Jerwood/Photoworks Awards:
Application Guidance

The application portal is now closed.

If you have applied, you can expect to hear back from us by 18 June 2021. All longlisted applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 16 July 2021.
All shortlisted applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 27 July 2021.


What are the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards? 

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a major commissioning opportunity supporting early-career artists working with photography to make new work and significantly develop their practice. They particularly seek to encourage artists exploring new approaches to photography. 

Now in their fourth edition, the Awards are for UK-based artists who are between one and ten years into their practice to realise ambitious new works for a national touring exhibition.   

Two artists will receive a £15,000 award each (comprising £10,000 fee and £5,000 production budget) with a full package of support from Photoworks and Jerwood Arts to create new work over a 12-month period. This includes:

  • £10,000 artist fee 
  • £5,000 production budget 
  • Access to a £5,000 printing budget from print partner Spectrum Photographic 
  • Mentoring support from a high-profile international pool of experts for at least 12-months 
  • Curatorial support from Photoworks and Jerwood Arts 
  • A two-person exhibition in London as part of the Jerwood Arts programme at Jerwood Space (from October 2022)  
  • A UK touring exhibition  

The full value of each award package is £32,000. 

The selection panel for this edition of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards is Christine Eyene (Art historian, critic and curator), Joy Gregory (Artist), Sunil Gupta (Photographer), Julia Bunnemann (Curator, Photoworks) and Harriet Cooper (Head of Visual Arts, Jerwood Arts). 

The Awards are a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Photoworks, supported by Spectrum Photographic. Previous recipients have included Silvia Rosi, Theo Simpson, Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin, Lua Ribeira, Matthew Finn, Joanna Piotrowska and Tereza Zelenkova. 

Find out more about past editions of the awards here.


What are the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards looking to support? 

We are looking for bold and original proposals to make new work(s) in photography that will represent a step-change in your practice. We want to support ambitious ideas that will benefit significantly from the research and development period enabled by the awards, for example by enabling experimentation with new and ambitious ways of working with photography.

The awards seek to support the potential of new approaches to photography. The Photoworks and Jerwood Arts teams provide 1:1 guidance and developmental support to the two awardees, working alongside them on the curatorial and logistical development of their proposal. In addition, a high-profile pool of artists and curators is available to the awardees as mentors and critical friends to help them realise their proposal and develop their practice throughout the 12 months from selection to exhibition and beyond.

Proposals must be achievable within the £15,000 award and the 12 month development period. Proposals should also demonstrate clear thinking about how the project may need to be adapted due to circumstances and restrictions to activities in relation to COVID-19.


What are the key dates? 

18 March 2021, 2pm GMT Application portal opens
12 May 2021, 10am GMT Application portal closes
18 June 2021 Longlisted candidates notified
16 July 2021 Shortlisted candidates notified
21 July 2021 Interviews held at either Jerwood Space, London or online
September 2021 Awardees announced
September 2021 – September 2022 Development of work
October 2022 Exhibition at Jerwood Space, London followed by a national touring exhibition in 2023



Equality, Diversity, Inclusion 

Jerwood Arts and Photoworks are committed to addressing equality, diversity and inclusion across all our work, and you can find details of our latest actions here and here. 

The sector is experiencing one of the highest levels of loss of work in the face of Covid-19: the personal impact of this is often devastating; the loss of skilled and talented people permanently a very real worry for the future. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted the health and livelihoods of people from African, Caribbean, LatinX or South and East Asian heritage, those with disabilities or long-term health conditions, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and those facing intersecting barriers. These groups were already under-represented in the visual arts and photography sector and most likely to experience racism and marginalisation. 

For the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, we therefore particularly welcome applications from anyone from the groups above. We will be focusing our marketing efforts to engage with networks and organisations representing these communities and will encourage applications from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the North East and North West which have also been under-represented in the history of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. 

Actions we have taken to make our support to applicants more inclusive and accessible include providing comprehensive application guidance and FAQ, both of which are available in Easy Read, Large Print, Welsh language and as an audio recording. We have created a more equitable application form, with no requirement for CVs and the choice to submit video/audio applications. We also offer 1:1 advice and provide individual access support. 

The assessment and selection process will be undertaken by paid artist advisors, a paid selection panel, Photoworks and Jerwood Arts staff members, who have received bias awareness guidance and will endeavour to ensure that all applicants are treated equitably. The final selection will be made by a selection panel of five; three external curators or artists chosen for their experience, background and specialism, one representative of Photoworks and one representative of Jerwood Arts. 


Selection Process 

The assessors will consider applications based on the following criteria: 

  • The quality and track record of the individual artist or collective’s existing practice, including examples of work, key career moments and recent work 
  • The vision and ideas of the proposal for new work(s) 
  • The potential impact of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards on the development of the individual artist or collaborative practice at this moment in time 

All applications will be assessed by two readers from an internal panel comprising of two independent paid artist advisors, Jerwood Art staff members and Photoworks staff members. A longlist of approximately 75 applications will be taken forward and assessed by the selection panel comprising of Christine Eyene (Art historian, critic and curator), Joy Gregory ( Artist), Sunil Gupta (Photographer), Julia Bunnemann (Curator, Photoworks) and Harriet Cooper (Head of Visual Arts, Jerwood Arts)From these a shortlist of up to 8 applications will be invited to an interview with the selection panel before 2 applications are selected to be awarded. 

We take seriously the role bias can play throughout the selection process and give guidance to all assessors. In reading applications, they will start with the statements of track record, practice and the proposal, before looking at examples of work and websites. This means that an individual’s name is often one of the last things that an assessor will read.  

Throughout the selection process, we will prioritise the assessors’ judgement of the quality of the applicant’s practice, vision and ideas, and the potential impact the Jerwood/Photoworks Award could have on their practice. We also introduce information such as location and monitoring information at the longlisting/shortlisting stage to note any percentage variances with the total pool of applicants. Where two or more equally strong applications are in play, we may choose to recommend the applications that will result in a more balanced, representative and inclusive longlist/shortlist for consideration at the next stage.  

  • All applicants who are not longlisted will be notified of the outcome of their application on 18 June 2021 
  • All longlisted applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 16 July 2021 
  • All shortlisted applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 27 July 2021 

Unsuccessful applicants will be able to request specific written feedback on their application. Both Jerwood Arts and Photoworks are small teams and due to capacity feedback will not begin writing feedback until the selection process has finished at the end of July. We will endeavour to send individual feedback by the end of August 2021.



The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Photoworks, supported by Spectrum Photographic.   

Jerwood Arts 

Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting outstanding UK artists/creatives, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We collaborate with organisations across art forms to imagine a more sustainable sector. Our programmes provide transformative opportunities for early-career individuals through awards, fellowships and commissions, and we present exhibitions in our gallery in London and on tour nationally.Jerwood Arts is led by Lilli Geissendorfer, Director. 


Photoworks champions photography for everyone. We are an international platform, global in reach, and have provided opportunities for artists and audiences since 1995. We do not have a physical venue, but our online channels are always open. Our programme brings new experiences to audiences and opens up new ways to encounter photography. 

Photoworks is a registered charity and the only organisation with a national remit for photography in England. Our work is supported by public funding through Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. Photoworks is led by Shoair Mavlian, Director. 

Spectrum Photographic 

Spectrum is a longstanding professional imaging lab specialising in high quality fine art and photographic printing, as well as archival mounting. They are proud of the reputation that they have established for themselves and are known for their high quality, passion, and above all, excellent service to their customers.