Emerging Student Award

In 2018 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced a new award, the Emerging Student Award to encourage and support college students whose photographic work renews the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned and compassionate photography. Special consideration will be given to work that promotes social change and that utilizes new technologies and image dissemination, and that seeks to engage the tradition of photography and social change with contemporary practice.

The annual $4,000 grant may be used to complete a work-in-progress. Recipients of the Award will be selected by the Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in Humanistic Photography.

To apply for the Grant, a small fee of $1 is required. The submissions must include a scan of a current student identification card. Please enter below and select Emerging Student Award during the registration process. Enter here by May 31.

The Jury

The Fund’s Board of Trustees appoints a three-member international jury every year. The jury meets twice. At its first session the Jury reviews the required materials: applications and proposals and photographs, all submitted electronically. It selects a small number of Finalists on the basis of the substantive and intellectual merit of their project. Finalists will be given the opportunity in a short period of time to refine their proposals and to answer specific questions from the Jury about their project. Finalists are also asked to produce and to deliver a 1-3 minute video with audio describing their proposal. These videos will be shown at the Smith Grant Ceremony in October.

At its second session, the jury reviews the new materials including the 1-3 minute video, and it proceeds to select and to notify the grant recipient and the beneficiaries of the fellowship money.

At its second session, the jury reviews the new materials and proceeds to select the grant recipient and the beneficiaries of the fellowship money.

Submission Guidelines:

You must register on this website by clicking the 'Apply for Grant' link on the side navigation or at the bottom of this page. There is a $1 fee for student award consideration. No preliminary materials will be returned. The Smith Fund accepts applications through our online portal only. No physical submissions will be accepted.

Applicants should submit:

  1. A Bio and/or CV submitted as a PDF not to exceed 2 pages. For Students, a scan of a current student ID card is required. Name the file with your first and last name and use an underscore to separate the names. Example: John_SmithCV.jpg
  2. The Project Proposal should be titled and begin with a single paragraph summary of the project. Then the proposal description may be more fully described; however, this should be concise, journalistically realizable, visually translatable, humanistically driven, and not exceed 500 words. The applicant must affirm that the proposed project is ongoing and indicate how they will use the Smith Grant to fulfill it.
    The Project Proposal should be submitted as a PDF file. Name the file with your first and last name and use an underscore to separate the names. At the end of the filename add PP.
    Example: John_SmithPP.jpg
  3. IMAGES: Applicants can submit up to 40 images total. These should consist of representative images from the project being proposed to the W. Eugene Smith Fund. The applicant can include in his/her submission, past work clearly marked that represents the candidate's vision and his or her ability to execute the project being proposed to the fund. The images must conform to the following specifications: JPEG files with 2000 pixels on the long dimension saved at 72 dpi. Name the files with your first and last name and use an underscore to separate the names. At the end of the file name add a sequence number starting with: 01. Example: John_Smith01.jpg, John_Smith02.jpg, John_Smith03.jpg

In the event the applicant is the recipient of the Smith Grant, applicant hereby agrees to donate to the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, as an unrestricted gift, twelve (12) digital images and twelve (12) prints of work completed as part of the project proposed herein. Applicant agrees to deliver six (6) of said images to the Fund nine (9) months after receiving the Grant, and the remaining six (6) of said images within eighteen (18) months after receiving the Grant. Additionally, the recipient agrees to provide 12 prints from the winning project to the Incite Project. $3,000 will be provided by the Smith Fund to underwrite the cost of production for these prints.

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 may use them to promote the activities of the Fund.

Applicant also understands and agrees that, if applicant is the recipient of the Award, $4,000 will be paid upon receipt of the Award.