Wellcome Photography Prize entry conditions and judging criteria

The Wellcome Photography Prize 2021 is now closed for submissions. Find out more about the entry conditions and judging criteria.

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Entry conditions for the 2021 prize 

  • Enter either the single image or series category for one of the following themes: Managing Mental Health, Fighting Infections or Health in a Heating World
  • For single image categories, please submit one image per entry.
  • For series categories, please submit between three to five images per entry.
  • Each image can only be submitted once, into one category of the competition.
  • Images must have been created after 31 December 2015. 
  • The competition is free to enter and you can submit as many images as you like.
  • The story behind your images is as important as the images themselves.
  • Image makers will retain full copyright over their own work. Images may be used in the context of the prize (in exhibitions, promotions, publications and media coverage including social media) for three years.
  • For winning and shortlisted images only, ongoing permission is granted to use select images in the context of the prize and to support Wellcome’s broader charitable work. This is so that we can continue discussions about the health issues and stories to which the images relate.
  • Each entry must meet all competition terms and conditions
  • Our privacy statement explains how, and on what legal basis, we collect, store, and use your personal information.

Judging panel 

high-profile panel of judges from the arts and global health shortlisted and chose the winning images. 

Judging criteria 

The story behind each image and the reasons for its creation are as important as the image itself.

All images are judged anonymously on the following criteria:


  • Strong visual impact
  • Considered or artful composition
  • Conceptually imaginative   


  • Central theme about health, medicine or science 
  • Strong story or research project behind the image(s) 
  • Pushes the conversation about the health topic forward 


  • Excellent image quality for the type of imaging technique used 
  • Appropriate and skilful editing 
  • Meets all required terms and conditions 

Judging process 

Round 1: moderation

A moderation panel filters out images that don’t meet the judging criteria and, if necessary, reduces the number of images put forward for the judges to review.

Round 2: review of images in each category

The judges select a set of images in each category to put forward to the third and final round.

Round 3: decision on winners

The judges shortlist the images to be displayed in print in the exhibition, in media and online. They then decide on a winner in each category and the overall competition winners.

Contact us 

To find out more about the prize

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