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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Learn more about the frequently asked questions of those interested in the Student Media Grant awarded by the Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University.

Student Media Grant: Frequently Asked Questions

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 award.

Where can I go? Are there any travel restrictions?

COVID-19 UPDATE: Please check with your university's travel guidelines regarding the pandemic. Many travel restrictions are in place. Also, 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.  Please contact your university's study abroad department to inform them about your travel plans before submitting a proposal. Grantees are required to travel as part of the grant. 

Who can apply for the grant this year? 

This year, we welcome proposals from current students or recent graduates from any of the 11 universities that are part of The Texas A&M University System.  See https://www.tamus.edu/universities/   Undergraduate, graduate, Master’s, and PhD students may apply.  You do not have to be a U.S. citizen or resident to apply. 

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. However, your proposal must include a conflict component. 

When can I travel using this money?

Normally, awards are announced in December or January. Please be patient as our Review Panels are grading and selecting awardees. The photo expeditions of the Student Media Grant should take place sometime between February and November to allow students to submit their final reports by December. 

Are graduating students allowed to submit an application?

Yes, if you are graduating soon, you may apply. Also, recent graduates (1 yr from graduation) may apply. You must be a student or recent graduate to apply, and provide contact information for a faculty member at your university who may provide references.  Please remember that applications are open only to students from within the Texas A&M University System. 

What does a successful application look like?

A successful application will have thorough responses, include a conflict-related issue, details on travel locations, and adequately answer all the sections included in the proposal instructions.  Please refer to the SMGP Application page for guidance.

Is the cover sheet included in the page limit?

Yes, your cover sheet is considered Page 1 of your 4-Page proposal.  

What happens after I’m accepted?

The SMGP Manager will contact you and a phone interview 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.
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