The Alexia Foundation awards grants to student and professional visual journalists to help them produce projects that inspire change by addressing topics that are socially significant. See rules below for details on each.
Alexia Foundation Grants were created nearly 30 years ago to support still photographers and that remains our primary mission. We recognize that the profession more and more calls for a diverse range of story forms. Therefore, while your submissions must have a set of still photographs, you may also submit other story forms as part of your grant application submission. Those may include audio, video, VR or any other visual format. There will be a spot on the submission site to post up to two links.
Grants are administered by the Foundation and the endowed Alexia Chair at The Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
The application deadline for the Professional Grant is Thursday, February 1, 2018 at midnight Eastern U.S. Time.
The deadline for the Student Grants is Thursday, March 1, 2018, at midnight Eastern U.S. Time.
Winners will be announced early April, 2018. Judging takes place at Syracuse University March 23 and 24 at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. The public is invited to attend.
Your application must include the items listed below. Once those are ready, click the submit button at right and follow instructions from there. Professionals will be prompted to pay a $50 application fee within the application system; there is no entry fee for students.
1. Synopsis: In not more than twenty-five (25) words, write a synopsis of your project.
2. Proposal: A written proposal of not more than 750 words to produce a body of work comprised of still and/or video project. Nearly all previous grant recipients have proposed to continue working on projects that were in progress.
The most effective proposals either take judges to a setting within that project and describing that setting in a way that conveys its significance or by describing the subject that you want to address. Whichever your starting approach, then describe why the project is important, how you will accomplish the project and conclude by explaining the outcomes of the project, how it will be used. Evidence that you have created partnerships with other organizations is advantageous.
Do not put your name or other identifying information on your proposal. All applications will be judged anonymously. Only one application per person each year will be accepted.
For helpful tips on writing a proposal, see our blog posts with Alexia Chair and Grant Administrator Mike Davis and National Geographic Director of Photography Sarah Leen.
3. Resumé: A resume that outlines your professional accomplishments and includes your email address, phone numbers and address along with the names, titles and phone numbers of three (3) references. Do not send any letters of recommendation.
Photographs - What and How To Submit
Submit a body of work consisting of UP TO twenty (20) photographs. Images should demonstrate your ability to accomplish your proposed project. If you submit photos that are not related to your proposal, they must have been taken within the past two (2) years. There is no time limit on pictures that relate directly to your proposal. Edit and sequence your submission thoughtfully.
Image Preparation: Digital photo files must be formatted as medium-quality JPEG images at 5000 pixels at the longest dimension at 72 dpi, using sRGB profile. Each image must have a caption in the file’s metadata/exif caption field. Do not include your name in captions or exif fields.
You may provide URLs for no more than two (2) of your videos - which should reflect your proposed project or a topic or approach that is similar to your proposed subject.
Ethical Standards: The Alexia Foundation follows ethical photojournalistic standards as set forth by organizations such as the National Press Photographers Association, World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International. Images may not be altered to change the structural integrity of
photographed scenes. Toning of images - saturation, contrast, vignetting, dynamic range, etc. - must be within reasonable limits, as determined by the panel of judges.
We reserve the right to request raw or untoned .jpg files of submitted images from entrants who judges select as finalists, with the goal of ensuring the integrity of those images. If you cannot provide raw or untoned files, you may be ineligible to receive an Alexia grant.
For Full Time Employee Submissions:
Professional Grant applicants who are employed full time, must provide written permission from their employer granting them a leave of absence of approximately three (3) months over the course of a year to allow time to complete their project. It is not necessary for this time to be taken in a single block. While all other application elements will be submitted online, the letter of permission must be mailed to:
The Alexia Grant Competition
S.I. Newhouse School of Communications
215 University Place
Syracuse, NY 13244
Students must be fully engaged in a college, university or community college level program at the time of their submission. For most students, that means you’re enrolled full time in classes. For others, you may be on an internship before completing your degree or are working on your master’s project as part of a master’s degree.
Judging Criteria & Process
The Grant was established to help promote world peace and cultural understanding. The strength of your written proposal will be judged equally to your photographic skills. The Grant goes to those who clearly and concisely propose significant projects that share in the Foundation’s mission and who demonstrate the ability to accomplish their proposals as demonstrated by the images submitted with the proposal.
Professional Grant applications will be judged in two rounds. First, members of the Alexia Board and its Advisory Council will review submissions and forward the top tier of entries to a panel of three judges who will read story proposals before the judging weekend, which happens at Syracuse University. Winning recipients are chosen based on the judging panel’s determination of the combination of the strongest proposal and photographs.
Expectations of Grant Recipients
Professional grant recipients will produce a substantial body of work on the project they’ve proposed – in the realm of one to three months of field time, depending on the project – within one year of signing the grant agreement. Grant recipients will submit sixty high resolution images at the conclusion of the project and if a motion piece is produced, a digital file of the piece will also be submitted to the Alexia Foundation and Alexia Chair. Grant recipients will consider images made during the entirety of their project in choosing the 60 images and may consult with the Alexia Chair to create the selection. The goal of the 60-image selection is to reflect the full scope of the recipients’ project. Images must have captions.
Recipients must also submit a document that outlines how they completed the project. Also note any publication or public presentation of the work.
All grant recipients will credit The Alexia Foundation when works from their submitted portfolios or final projects are published. The credit line shall read: Photography/Alexia Foundation or the equivalent.
Grant of Rights
All applicants understand, acknowledge and agree that should they be awarded a Grant, said Grant recipient retains the copyright to his/her photograph(s), and explicitly grants the Foundation, its licensees, affiliates and their designees an irrevocable, non-exclusive perpetual royalty-free license to use, copy, publish, distribute, screen and display such Grant-related photographs, photo stories,
picture essays, multimedia or photo-documentary projects, in any and all manner, form/medium/media now known or hereafter created, and in any publication, advertising, marketing, venue or program sponsored or authorized by the Foundation for the advancement of its mission and goals, including but not limited to educational, promotional and fundraising purposes at the Foundation’s sole discretion, without additional permission or consideration, or notification to the Grant recipient or any third party.
The Alexia Chair at Syracuse University may also use entry materials and completed projects in his educational responsibilities.
Each applicant warrants and represents that every photograph submitted with such applicant’s Grant entry is his/her own original work and that he/she has the unrestricted right to grant to the Foundation the license described above.
Alexia Grants will be awarded subject to these additional terms:
The license granted herein by the applicant to the Foundation for use of photographs submitted with the applicant’s Alexia Grant application shall be extended in all its terms to all works created by the applicant in the course of any project funded in any part by the applicant’s Alexia Grant.
Each applicant shall be deemed to have consented to the use of his/her name, portrait, and/or picture by the Foundation in promotional and public relations materials or for any other purpose related to the Alexia Grant program or the Foundation.
Each applicant shall agree to reasonable requests by the Foundation to present such applicant’s work and/or represent the Foundation at photography workshops, seminars and/or conventions, provided that any necessary expense associated with such presentations is paid by the Foundation.
Each applicant shall be responsible for determining his or her own tax liability arising from acceptance of the Alexia Grant, and for satisfaction of any such liability.