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Opportunity: SHIFTS – Call for Applications

Posted on: 1 November 2021

NEPN is pleased to announce an open call for four SHIFTS Professional Development Bursaries, supporting photographers and photographic artists based in the North East of England (County Durham, Northumberland, Teesside or Tyne & Wear).

Call for Applications – Deadline – 9am on Monday 13 December 2021

NEPN invites applications from photographers who wish to explore new areas of research and development, or new ways of making and sustaining their practice. This scheme will not be prescriptive; rather it aims to listen to the needs of the sector and will support individuals to progress in relation to their own needs. Bursaries will be awarded without expectation of artistic output, allowing investment in photographers for their own development.

The £1500 bursaries will be supported by:

– individual reflective conversations with NEPN staff
– 3 x peer discussions with invited facilitators, as well as ongoing support during January – July 2022.
– Up to two days with a mentor, identified through discussion with the selected photographers.
– A further budget of up to £500 per photographer will be available for development (e.g R&D, training/workshop), to be determined post-selection and in discussion with selected photographers and supported cohort.

Photographers will be asked to provide a short reflective commentary and biography for inclusion on the NEPN website (new site est. launch November 2021). They will also benefit from a profile on this new site.

Where appropriate access to darkroom and digital facilities and equipment will be possible at NEPN’s host organization, the Northern Centre of Photography, University of Sunderland (Covid permitting).

Application Process:
Please submit a short statement outlining how this opportunity will benefit your photographic practice and development.
We strongly encourage applications from those who consider themselves to be disadvantaged and in need, and those who are currently underrepresented in the cultural sector.

To apply, please prepare the following (in one document) and email to:

• A short statement (no more than 500 words) explaining how this opportunity will benefit your development and any identified goals you have.
• A short statement which provides an overview of your background as a photographer (no more than 300 words).
• A link which provides access to at least 5 images of your work (please do not attach images).

Alternatively, please supply the above information in a video or audio clip, to last no longer than 6 minutes, together with a link which provides access to at least 5 images of your work.
Where relevant, please include an Access Statement. A guide to producing an access statement is available from Little Cog here:

• Photographers must be based in the North East of England and reside in the following postcodes: NE, DL, DH, SR, TS and TD.
• Bursaries can support photographers at different stages of their career, normally practising 3 years +.
• Please note those in full-time undergraduate or postgraduate programmes are not eligible to apply.
• This opportunity is to support critically-reflective photographic practice.

We endeavour to give feedback but this may not be possible if there is a high volume of applications.

Selection will consider:
• Demonstration of a professional photographic practice.
• Clarity of benefit of this opportunity to professional practice.
• Quality of work

The selection panel will comprise: Amanda Ritson, NEPN; Kuba Ryniewicz, Photographer; Joanne Coates, Photographer, founder of Lens Think and co-founder of The Other Collective and Ingrid Pollard, Photographer, Media Artist and Researcher.

Supported by University of Sunderland and using public funding through Arts Council England.

For more information or to discuss an application please email:
Please also see our workshops ‘Recognising Your Assets’ which are programmed in conjunction with the programme.

NEPN’s host, University of Sunderland, is proud to be an equal opportunities employer, treating all applicants equally and ensuring recruitment is based on merit. However, we particularly welcome applications from the following groups as they are underrepresented within the University of Sunderland in this area: Women, LGBT+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic applicants, as well as candidates with disabilities, whether hidden or otherwise.