STUDENT MEDIA GRANT PROGRAM
A grant for student photojournalists to cover difficult topics in conflict-affected countries through compelling photo stories
Student Media Grant Projects (2019) – Conflict-Related Issues in Latin America
We are happy to announce the 2019 Student Media Grant winning proposals! Please visit our page:
2019 Student Media Grant Projects
- Ricardo Velasco – Memory and Sustainability for Peace and Reconciliation in Transitional Colombia
- Jorge Choy – Where dreams and nightmares meet: Central American, African, and Asian migrants and asylum seekers in Mexico’s Southern Border
- Alexis Aubin – Colombia: A Wounded Land
- Nathalia Hernandez – Curanderas (Healers): Mayan Women’s Voices and Bodies in Resistance
- Daoud Qamar – Living in Neglect: The People of the Hill
- Our 2019 Student Media Grant winners will begin completing their photojournalism projects soon!
All work produced by Student Media Grant winners will be used by the Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to advance advocacy and public awareness of critical issues facing international development. All other organizations or individuals wishing to use any of the work produced by Student Media Grant winners will require previous approval from the authors.
Past winners have traveled to and produced photography highlighting issues in many conflict-affected regions.
- Guatemala: Photo with Coffee – Guatemalan Children Telling their Stories
- Brazil: Living with Fear – The War Inside Brazil
- Ghana: Illegal Artisan Gold Mining in Ghana
- Debbie Onuoha is studying her Masters of Art in Documentary Film Directing. She is currently completing her photojournalism project in Ghana. Updates will be available early 2019.
- Ethiopia: Fighting for Childhoods
- France and Greece: A Day in the Life of a Refugee
- UAE and Nepal: The Plight of the Labor Migrant
- Bangladesh & India: Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Sundarbans
- Haiti: Rural Food Security through a Woman’s Lens
- India: Ethnic Conflict and Forest Governance in Assam
- Kenya: Learning Empowerment as a Refugee
- Peru: Land Use in Protected Areas
- Nigeria: Boko Hazards
- Guatemala: Rephotography
- India: Boosting Nutrition through Female Ag Extension
- Mali: Markets and Household Food Security
- Nicaragua: Natural Resource Conflict
- India: Poverty and Food Insecurity
- Mali: Household Food Insecurity
The program is OPEN TO STUDENTS WORLDWIDE (undergraduate, graduate, PhD, etc.).
Student Media Grant Projects (2020) – Application period opens in Sept 2019
Application Period: We will announce the new application period around September 2019
About the Grant
ConDev’s Student Media Grants award up to $5,000 to current students interested in capturing conflict-related issues facing fragile and conflict-affected areas of the world through stunning photography. This photojournalism grant is funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Chair on Conflict and Development.
- Application deadline: October 31, 2019
- Students (undergraduate and graduate) from around the world are encouraged to apply. 2020 priority countries will be announced in Sept 2019.
Students should submit proposals that will describe their expected travel, research and photographic subjects. They should choose an international development area that reflects issues of food insecurity, health, education, land tenure, poverty, or other issues facing people in fragile and conflict-affected nations.
During their experience, students will be required to accomplish the following:
- Show three-month engagement (minimum) with international development issues through extension activities, internships, student research, etc.
- Write a series of blog postings for the ConDev Blog during their experience and a final report or blog
- Document their chosen subjects through photo and/or video journalism that draws attention to conflict and development issues
- Publish or exhibit the results of their work in a form of refereed media
Students are encouraged to use the book and associated photographic art from Fragile: the Human Condition (by Howard G. Buffett) as an example of both engagement and documenting issues at the nexus of conflict and development.
Interested students should submit a proposal during the open application period (around Sept-Nov 2019), that outlines their intended use of grant funds, with details about locations to be visited, issues to be studied, how the funds will be used, and any special needs. Proposals should not exceed four (4) 8.5×11 pages typed in 12 point Times New Roman font. 1″ margins; please submit as a Microsoft Word document
Please review the Proposal Format listed at the bottom of this webpage.
Proposals should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org with “SMGP 2020: [Name of Student]” as the subject line and up to two proposals can be submitted per student. An award is not expected to exceed $5,000 per awardee and will be made at the discretion of the Chair.
- September 2019: APPLICATION OPENS! You can start e-mailing your finished proposals to email@example.com
- October 31, 2019 by 11:59pm CST: Application deadline
- November-December 2019: Review Period – please be patient as we review your incredible proposals!
- January 2020: Notification Period (approximate)
- February 2020 (Depending on proposal timeline): Funding Disbursement (approximate)
- February-December 2020: Grant winners travel and implement their photojournalism projects
Student Media Grant winner Andrea Batarse chronicled the refugee crisis in France and Greece during Summer 2016
- No more than four (8.5”×11”) pages (not including cover page)
- 12 point, Times New Roman font
- 1″ margins; please submit as a Microsoft Word document
Students should submit proposals that describe their anticipated travel, subjects, and plans for photostory production, refinement and promotion as specifically as possible.
Proposals must include the following components:
- Cover Sheet
- Thematic Focus
- Statement of Motivation
- Media Experience
- Narrative of Planned Activities (including Plan for Promotion)
- Cover Sheet should include:
- Title of Proposal
- Applicant Name
- Applicant Email
- Major (Example: BS International Studies)
- University Name
- Expected Graduation Date
- References: The names and contact information (telephone numbers and emails) of two faculty or staff at your university who can serve as references. If you recently started at a new university, you can include 1 from your new university (someone who can verify your enrollment) and 1-2 references from your previous institution or professional experience. *By submitting a proposal, applicants agree that ConDev has permission to contact these individuals prior to awarding a grant to the applicant.
- Thematic Focus
- What theme/issue do you plan to photograph?
- What do you hope to achieve by highlighting this specific subject or issue?
- Statement of Motivation (½ to 1 page)
- Why this issue/country? How will this grant further your personal/professional aspirations?
- Media Experience (1/2 page maximum)
- Is this your first time using a camera, or do you have experience taking great photographs? Feel free to include links to past work, or include them as attachments when you submit your proposal.
- Applicants are responsible for editing and presenting their photos with all associated captions and/or descriptions after returning from their photo exhibition. Do you have any experience editing photos?
- If you lack photography experience, how do you plan to improve your skills before departing on your photo exhibition, should you be awarded a grant?
- The use of a table is encouraged for timelines.
- Provide clear travel dates and locations.
- Include milestones for delivering preliminary photos during your expedition.
- Narrative of Planned Activities
- This section, outlined in paragraph form, will explain your planned activities as proposed in your timeline.
- How long do you plan to be in-country?
- How do you plan to capture photos, and with whom do you plan to meet?
- Include plans for delivering preliminary photos during your expedition.
- Where will you travel to? Do you plan to visit more than one country?
- List specific deliverables, including method of delivery. Include specific deadlines for delivering your final product and promoting your work after your return.
- *A “Plan for Promotion” is required. How do you plan to present and promote your finished, edited and polished product after your return? Will you target specific media channels/magazines/news outlets?
- Applicants are encouraged to be as detailed and accurate as possible regarding estimated expenses.
- Please ensure that your budget does not surpass the $5000 limit.
- Will you need to pay for visas, flights, vaccinations, security, etc.? If so, include it in your budget.
- All budget totals should be in U.S. dollars (USD).
- Please ensure that your budgets are realistic. ConDev will not disburse additional funds for any reason. Applicants are responsible for arranging all details of their travel completely independently.
Proposals should be submitted as a Microsoft Word Document to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Student Media Grant: [Name of Student]” as the subject line, with any samples attached. Only one proposal can be submitted per student.
Menychle Abebe documented the struggles of obtaining an education in the poverty-stricken Amhara region of Ethiopia during Summer 2016
- What inspired ConDev to start this grant? Who manages it?
- This grant was inspired by Howard G. Buffett’s use of photography to document the nexus of conflict and development in “Fragile: The Human Condition.” It is managed by The Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University (“ConDev”).
- What is the purpose of this grant?
- To enable and encourage student photographers (especially those interested in photojournalism and international conflict) to document and highlight issues related to conflict and development through stunning visual media in the country where these events are taking place.
- Are teams allowed to submit a joint proposal?
- A maximum team size of two people is eligible to submit a joint proposal. The funding limit will be the same ($5,000 maximum). One applicant must be listed at the primary contact with ConDev.
- How much money are we talking about, anyway?
- Awards will not exceed $5,000 per awardee.
- Where can I go? Are there any travel restrictions?
- It is unlikely that administrators will approve travel to a country where there is a U.S. Department of State travel warning in place. If you submit an application that proposes travel to a country under a travel warning, ConDev is required to seek external approval before you can travel there; if your proposed travel is not approved, your application will be removed from consideration. If you live in a country under a State Department travel warning, we are still required to seek external approval. Please see the note (in red) above regarding submitting 2 proposals due to concerns over your proposal getting approved. If you have any questions about your proposed travel, please do not hesitate to contact the Grant Manager (email@example.com).
- Grantees are not required to travel as part of the grant. If you wish to photograph a conflict-related issue in your home country, you are welcome to do so.
- I don’t attend school in the United States. Can I still apply?
- Yes; the grant is open to students (undergraduate, graduate, Master’s, PhD) worldwide.
- Do I have to be a photography/journalism/international studies major to apply?
- No. Students from all majors and areas of study are encouraged to apply. Your major does not have to be related to photography, journalism or international studies, though applicants with previous photography experience are especially encouraged to apply.
- When can I travel using this money?
- The photo expeditions for this round of the Student Media Grant should take place sometime between February and December 2019
- Are graduating students allowed to submit an application?
- Yes, students graduating in 2019 are eligible to apply.
- Are incoming students allowed to submit an application?
- No, incoming students are not yet eligible for the Student Media Grant, but we look forward to reviewing your proposal next year!
- What does a successful application look like?
- A successful application will have thorough responses and adequately answer all the prompts explained above. You are welcome to use this sample proposal for guidance.
- Is the cover sheet included in the page limit?
- What happens after I’m accepted?
- A second round of individual interviews may be required. You’ll be required to provide some more information, like: a letter signed by your supervising professor, evidence of good health and medical insurance that is valid in the area to which you expect to travel, etc. You’ll also have to register your emergency contact information with the Study Abroad Office.
- Do applications have to be submitted in English?
- Yes. We understand that not everyone speaks English as a first language, but please do your best. Thanks!
- “I applied last year and did not get funded. Can I reapply?”
- Yes, you can reapply. Update your proposal based on previous feedback and proposal guidelines to better your chances of receiving an award.
- I already have a $500 scholarship to study abroad. Can I combine that with this grant if I win?
- Past winners have often combined awards and used additional grant money to supplement their projects.
- How detailed should my Narrative of Planned Activities be?
- Please try to be as detailed as possible. Example: “I plan to produce at least 100 high-quality photographs. I will share 10 photos WITH CAPTIONS (including subject, date and location) with the Grant Manager via email once a week while overseas and will deliver the rest via DropBox by [date]. I plan to access internet while traveling using an internet cafe. I am considering using a technique called [technique], which is particularly appropriate for this subject matter because [reason]. I will edit my photos using [computer software]. I will deliver my finished, edited and polished products with all perfectly completed captions to the Grant Manger via [email/DropBox]. After returning on [date], I will submit my finished photostory to these magazines for consideration. I will also provide XXXX copies of my final product to XXXX number of schools in the country I visited, which will require me to purchase XXXX. And so on.”
- How many grants will be awarded each year?
- The number of grants awarded is based on the number of applicants and the amount of funding available. In the past, we have awarded approximately 2-3 grants per round.
- How will I share my photos with ConDev?
- During their experience, grantees are required to share their photos with ConDev HQ so ConDev can begin promoting their work; so if you think this will require you to purchase DropBox space or internet in your country of travel, please accoun. After returning from their photo expedition, the grantees will deliver their final products to ConDev HQ in accordance with the timeline stated in their proposal.
All work produced by Fellows will be used by the Chair and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to advance advocacy and public awareness of critical issues facing international development. Information about the Student Media Grant winners and their associated projects will be presented annually to the Board of Advisors of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Chair on Conflict & Development and the H. G. Buffett Foundation. There will be unrestricted access and use of published materials by these entities to advance mutual goals. Fellows will sign a release granting these permissions.
Still Have Questions?
Don’t hesitate to contact the Student Media Grant Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-458-9399. We look forward to reviewing your application!
In 2015, PhD student Ally Krupar shared the lives of individuals living in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee complex