PhD student photo competition
The Faculty PhD student photo competition celebrates the work of our fantastic young researchers through imagery and stories that invite us into the world of natural sciences.
Congratulations to the winners for 2023!
Congratulations to our winners and all our shortlisted students. Two prizes were awarded by our panel of judges and one prize as a result of a vote by Imperial staff and students:
Judges' Choice awards
- Best image prize worth £250: Anna Curran, Department of Mathematics
- Runner-up image prize worth £200: Holly Holder, Department of Physics
People's Choice award
- Prize worth £150: Theo Hembury, Department of Life Sciences
You can view the winners and other shortlisted images below.
Alternatively, you can view each of the shortlisted images and their associated captions in this PDF: PhD student photo competition winners 2023
WINNER of the Best Image Prize:
Nature's Cleanser by Anna Curran (Maths)
RUNNER-UP Image Prize:
Magnetic River Delta by Holly Holder (Physics)
WINNER People's Choice Award:
Powering the Future by Theo Hembury (Life Sciences)
Lord of the (Antibiotic Resistance) Rings, by Himani Amin (Life Sciences)
Bringing the Cosmos to Earth: Recreating Astrophysical Shocks in the Lab, by Stefano Merlini (Physics)
Laser beams for cooling atoms, by Elizabeth Pasatembou (Physics)
Caught in the act – bacteria propagating antibiotic resistance, by Jonasz Patkowski (Life Sciences)
The crux of breast cancer organoids, by Claudia Sanchez Cabanillas (Chemistry)
Carbon nanotube dispersion in ionic liquid, by Zoyia Kamora (Chemistry)
Shedding light on cell division of the main malaria vector, by Matteo Vitale (Life Sciences)
Light and Matter, by Sumer Jaitly (Physics)
FINESSE'd, by Sanjeevani Panditharatne (Physics)
The panel of judges will sift submissions against eligibility criteria (see below) and the following themes:
- Technical skill: what are the technical qualities of the image, including clarity, lighting and framing?
- Impact: does the image captured the imagination of the viewer? Is it likely to inspire?
- Communication: is the narrative accessible to the layperson and does it describe the image and its message accurately? Does it compliment the image and enhance its impact?
To apply you must be a PhD student currently registered in the Faculty of Natural Sciences (Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences, Mathematics and Centre for Environmental Policy). Entrants are limited to one submission.
The submitted image may be portrait or landscape (shortlisted images will be printed in A2). You may also submit a second (same) image with labels/annotations. This may allow the audience to understand better the structure or components of your image. Note judges will not view/score any labelled images.
Submit your entries as JPEG/JPG files, maximum 100Mb in size. A2 printed size will be 4961 pixels x 7016 pixels at 300dpi.
Please include your name in the title of the file.
Images may be black and white or in colour, taken with any kind of camera. Minor adjustments are allowed, such as minor changes in cropping, sharpening, contrast, etc. Significantly altered or artistically enhanced photos are not accepted. The judges may request the original file/RAW/negative of your photo to verify this.
Images taken by someone other than the applicant are not allowed.
Image caption requirements
- Your image title should ideally be 2-5 words with a strict maximum of 10 words.
- Your accompanying narrative/caption should ideally be 80-100 words with a strict maximum of 110 words.
- Your image narrative must give a description of your image and place in the context of your research.
- Your narrative must be accessible to a non-specialist audience. Do not use acronyms.
- You must not do anything to injure or distress an animal or damage its habitat in an attempt to secure an image.
- You must ensure that the personal safety of everyone involved is appropriately handled. Avoid taking unnecessary risks that can result in dangerous situations.
- You are responsible for ensuring full compliance with any applicable national or international legislation.
- Respect the work of other photographers and do not plagiarize.
- If the panel suspects that an entry has been achieved through cruel or unethical practices, the entry will be disqualified.
Terms and conditions
It is the responsibility of participants to ensure that the images they are submitting are their own work, that they own the copyright for them and that they do not infringe on the copyright or other rights of any third party.
It is the responsibility of participants to ensure that the images do not infringe any laws. Copyright for the submitted images remains with their authors. However, by entering the competition, participants are granting the Faculty of Natural Sciences irrevocable, perpetual permission for non-commercial use of the images online and in print, in any promotional materials related to the competition, and in an exhibition on campus.
Any question please contact Dr Ester Buchaca-Domingo (email@example.com).