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Images of Research Competition


The Images of Research competition is an innovative way to highlight the wide range of research that is taking place at the University of Exeter and an opportunity to look at research in a new and exciting way. 

This annual competition provides early career researchers with an opportunity to communicate often complex research to non-specialists and to engage the public in the breadth of research taking place at the University of Exeter. 

The challenge? Choosing a single image to do this - whether it be a photograph, drawing or diagram. The only thing we require is that it is not a moving image such as a GIF or video. Why not have a look at previous entries which can be found in the booklets on the right hand side or in the drop down menus below? 

The 2023 competition has now closed and the winners are displayed above. Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. The exhibitions tab above shows where the entries will be displayed in 2024. 

10 year anniversary celebration

We have received hundreds of entries over the 10 years of running this competition which showcases the breadth of excellent research undertaken at our university. To celebrate, we are hoping to not only exhibit across all our main campuses, but also further afield across the region in the Spring. Winning entries will be displayed online from the middle of February and the top three selected will win a prize. 

To celebrate the 10 years, we are pleased to announce we will also be offering a new commendation award from the university's Arts and Culture team. The team will select one entry which they feel best combines both a striking artistic image and evidence of a research project which is transdisciplinary and/or collaborative. The winner of this prize will be offered the opportunity of an online exhibition on the Arts and Culture website, which can incorporate further images relating to the entrant’s research, as well as text about the research itself. You can see other examples of other online exhibitions on the Arts and Culture website here. 

Exhibition dates and locations

The Forum, Streatham Campus, 20 February – 26 March

The exhibition will be found on the ground floor, on the left as you come in the main entrance, with the library on your left.

Penryn Campus Library, 11th March – 12th of April
The exhibition will be found at Penryn Campus Library, Level 1, next to the Compass Help Desk.

The Poly, Falmouth, 1st April – 12th of April

How to apply

1. Read our detailed guidance and small print 

2. Write a short description (maximum length - strictly 150 words) 

This should explain what the viewer can see and the benefits of this research to you, your research field/sub-discipline, collaborators or the public/society in general. 

3. Submit your entry via our online form

Entries open: Friday 3 November 2023 

Entries close: Friday 5 January 2024 

Judging criteria

Judges are asked to look for the following things: 

  • Overall impact of the Image 

  • Relevance of the image to the description 

  • How does the image and its description engage you with the research 

  • Is it easy for a non-specialist to understand? 

Guidance and small print

Description guidance 

Each submission must include a short description of what the viewer can see and the benefits of this research to you, your research field/sub-discipline, collaboratorsor the public/society in general.  

It will be read by members of the general public and other non-specialists so you must ensure that you use plain English and nojargon. Maximum abstract length: strictly 150 words. 

Image file size 

1. High resolution, approximately 300 dpi circa 7-8 megabytes. If the file is too big to upload, we recommend using WeTransfer instead and sending to 
2. Either jpg or tif format (no gif files will be accepted). 
3. Full colour or black & white. 

Images can be submitted in portrait or landscape orientation. The overall presentation of your submission may vary depending on which orientation you choose. 

*Please note that entries that do not conform to the specifications for the image file or
description will be rejected* 


This competition is open to all early career researchers ('R' only contract; grades contract E-G). 

Subject limitations 

No nudes or portrayals of illegal activities. Submissions that, in the sole discretion of the judges, are considered inappropriate or unsuitable for publication will be deemed ineligible and removed from the competition. 


The University of Exeter retains the right to use all submitted images — including those not chosen to win prizes — in promotional materials without further permission from, or compensation to, the photographer. Credit will be given to the photographer if reproduced. Please credit the photographer within the 'collaborators' section on the entry form. Photographer will retain copyright. 


By entering this contest, if your entry is deemed eligible, you consent to the use of your name, biographical information, winning entry and any statements attributed to you, or photographs of you taken subsequently, being used for promotional purposes without additional compensation to you. As such, you hereby grant to the University of Exeter a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce works based on your submission without any obligation to compensate you. 

The University of Exeter shall not be liable in any way for a submission. It is the responsibility of the photographer to secure permission from identifiable persons in their photographs by ensuring that they have written permission to use the image. 
You represent and warrant to the University that (i) you are the sole and exclusive owner of your submission, or that you have all right and authority to grant the rights in the submission to the University described herein; (ii) you have obtained any and all releases necessary from all persons (or their legal guardians) depicted in the submissions. 

The winning entries for the 2023 competition were:

1st place

Thomas O'Shea-Wheller - Mapping Emergence 

2nd place

Peter Leeming - Light on Prehistory

3rd place

Alan Puttock - Making Space for Water

View Images of Research Booklet 2023

The winning entries for the 2022 competition were:

1st place

Ines Lange - Reef Rehab

2nd place

Luis Huckstadt - Crabeater Seals from the Sky

3rd place

Rachel Nesbit - Pandemic Play

View Images of Research Booklet 2022

The winning entries for the 2020 competition were:

1st place 

Sophia Edlund - Interspecies vocal attraction

Joint 2nd place

Diana Valencia Duarte - Food Sovereignty Learning Environment
Lydia Fisher - Visualising Faith in Medieval Stained Glass

View Images of Research booklet 2020 

The winning entries for the 2019 competition were as follows:

Theme Winner
Collaboration Kelly Thornber- Collaboration for sustainable aquaculture
Society and Culture (overall winner) Paul Rose- Listening to the Zoo
Sustainable Futures Anna Losiak- Impact!
Technology Anurag Roy- Bioinspired Self-Cleaning Coating for Solar Cells

Other entries that the judges considered to be ‘highly commended’ were:

Adam Porter – Fishing for Change

Harriet Hunt – PaReNt project team meeting 041218

Images of Research Booklet 2019

The images were on display in the Forum during the opening days on Friday 31st May 2019 and Saturday 1st of June 2019, where it was estimated that c. 12,000 people visited, each day.

The winning entries for the 2018 competition were as follows:

Theme Winner
Collaboration  Noreen Orr- My nature- I'm glad I came outside
Society and Culture Rebecca Abbott- Meet Synthia
Sustainable Future (overall winner)  Ines Lange- Survivor
Technology Laura Kelley- In the eye of the beholder

Images of Research Booklet 2018


The winning entries for the 2017 competition were as follows:

Theme Winner
Collaboration Charlie Jeyes- High Resolution Image of a Brain Capillary
Society and Culture Tanimola Martins- Ethnic Inequality in Diagnosis of Symptomatic Prostate Cancer
Sustainable Futures (Overall Winner) Matthias Becher- Tell Us Where You Are Going
Technologies Jayden van Horik– Robo-bird
Highly Commended  
Natalie Ohana- Legal Alienation
Richard Tennant- A Blast from the Past

A gallery of all 2017 entries can be viewed here

Images of Research 2017 judging panel 

Many thanks to our esteemed judging panel, that consisted of:

  • Professor Richard Toye - Professor in History
  • Grace Williams - Public Engagement Lead, Research Services
  • Naome Glanville - University Arts and Culture Manager
  • Caroline Gale - Library Liaison Manager
  • Carole Fitzgerald - Head of Design and Publications

Images of Research Booklet 2017

The winning entries were displayed to the public during 'universities week' on the Streatham Campus between 2-7th June 2016 and on the Penryn Campus between 13-17th June 2016.



Kate Boddy- Public Participation

Society and Culture Anastasia Sommerville-Wong- Tea Cermony
Sustainable Futures Andrew Watts- Face2Face with Plastic
Technologies Richard Tennant- A Millisecond of Analysis

Gallery of all 2016 entries

The winning entries were displayed to the public during 'universities week' on the Streatham Campus between 5-10th June 2015 and Penryn Campus between 15-19th June 2015. 

Theme Winner
Collaboration Leigh Shelford- Crystalline
Society and Culture Sulayman Mourabit- Fish Selfie
Sustainable Futures Andrew Watts- Plastic Waste
Technology Jolyon Troscianko- Fiery-necked Nightjar Hiding in Leaf-littler

Gallery of all 2015 entries

The winning entries were dislayed to the public during 'universities week' on the Streatham Campus between 9-13th June 2014 and the Penryn Campus between the 16-20th June 2014.

Theme Winner
Collaboration Rhys Goodhead- Fairy Light
Society and Culture Bernard Allaire- Archival Wreck
Sustainable Futures Matt Amesbury- Unlocking the secrets of Antaratic moss banks
Technology Natalie Garrette- Bright Bettle

Gallery of all 2014 entries