Jerwood/Photoworks Awards:
Frequently Asked Questions

A PDF version of the application guidance and this FAQ is available here.

An audio recording of the application guidance and this FAQ is available here.

An easy read of the application guidance is available here. 

A large print of the application guidance and this FAQ is available here. 

A Welsh language version of the application guidance and this FAQ is available here.


Who is the Jerwood/Photoworks Award run by? 

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a collaboration between Jerwood Arts, led by Director Lilli Geissendorfer, and Photoworks, led by Director Shoair Mavlian, supported by Spectrum Photographic.


Are there any costs involved in applying? 

Application to the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards is free. We recognise that making an application involves significant unpaid labour on the part of applicants and aim to provide as much information on these pages to help you make an informed decision about whether to apply and how to put together an application. As part of trying to reduce this unpaid labour, the application form requires no more than 900 words.



Can I make an audio/video application? 

Yes. If you would prefer to submit your application as an audio or video recording, the online application form provides the opportunity for you to do this.  

You can upload one audio or video file containing your proposal, key career moments and what you have been working on recently. Please ensure your recording is no more than six minutes long, which is the equivalent to the word limit for written applications. We will ask you to complete contact details, a 50 word summary and an equal opportunities monitoring form in written form to assist the processing of your application. No assessment of the production quality of audio or video recordings will be made.


What happens if I experience a technical issue with the website? 

We test the guidance pages on our website and the application portal thoroughly. However, we know that technical difficulties do arise. If you experience an issue with the website, please report it to Julia Bunnemann, Curator at  

You may find this especially frustrating if it happens right before the deadline, therefore we strongly advise that you try to submit your application well in advance.


Is there any access support available for artists wishing to apply who require additional support in order to do so? 

Yes. Up to £200 of funding per application is available to pay for an Access Support Worker for applicants who need one to help them apply for this opportunity. Please email Julia Bunnemann, Curator at or call us on 07944 903 991 at least one working week before the deadline to discuss how we can help.



What do you mean by artists working with photography? 

Photography should be the primary medium you work with and should be integral to your practice and making your concept and ideas come to fruition. Working with photography could mean, but is not limited to; taking images with a camera, using archival images, cameraless photography, making digital images.


Can I apply to this fund if I have applied to Jerwood Arts or Photoworks recently, or received funding from you in previous years? 



Can I apply as part of a collaborative practice? How do you define this? 

We welcome applications from collaborative practices working with photography who are within one to ten years of beginning their professional artistic practice as a collaboration. 

We define collaborative practices as those where multiple artists work together to co-create work. We do not support practices where the collaboration is primarily focused on the presentation, curation or dissemination of work, rather than co-creation. 

If you are unsure about your eligibility please get in touch with Julia BunnemannCurator at and we would be happy to discuss your specific situation.


Can I submit more than one application? 

You can only submit one application as an individual. You can also appear in one application as part of a collaborative practice where this is distinct to your individual practice.


Will you support applications for work(s) on which I have already started? 

No. We do accept proposals on which research and development has already begun or which may have already benefited from financial support. If you are unclear about what this means, please discuss with us in advance of applying by emailing Julia Bunnemann, Curator at


What do you mean by ‘early-career’ and  ‘within one to ten years of beginning their professional artistic practice’ at the time of applying?

The award is open to artist working with photography who define themselves as ‘early-career’, and are between one and ten years of beginning their professional artistic practice working with photography at the time of applying. This means they consider the beginning of their professional artistic practice to have started after March 2011 and no later than March 2020unless you have had a career break or your career trajectory has been significantly affected for health or care reasons. 

We focus on ‘early-career’ in this way to be true to Jerwood Arts mission to support those in the first phase of developing their artistic practice, and to ensure that what the award can offer in terms of financial, curatorial and logistical support, networks and knowledge, a significant UK-tour and PR/media profile, will have a transformative impact on the selected individuals. We want the award to be able to discover, nurture and launch outstanding new artistonto the national scene, and have tailored the available support accordingly.  

We ask for applicants to have completed at least one year working with photography as a professional practicing artist beginning no later than March 2020. This is because the opportunity is not designed as a graduate award or for those who are new to photography. Due to the high number of applications, it is important for the selection panel to engage with your recent track record to understand your practice and its potential in depth.  

Our approach to ‘within ten years’ is flexible. For some artistthis will mean being within ten years of graduating a formal educational course, others will have taken a different route. You might have changed direction or career and mark your beginning differently. If you have taken career breaks, for example, as a result of illness or caring responsibilities, your practice may have begun earlier than March 2011. Alternatively, you may have started your artistic photographic practice following a period working in different industry or in another art form 

We provide space to explain your own circumstances in the application form and are happy to discuss your situation with you to help you work out if you are eligible, please email Julia Bunnemann, Curator at


Why don’t you support artists who are in part-time or full-time formal education (including dissertation writing)? 

We don’t support artists who are in formal education programmes of study as the award requires a significant time commitment across 12 monthsIt is designed to offer focused developmental support in the form of mentoring, guidance and exhibition opportunities that is not often available to artists who are in the early stages of their professional practice outside of education programmes. 

It is a core eligibility criteria for Jerwood Arts that all the artists, curators and producers they fund are outside of formal education.



What information should I include in my proposal? 

The application form includes guidance on what to include against each question to help you provide the information the selection panel is interested in.  

Overall, we suggest you include as much detail as possible to get across both the ideas behind the work(s) as well as the practicalities of how they might be realised. This will make your application more distinct and help bring your vision to life for the selection panel. 

There is a 12 month development and production period, so the more fully formed your ideas are, the easier it will be for us to envisage what it is that you might want to make and to see how we might help you realise it. Should you be selected, we will encourage your ideas to grow and evolve during the development period with the support offered by the award. 

We recommend asking a trusted friend to read over your application and offer you feedback on its clarity. This will make it easier for the assessors to envisage what it is that you might want to do and to see how the fund might help you realise it.


What ten images should I include? 

We suggest submitting up to ten images (minimum five images) that best represent your practice and/or your proposal so that the selection panel can easily gain an understanding of your existing photography practiceIf you work in series it is useful for the panel to see several images from one series in order to get an understanding of the body of work. It may also be useful to include professional documentation of exhibitions to understand how your work has been presented publiclyPlease use the image description text box in the application form to describe what the image is to help the selection panel understand how it represents your practice.


We are applying as a collaborative practice, what should we consider? 

If there is more than one person involved in an application please consider the time and activity that will be covered by the artist fee. We aim to support applicants to be ambitious and bold with their proposals but want to ensure that all involved are fairly paid and supported throughout the duration of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. 

The resources of the awards are unable to offer individual artists within a collaborative practice an artist fee of £10,000 each. However, if selected for the awards, we will consider a discretionary increase to the artist fee to support collaborative practices and will absorb increased travel costs into the overall project budget.


I am a Welsh-language speaker, can I make my application in Welsh? 

No. We have provided the application guidance and FAQ in Welsh to encourage Welsh applicants to apply as we are committed to broadening our reach across the four nations. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the resources to support proposals being submitted and assessed in Welsh.


How should I factor in changing restrictions as a result of COVID-19 into my proposal? 

A strong application will acknowledge the limitations and opportunities that the changing Covid-19 context offers, creating a flexible approach to development and experimentation. We are looking for bold ideas despite the uncertainties, and we will be flexible in supporting you throughout the 12- month development period.


Will you consider proposals for activities taking place outside of the UK? 

Yes. We will consider proposals where research and activity takes place outside of the UKWe recommend that you are clear in your application about how you can realise your work if further travel restrictions come into place due to COVID-19 during the development period.


If I reach the interview stage, what format will that interview take? 

Interviews usually take place at Jerwood Arts’ office at Jerwood Space in London, though they may now be video calls due to Covid-19. Interviews last 30 minutes, and you will be interviewed by the full selection panel. 

You will be asked to respond to a number of standard questions that will be consistent for all applicants. We will also ask a few questions relating to your specific proposal, to gain a better understanding of your ideas, as well as their feasibility within time and budget. Interviews are also an opportunity for you to ask us questions. 

We will ask you to tell us about any access needs you have to enable you to attend the interview when you receive the invitation to interview.


Will I get feedback on my application? 

Yes, if you would like to. Applicants will be able to request written feedback on their application. Both Jerwood Arts and Photoworks are small teams, so due to capacity the feedback process will not begin until the selection process has finished at the end of July. We will endeavour to send individual feedback by the end of August 2021. 

We will provide more in-depth feedback and ongoing critical conversation to the shortlisted applicants who are invited to interview but are not selected. This will be on a case-by-case basis and may include informal mentoring, feedback on proposals/work and attending future exhibitions of work.



If I have a disability and/or specific access or care requirements, what support can be offered if my application is successful? 

We recognise that artists with disabilities and/or access requirements may require additional support throughout the year and we have budget available to enable this. 

If you are selected for the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, we will invite you to submit an access document to outline your support needs. This is useful at the beginning to provide us with information about what your needs are so that the best structures can be put in place to ensure that you have equal access to work. Regardless of whether you choose to submit an access document, there will be regular confidential ‘check-in’ points to see if your situation has changed, or if there is anything that we might reasonably do with regard to access, to better support your involvement in the awards. 

Please contact Julia Bunnemann, Curator at if you would like to discuss your needs prior to applying.


If I am offered an award, what am I committing to? 

If you are selected for the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, we will require a commitment from you to make the time available for the development and production of your new work(s) across 12 months from September 2021 to September 2022, and to the presentations of your work at Jerwood Arts and two other venues in the UK in 2023 (venues to be confirmed) 

The award includes your fee for the initial production and exhibition at Jerwood Space. For each tour venue, there is an additional honorarium (£250) and loan fee (£200) to support your time spent liaising about the presentation and attending the preview.  

The time commitment is one of the reasons why we will not consider an application from anyone, including any member of collaborative practice, who is undertaking part- or full-time formal education at any point during the production and exhibition period (including dissertation writing).  

Please consider the key dates and ensure you can commit enough time to the production of the work(s), the exhibition installations, and promoting your work with us. Please do not apply if you do not feel you will be able to commit an appropriate amount of time.


What does the mentoring involve?  

The Photoworks and Jerwood Arts teams will work with both awardees throughout 2021 and 2022.  

In addition, a pool of high-profile mentors will support the awardees throughout the 12-month development period. Each awardee will receive a lead mentor identified through conversations with them and specific to their ambitions for the development of their practice. Additional experts will be brought in to discuss different aspects of their practice.


What are the terms and conditions if I am selected?

Selected artists will be asked to sign an agreement with Photoworks in advance of receiving the first financial instalment of the award. This agreement will, amongst other things include: 

  • The right for Photoworks and Jerwood Arts to present elements of research and the work(s) on their websites and digital channels on an ongoing basis. 
  • Terms for crediting the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards for its support of the work(s) for future exhibitions and publicity for the work(s). 
  • Terms around future exhibitions of the resulting work(s). 
  • The artists will retain ownership of the work(s) made and it will be loaned to Jerwood Arts for the duration of the exhibition period and national tour. We will support the sale of the work if agreed with the artist. The work will be returned to the artist/maker or its new owner at the end of this time.