Sunderland University has beaten almost 200 other institutions to win European funding for a unique centre researching world photography.
Project Manager Laurie Short: Exciting opportunities
The university received more than £500,000 to help create the International Photography Research Centre.
The European Culture 2000 funding was given to Sunderland despite bids from 187 institutions across Europe.
It will commission new works exploring cultural diversity in 15 countries on four continents.
The new centre will develop a programme which will include 18 international photography commissions and three international conferences, as well as exhibitions in Finland, the Netherlands and Germany.
Project manager, Laurie Short, said: "With this grant the university has succeeded in gaining international research status for its staff and exciting international opportunities for its students.
"This project puts Sunderland at the centre of international photographic research on cultural diversity.
"This success for the city and the university is a wonderful platform for them to work closely on future international initiatives."
The university is due to host its first international conference in September 2005, which will coincide with an exhibition of the project at the city's Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.