John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Awards

Film still from Louisiana's Missing Coast
Film still from James Robinson's "Louisiana’s Missing Coast," which received funding support from CDS’s John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Award

Established in 1990 by the Center for Documentary Studies, these awards are named for the noted scholar John Hope Franklin, the late professor emeritus of history at Duke University, in recognition of his lifetime accomplishments and his dedication to students and teaching. CDS makes these awards to undergraduates attending Triangle-area universities to help them conduct sustained work on summer-long documentary fieldwork projects.

Student applicants should demonstrate an interest in documentary studies and possess the talent and skills necessary to conduct an intensive documentary project. These skills may include oral history, photography, film/video, nonfiction or creative writing, or audio.

Applicants must be registered undergraduate students at Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  • 2024: Andrew Cao, Artivista Karlin, Angelica Moreno, Maxwell Simbuwa, Huiyin Zhou
  • 2023: Tessa Delgo, Miranda Gershoni, J'Sha Gift, Huiyin Zhou