David W. Smith Memorial Prize 2022

The Development Geographies Research Group (DevGRG) of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) runs an annual essay competition. This competition is in memory of David W. Smith, an outstanding scholar committed to researching cities in the Global South. He died in 1999. This year, we invite Y12/Lower Sixth students from across the UK to submit their entries.

Theme: This year we are delighted to run a photo essay competition with the theme of ‘Repair, Recovery and Reparation’ specifically addressing the question – How do individuals, communities and/or environments repair, recover and seek reparation after a disaster? The theme for the competition engages with the RGS-IBG’s Annual Conference https://www.rgs.org/research/annual-international-conference/chair-s-theme/.

We encourage all students to submit 3 images exploring the theme. Each image should tell their story clearly supplemented with a title and a description of no longer than 300 words. Please explain how the photographs interpret the theme.


All entries must be in PDF/JPEG/.jpg or word doc format (not more than 3MB) and appropriately cited. Kindly include your name, school/college, and contact details.

Please submit your entries (and any questions) to the DevGRG schools prize committee at developmentgeographies.rgs@gmail.com by 1st August 2022 at 23:59 UK time. Entries received after this time will not be accepted. Due to the volume of entries we receive, we will only contact you if you are selected as one of our winners.

By submitting your photo-essay to this competition, you acknowledge that you are the only author of your work and that is it your original work.


The judging panel will comprise of committee members of DevGRG. The panel will assess the entries and determine the winning entry based on theme, imagination and originality, quality of the photographs, and the development of ideas through the description of the photos.


The winner receives an RGS certificate and a book voucher of £100.