Wellcome Photography Prize 2021

This year, the Wellcome Photography Prize is exploring the human side of three urgent health challenges: mental health problems, infectious diseases and global heating. The prize is now closed for submissions.

Stay up to date

Sign up for emails to get the latest news about the Wellcome Photography Prize, including when the 2022 prize will be opening.

The three health challenges affect people of all ages, in all parts of the world – although their effects are not felt equally.

But there is hope. People and communities around the world are coming up with ingenious ways to manage mental health, control the spread of infections, and adapt to the local health risks of global heating. Theirs are the voices we want to show – the inspiring stories that need to be shared. 

Key dates

  1. March 2021

    Judging

  2. 23 June 2021

    Shortlist announced

  3. 28 July 2021

    Winner announced

  4. Summer 2021

    Exhibition opens

View your entry 

If you've made a submission to the prize, you can still view your entry(opens in a new tab)

Meet the judges 

A high-profile panel of judges from the arts and global health will shortlist and choose the winning images. 

Category examples 

Managing Mental Health

All of our minds work differently, and sometimes in ways that can negatively affect us.

There are many ways of managing our mental health – sometimes we can do it by ourselves, and sometimes we benefit from more support to understand our mental health problems, or prevent episodes of an illness that could otherwise hold us back from living the life we want.

Managing Mental Health (single image) examples

Managing Mental Health (series) example

Fighting Infections 

The Covid-19 pandemic is inescapable this year. Its spread has revealed how connected we all are. Everywhere there are now signs to wash hands, wear masks and keep a social distance.

This invisible virus has caused so many deaths and so much disruption. But it is not the only infection that needs to be brought under control. Many communities around the world are fighting other outbreaks or trying to prevent them. Has the focus on Covid-19 helped? Which other stories have been obscured by the pandemic?

Fighting Infections (single image) examples

Fighting Infections (series) example

Health in a Heating World

Wildfires and extreme weather are the most visible signs of our changing climate, and the risk they pose to life and livelihoods is all too clear. The heat has more insidious ways to harm people’s health, too – in some cities, temperatures regularly reach 50°C, while in the fields, workers struggle to stave off dehydration day after day.

Climate change is a worldwide problem but, until we can stop global heating, it will take local solutions to protect people's health from its harmful effects. 

Health in a Heating World (single image) examples

Health in a Heating World (series) example

Prizes 

The finalists of each category will receive £1,000.

Our single image and series winners will each receive £10,000.

Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in summer 2021. The winning and shortlisted entries will then go on show at a public exhibition in London.

Entry conditions and judging criteria 

Read about the entry conditions and judging criteria, and the terms and conditions for the Wellcome Photography Prize 2021.

You can also read our frequently asked questions.

Our privacy statement explains how, and on what legal basis, we collect, store, and use your personal information.

Contact us 

If you would like to know more about the prize

For media enquiries

Our partner 

The Wellcome Photography Prize 2021 is supported by Spectrum(opens in a new tab).

Previous winners and commissions