We invite photographers and other image makers from all disciplines to enter the Wellcome Photography Prize, which celebrates compelling imagery that captures stories of health, medicine and science.

Key dates

  • Deadline for entries
    17 December 2018
  • Winners announced
    3 July 2019
  • Exhibition opens
    4 July 2019

See terms and conditions and privacy statement for more information.

Previously the Wellcome Image Awards, our newly relaunched competition will reward pictures that show the importance of health in society and the impact health issues have on people and communities worldwide.

We’re looking for entries that can captivate people with stories of science and medicine, and start conversations about some of the health challenges humanity faces today.

Whether you are a research scientist, a documentary or clinical photographer, an artist, or a photojournalist, this is a great opportunity for you to inspire people to think differently about health, medicine and life.

How to enter

The deadline for entries is 17 December 2018.

The competition is free to enter and you can submit as many images as you like, but you can't enter the same image in more than one category. Each entry will be judged individually and should work as a standalone image.

If you're submitting more than one image from the same series, consider which images have the most impact and only submit those that offer something unique.

As the image maker you will retain full copyright over your own work. We just ask for permission to use your images 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, we also ask for ongoing permission to use your image 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.

Read the competition terms and conditions for more information.

Prizes and publicity

Images will be shortlisted and then winners chosen by a panel of high-profile judges.

The winner of each category will receive £1,250, with the overall winner receiving a prize of £15,000. Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in London on 3 July 2019.

All the winning and shortlisted entries will go on show in a major public exhibition at Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, from 4-13 July 2019.

If you’re a winner, we will also offer you opportunities to take part in events to showcase your work to a range of audiences. Our winning images receive extensive international media coverage each year.

The winner of the Medicine in Focus category will be invited to produce the Julie Dorrington commission, a photo story exploring and documenting a patient’s journey with their condition.


There are four categories in the competition:

The images shown in each category are to inspire you but are for illustration only. Your entry doesn't necessarily need to be in a similar style or about a similar topic. We're open to all perspectives.

Category 1: Social perspectives

Some suggestions to get you thinking:

Category 2: Hidden worlds

Some suggestions to get you thinking:

Category 3: Medicine in focus

Some suggestions to get you thinking:

Category 4: Outbreaks (2019 theme)

What are scientists doing to track the molecular signature of a disease as it moves through a community? What burden does an outbreak create for health services, and how does it affect the people it leaves behind? While fast-moving outbreaks such as Ebola and Zika create fear and uncertainty, what stories of hope, courage and human resilience can we find alongside them?

In recent years, outbreaks of measles, mumps, whooping cough and chickenpox have reappeared in high-income countries where access to vaccines is not usually an issue. Why are these preventable diseases making such an aggressive return?

And what about the indirect health threats from an outbreak? In a public health emergency, it can be harder for people with long-term conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and lung disease to get the care they need. How do they cope? And are they more at risk from the infectious disease itself as a result?

Some suggestions to get you thinking:


We are open to entries created with the following techniques, or any other you want to use:

Some image-making techniques will be better suited to particular categories, but however you create your entry it’s up to you to choose which category fits it best.

Judges panel

The judges for the 2019 prize are:

The judges panel will be chaired by Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome.

Contact us

If you would like to know more about the prize:
T +44 (0)20 7611 8215
E PhotoPrize@wellcome.ac.uk

For media enquiries:
T +44 (0)20 7611 8866
E media.office@wellcome.ac.uk

Credit for main image: Anne-Katrin Purkiss. Wellcome Image Award winner 2009.

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