The W. Eugene Smith Grant for Student Photographers is designed to encourage and support students whose photographic work renews the tradition of W. Eugene Smith's humanistic and compassionate photography. Special consideration will be given to work that promotes social change, that embraces new technologies and image distribution, and that seeks to integrate the tradition of photography and social change with contemporary practice. The judges will be looking for a photographer and project that seem most likely to use exemplary and compelling photojournalism and documentary photography (possibly supplemented by or incorporating multi-media) to address an issue of import and impact related to the human condition: social change, humanitarian concern, armed conflict, or other topics of interpersonal, psychological, cultural, social, environmental, scientific, medical and/or political significance, ideally expressing an underlying acknowledgement of our common humanity.
Applicants should submit ongoing work from a project that would likely benefit from (and likely be concluded if) the photographer were to receive the grant. For 2023, the amount of the grant will be $3,000.
A biography up to 1500 characters (spaces included). A CV, up to 2000 characters (spaces included), is optional, and can instead be submitted as a PDF of unlimited length.
The project description is a concise synopsis or summary of the project. This outline should be brief but comprehensive. Ideally, the project will be journalistically realizable, visually translatable, and humanistically driven. The description should not exceed 2000 characters (spaces included).
The project proposal should go into greater detail, describing the practical aspects of the applicant's plan. It should explain how the applicant will use the Smith Student Grant funds to complete the project. If you have used or plan to use AI or any other manipulation please explain in your proposal how and why you are using it. The proposal should not exceed 3000 characters (spaces included).
Student ID: A JPG of a current Student ID must be submitted, as the 40th image uploaded.
IMAGES: Applicants can submit up to 40 images total (including their Student ID). These should consist of representative images from the project being proposed to the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Student Photographers. The applicant can also include in their submission past work clearly marked as such, that represents the candidate's vision and their ability to execute the project being proposed to the fund.
Application Fee Waiver: Through a partnership with the African Photojournalism Database, African Women in Photography, the Authority Collective, Black Women Photographers, Diversify Photo, the Everyday Projects, Foto Féminas, Indigenous Photograph, the Magnum Foundation, and Women Photograph, the Smith Fund will be making a select number of application fee waivers available to photographers seeking to apply to the Eugene Smith Grant, and the Eugene Smith Student Grant. Photographers who cannot afford the submission fee should request a fee waiver from one of the following organizations before September 15, 2023. Please note: You must fit the demographic makeup of the individual organizations from whom you are requesting the waiver.
(African Photojournalism Database: email@example.com; African Women in Photography: firstname.lastname@example.org; Authority Collective: email@example.com; Black Women Photographers: firstname.lastname@example.org; Diversify Photo: email@example.com; Everyday Projects: firstname.lastname@example.org; Foto Féminas: email@example.com; Indigenous Photograph: firstname.lastname@example.org; Magnum Foundation: email@example.com; Women Photograph: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Fund’s Board of Trustees impanels a three member international jury. The jury meets twice. At the first session the jury reviews the required materials: applications, proposals, and photographs. They select five finalists on the basis of the substantive and intellectual merits of their projects. Finalists will be given the opportunity over a short period of time to refine their proposals and to answer specific questions from the jury about their project. At the second session the jury will review all new material and choose the Smith Student Grant recipient.
For 2023, the amount of the W. Eugene Smith Student Grant is $3,000.The grant provides one student photographer with the financial freedom to complete a photographic essay.
In the event the applicant is the recipient of the Student Grant, the applicant understands and agrees that $2,700 of the total Grant of $3,000 will be paid upon receipt of the Grant, and $300 will be paid upon receipt of twelve (12) digital images within eighteen (18) months after receipt of the Grant. Recipients must submit a final report detailing how the grant was used and how the money contributed to the success of the project, along with a short video (to be used for promotion of the fund) talking about the same.
The images shall become part of the W. Eugene Smith Legacy Collection at the International Center of Photography in New York. Applicant also agrees that as part of the unrestricted gift, the Smith Fund may exhibit the images and use them on a non-exclusive licensing basis to promote the activities of the Fund.
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