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Friday, June 14, 2024

Use this application to enter your proposal to be considered for the Student Media Grant awarded by the Program of Conflict and Development.

Student Media Grant Program Application Information

The SMGP Application Period is now closed. 

We are happy to announce that the SMGP Application Period for 2022-2023 programs is: Sept. 15 - Nov 15, 2022. Students may submit their SMGP proposals by midnight November 15th, 2022 (US Central time.)  We will announce winners around Dec 15th. Grantees may complete their programs in the Spring, Summer, or early Fall of 2023.  

This year, we are accepting SMGP proposals from students enrolled at any accredited university worldwide, or students with a 2022 graduation date. SMGP Grantees will need to abide by their university’s travel rules to conduct their programs abroad.


Proposals should be submitted by email by midnight Nov 15th, 2022, to with “SMGP 2022: [Applicant Last Name, Target Country]” as the subject line and only one proposal can be submitted per student. Students may request up to $5,000. Award amounts will be made at the discretion of the Chair. Proposals must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document. Proposals must be in English. Please use a 12 pt Times New Roman font, single space. Proposals should include the following sections: 


PAGE 1 - Cover sheet (including the following information):

  • Proposal Title
  • Target Country (Where will you travel to for this program?)
  • Applicant name
  • Major or recent degree obtained (Example: Masters in Political Science)
  • University Name, Department Name
    • Graduation Date
    • Contact information: Your email and telephone number; your website and social media handles showcasing your portfolio (if you have one)
    • Name, title & email of faculty member at your university who can serve as reference


 PAGE 2 - Thematic focus (1 Page)

  • What theme/issue do you plan to photograph? What is the conflict-related issue to be chronicled?  
  • What do you hope to achieve by highlighting this specific subject or issue? Will this project further your professional/personal aspirations?  


PAGE 3 - Motivation for doing this work (1/2 Page) & Timeline: Planned activities over at least a 3-month period (1/2 Page)

  • Why have you selected a particular conflict-related topic and your target country? 
  • Which country organization(s) you will be working with; what cities will you visit and what is your logistics plans (transportation, lodging, etc.) You should include a clear timeline of activities. 


    PAGE 4 - Budget (1/2 page) & Reporting/Plans for disseminating your work (1/2 Page)  

  • What is your target media for publication? Please include your plans for blogging (monthly blogs/photos are encouraged) and publicizing your work on social media. A final report is required, and you may be asked to offer an online presentation about your program. 
  • Please include a budget with details on airfare, local transportation, lodging, meals, equipment costs, etc. A table format is preferred. Include any cost share.


Additional Information for SMGP Proposals:

  • 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.” 
  • This grant is funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Chair on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University and the amount awarded will be at the discretion of the Chair.

The selected grantees can work on a variety of research or extension programs that fit our research priorities and that will allow them to chronicle critical issues being faced by fragile communities, such as:     

o    Peace and reconciliation                                                                     o    Poverty and food insecurity

o    Forms of violence (gender, school, domestic, political, etc.)               o    Migration/refugee crisis 

The SMGP topic selected should align with our cross-cutting themes which are central to our operations and/or reflect content in ConDev research portfolio (See ConDev’s research focuses largely on mitigating conflict related to four program areas, which are based on their potential to mitigate international conflict:

1.     Food security   2.    Youth Employment      3.    Natural Resources   4.    Local Institutions

SMGP is a travel grant, so students must propose a project abroad, or travel within their country of residence. Through SMGP, the 2022-2023 grantee will need to present a plan for a 3-month engagement (minimum) with conflict and development issues through extension activities, internships, student research, or other programs and create media content to document that engagement. Planned activities should span a three-month period of engagement, including preparation, travel, editing, reporting.) SMGP photo expeditions should take place sometime between February and November to allow student to prepare and submit their final reports/media products. 

Students may use photography, videos, blogs, social media, and other forms of photojournalism to document how their program contributed to development issues.

All work produced by Student Media Grant winners will be used by the Program on Conflict and Development 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.  

As per TAMU guidelines*, student grantees are allowed to use their grant to participate in individual experiences through a provider or exchange partner as long as the host has confirmed that it is operational, and with the understanding that grantees do so at their own risk. We recommend that students refrain from making financial commitments until absolutely necessary. 

A few things students should consider include:

  • The ability to depart their country of residence and enter destination country based on current travel restrictions
  • That programs may be abruptly ended by the provider or host institution if conditions worsen
  • Travel restrictions may change while abroad, prohibiting students from returning to their country of residence.  
  • There may be a need to self-isolate upon return to the country of residence.
  • Major delays in the processing of passports may prevent students from obtaining a passport and/or visa (or residence permit) in time for travel
  • Institutional and federal financial aid may not be awarded due to travel restrictions         

Texas A&M student grantees who are pursuing independent programs should notify Education Abroad of their decision by emailing and should review the Texas A&M’s Education ABroad Website - . Students of other universities should notify their respective universities’ Study Abroad office or their respective office/center.

Students must closely monitor governmental and international travel advisories and restrictions, as well as guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. Department of State. Any financial loss incurred because of travel or health issues related to COVID-19 will not be reimbursed by Texas A&M University.

 *Reference: Student Travel Information regarding Education Abroad programs – Texas A&M’s Education ABroad Website -  

Please review our SMGP Frequently Asked Questions here: FAQ 

All work produced by Student Media Grant winners will be used by the Program on Conflict and Development 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. 

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