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Monday, August 2, 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 awardee.

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. If you live in a country under a State Department travel warning, we are still required to seek external approval. If you have any questions about your proposed travel, please do not hesitate to contact the Grant Manager ( 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. 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.

When can I travel using this money?

Normally, awards are announced in December. The photo expeditions of the Student Media Grant should take place sometime between February and November to allow student to submit their final reports by December. 

Are graduating students allowed to submit an application?

No, if you are graduating this year, you may not apply. Also, 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. Please refer to the SMGP Application page for guidance.

Is the cover sheet included in the page limit?


What happens after I’m accepted?

The SMGP Manager will contact you and a phone 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.

This website is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development. The contents are the sole responsibility of ConDev, and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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