CDRP/CIPS Documentary Photography Awards

See the Spring 2021 Winners' Portfolios

View the Spring 2021 Award Winners’ Portfolios


The Center for Documentary Research and Practice (CDRP) and the Center for Integrative Photographic Studies (CIPS) have created the IU Documentary Photography Awards to support students who are working toward photography-based and media-related degrees, and who are interested in producing projects that inspire change by addressing topics that are socially significant. We encourage a diversity of photographic approaches; the jury will take an expansive definition of the term “documentary,” opening up to all projects that chronicle real world events, situations, and environments as well as those attentive to everyday life. Ongoing projects are accepted, and applications should consist of a cohesive body of work.

Two awards are available, designated for an undergraduate and a graduate student. Each recipient of the IU Documentary Photography Award will receive $400 to support the success of their project. The winning projects will be displayed on the Media School website’s front page and permanently on the website of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice (CDRP).

  • Eligibility: all IUB students
  • To apply, submit a cohesive series of 10 photographs. Photographs should demonstrate the ability to accomplish the proposed Images must have been made within the past three years. We are not judging a single image. Please edit and sequence your submission thoughtfully for a cohesive viewing experience.
  • All files must be in .jpg format, 72 DPI and 20” on the longest side. Files should be titled as follows: Last Name_First Name_File#; example: jpg The compression level should be at 12.
  • Include a one-page project The project statement should be no longer than 500 words and include the significance and projected outcome of the series.
  • When you are ready to submit, send an email to Barbara Truesdell ( and she will provide you access to the Canvas site to submit your work
  • Due Date is April 23, 2021

Usage and rights

Your copyright and moral rights:

We respect your rights and do not claim copyright for photographs or text submitted to the Award. You will retain full copyright in each entry. In addition, your moral rights are respected. Whenever your work is published on this website you will be credited.

Failure to publish a credit due to error or oversight shall not be deemed a breach of this condition. We will seek to correct any errors or oversights as soon as we are notified.

Image Eligibility

By entering the Award, you (as an Entrant) warrant to the CDRP and CIPS that you created your competition entries, that you are the author of your work, you own all of the copyright in those entries, that it does not include trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property rights of any other third person or entity and that the use by CDRP and CIPS of the entries in accordance with these terms and conditions will not infringe any person’s intellectual property rights or other legal rights. You must not submit to the award any material that is or has ever been the subject of any threatened or actual legal proceedings or other similar complaint.

You will be responsible for any claim made by any third party in respect of your entry and to fully indemnify CDRP and CIPS and its sponsors in respect of all royalties, fees and any other monies owing to any person or entity by reason of your breaching any of the foregoing. We reserve the right to disqualify any entry that does not comply with any of the above, even after the entry is submitted on the competition website.

Use of works

By entering the Award, you agree that any work you submit may be used by CDRP and CIPS solely for purposes in connection with the Award or future Awards, and any successor website and no other purpose.

These uses include:

  • Judging the competition
  • Displaying entries on our website and social media outlets, and those of its partners
  • Using the entries on posters, postcards, adverts both online and offline to promote the Award for future award
  • Cropping and re-sizing the work as necessary to fit pre-defined formats to promote the Award and any related exhibitions
  • Sub-licensing the entries to the press most likely IU press for reproduction in connection with the Award
  • Inclusion within any materials promoting the Award or any exhibition organized by CDRP and CIPS

You hereby grant the CDRP and CIPS a non-exclusive, royalty-free license in each entry throughout the world in all media for the uses described above for the duration of the Award.

You acknowledge your responsibility for protecting your entry against misuse by third parties, through means such as the embedding of metadata. CDRP and CIPS (and its partners) can assume no responsibility and is not liable for any misuse of your work by third parties.

Any reproduction of entries outside of the uses listed above will occur only after receiving the Entrant’s express permission. The Entrant will be contacted and given the opportunity to negotiate any such usage with the parties concerned independently of the Award. We will never sell your work.

CDRP and CIPS uses the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While CDRP and CIPS guarantees that photographers will be fully credited when posting images on social media and through any of the other channels listed above, CDRP and CIPS cannot guarantee that others who copy or re-post images will do the same.