended for funding, additional materials will be requested and we will schedule a meeting to discuss your project further.

The entire proposal review and recommendation process takes six to eight weeks.

Timetable for LINCS Funding

  • Applicants must fill out and submit the online application form that will serve as a cover sheet to include with the application materials. All required materials must be received before the project can be reviewed.
  • Applicants will receive notification by email within approximately eight weeks.
  • If you are recommended for funding, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss your project in more detail.

Program funding selection

Programs are selected and funded through a license fee for public television broadcast. The detailed ITVS guidelines for funding explain the process and criteria for program selection. Decisions are based on the merits of a proposed project and at the discretion of ITVS professional staff. Decisions on program selection are made solely by ITVS, which is an independent nonprofit corporation and not within the control of any other public or private entity.

Production and distribution of ITVS funded programs

LINCS funding is not a grant. In exchange for funding and services, the producer grants ITVS the exclusive U.S. television broadcast rights. The producer is required to deliver a completed program that meets U.S. broadcast standards. Other contract points, including theatrical rights and revenue sharing, are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Here are some additional things to know about working with ITVS if you are funded through LINCS:

Content and control

  • In keeping with ITVS’s mandate, the independent producer maintains editorial, creative and financial control over the project.
  • Both ITVS staff and station staff will give editorial input on rough and fine cuts to help make the show the best it can be. This input is one of the advantages to working with a station, in that station staff have considerable insight into what makes a good program for public television and what will make it compelling to PTV programmers and viewers.
  • Input is given in the spirit of collaboration, which is the heart of the LINCS initiative, but ultimately final editorial and creative control over the piece rests with the independent producer.
  • The finished show must ultimately reflect what was originally proposed. The proposal becomes part of the ITVS contract, thus preventing major deviations from the proposal in the final show.
  • The on-screen credit for LINCS shows reflects the partnership between the station and producer. A typical credit reads: "a co-production of Jane Producer, ITVS, and WXYZ.”
  • In the credit roll, the independent is credited as director or producer. ITVS, and often the station, will get an executive producer credit.


  • For LINCS shows, presentation and promotion are the responsibility of the station partner, often in collaboration with the independent producer. This includes sending the show to PBS and making it available to the PTV system if PBS turns it down. These services should count towards the station’s in-kind contribution.
  • Because many stations have limited resources, LINCS producers sometimes raise additional funds to pay for websites, publicity, and outreach campaigns. ITVS staff is available for consultation in all of these areas, but the responsibility ultimately lies with the station and producer. An exception to this rule is if the show is picked up by either P.O.V, Independent Lens, or other series, in which case the series presenters will take responsibility for presenting and publicizing the show.
  • Our mission is to present works for television and not for theatrical release. We allow producers to pursue theatrical distribution on a case-by-case basis if the opportunity arises.
  • We review modes of distribution contracts to ensure they meet CPB requirements and do not infringe on ITVS’s rights. Most ITVS-funded projects have success in the festival, educational video, home video, and foreign broadcast markets.

Financial reporting

  • ITVS requires periodic financial reporting, and it must be able to withstand an audit. Each year ITVS randomly selects a number of projects for auditing. Every funded producer is assigned a member of the production staff who works with them to review financial and narrative reports and other deliverables. The production department representative will also be in dialogue about the program and its progress.