In 1996 the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund established the Howard Chapnick Grant, to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism, such as editing, research, education and management. The Grant was established to honor the memory of Howard Chapnick, and to acknowledge the value of his enormous contribution to photography. As president of the photo agency Black Star, Chapnick was responsible for making and maintaining a network of photographers around the world. He mentored numerous photographers and taught annual workshops at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In 1994 he published the book Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism, summarizing his decades of experience in the field working with photojournalists. Chapnick was a principal founder of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. After his death in 1996, the Fund established a grant in his memory to encourage and support leadership in fields related to photojournalism.
The annual $10,000 grant may be used to finance any of a range of qualified undertakings, which might include a program of further education, research, a special long-term sabbatical project, or an internship to work with a noteworthy group or individual. According to the Fund's Board of Trustees, special consideration will be given to individuals, initiatives, organizations or projects that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism. This grant is not intended to be used for the creation or production of photographs, which will continue to be funded by the Smith Fund Grant and the Smith Fund Student Grant. The jurors for the Howard Chapnick Grant will be drawn from members of the Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in Humanistic Photography.
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund, a not-for-profit corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, independently administers this grant which provides the selected 2020 recipient with a grant of $10,000. The award will be presented in a ceremony held in New York City on October 14, 2020.
A biography with up to 1500 characters (approximately 275 words) and a CV with up to 2000 characters (approximately 350 words). The CV can be submitted as a PDF.
The Project Proposal should be titled and begin with a single paragraph summary of the project. The proposal description may be more fully described; however, this should be concise, journalistically realizable, and not exceed 6000 characters (approximately 1100/1200 words). The applicant must indicate how they will use the Smith Grant to realize their project.
$50 USD per project.
Application Fee Waiver: Through a partnership with the African Photojournalism Database, Arab Documentary Photography Program, the Authority Collective, Diversify Photo, Foto Féminas, Natives Photograph, and Women Photograph, the Smith Fund will be making a select number of application fee waivers available to photographers seeking to apply to the Eugene Smith Grant and the Howard Chapnick Grant. Photographers who cannot afford the submissions fee should request a fee waiver from one of the following organizations before March 25, 2020. *Please note: You must fit the demographic makeup of the individual organizations from whom you are requesting the waiver**. *(Arab Documentary Photography Program: firstname.lastname@example.org; African Photojournalism Database: email@example.com; Authority Collective: firstname.lastname@example.org; Diversity Photo: email@example.com; Foto Feminas: firstname.lastname@example.org; Natives Photograph: email@example.com; Women Photograph: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Fund appoints a jury every year chosen from the members of the Board of Trustees. The jury meets twice. At the first session, the Jury reviews the required materials: CVs, proposals and photographs. They select a small number of Finalists on the basis of the substantive and intellectual merit of the project. Finalists will be given the opportunity over a short period of time to refine their proposals and to answer specific questions from the Jury about their project.
Biography with up to 1500 characters
Country of residence
CV with up to 2000 characters (or PDF file)
1 to 50 projects per submission
1 to 20 images per project
File type must be JPG
At least 1500px on the long edge
Is there any age restriction for applicants?
Can an organization apply?
While special consideration is given to ‘initiatives, organizations or projects’ that promote social change and/or serve significant concerns of photojournalism, the grant is constructed to recognize these ‘initiatives, organizations or projects’ through recognition of an individual. Commonly that person might be a founder, director or part of the leadership team, though this is not mandated by the Smith Fund.
Can students apply?
Can I submit my application by mail
No, the Smith Fund does not accept applications by regular mail. The application is online only.
When will I be notified of the outcome of the Chapnick Grant?
We will send an email notification to all applicants on July 15, 2019.
Does the Smith Fund offer guidance or commentary on the proposals?
No. The Chapnick Grant receives many submissions each year. With only a volunteer staff we cannot advise or offer feedback on submissions or proposals
Can I submit multiple applications for different projects?
Yes. Individuals can submit multiple proposals. "Add another project" during the submission process. A separate application (and fee) is required.
Can I enter if I live outside of the U.S.?
Yes. Except where prohibited by law, international applications can be submitted.