Doctoral School

Research Image Competition and Exhibition

Take part in our Research Image Competition to showcase your research, and discover the exciting work taking place in our Sussex doctoral research community. The research image competition is part of our festival and one way you can get involved.

This is a chance to submit an image which informs, engages and intrigues a non-specialist audience and provides a visual perspective on your doctoral research.

If your image is shortlisted it will be displayed at our festival, where there will be an opportunity for doctoral researchers to vote for the People’s choice award (£200 towards your research). And the judging panel, drawn from our research community, will then award a prize of £300 (towards your research) to our winner.

The winning image will be selected by the panel on the basis of aesthetic appeal, the nature of the subject matter and technical quality.

Shortlisted images will also be published in the new ‘networks’ issue of 
the Excursions journal - in a special feature celebrating doctoral networks
at Sussex. All those with shortlisted images will  receive a copy of the networks 
issue, which will be launched during festival week.

If you would like to take part please see our competition guidelines, and contact Alex Aghajanian with any queries.

Competition Guidelines
  • Submitted images must be connected to research carried out during your doctoral studies at the University of Sussex.
  • Only one image can be submitted per student.
  • It is the responsibility of the photographer to secure permission from any identifiable persons in their photograph. You can find an example of a consent form you might use if you don't already have appropriate consent from identifiable persons here. The University of Sussex shall not be liable in any way for a submission.
  • Each image should be accompanied by a title and caption (max 150 words) that will help relate the image to your research. The abstract must be accessible to a non-specialist academic audience, use plain English and be jargon-free.
  • Digital images must be submitted in JPEG or PNG file format.
  • We ask that the file sizes be larger than 1MB but smaller than 5MB. Any images outside these parameters may not be considered for the competition.
  • All shortlisted entries will be enlarged to A2 size (the Doctoral School will cover printing costs) to be presented at the competition. 
  • If your image is selected then you should be able to attend the Research Image Competition on 27th June 2018. Entrants will be informed if their image has been selected by 8th June 2018.
  • All entries will be displayed on this webpage after the competition closing date.
  • Image entries may feature on the Doctoral School website, in our newsletter and more, giving acknowledgements wherever they are used.
  • How the image illustrates your research will be considered in the judging process, while technical quality will also be a factor.
Judges & Judging Guidelines

The competition will be judged by a panel drawn from the University of Sussex’s research community:

The judges will assess the images using the following criteria:


  • Is the image eye-catching, engaging and inspiring?
  • What overall impression does the image give?
  • Is the image of sufficiently high quality?

Title and caption

  • Is the title engaging?
  • Does the title connect the content of the image and the caption?
  • Does the caption effectively communicate the nature of the research?
  • Is the caption written in a style that is accessible to a non-specialist audience?
  • Do the image, title and caption work together to form a coherent and clear narrative?

The winner chosen by the Judging Panel will receive an award of £300 towards their research. The winner of the People’s Choice Award voted for by conference delegates at the Festival will receive £200 towards their research.

Key competition dates
Friday 18th May 2018        

Deadline to submit your image

Wednesday 27th June 2018

Shortlisted images displayed at Festival of Doctoral Research

Thursday 28th June 2018
All entries displayed on this webpage after the exhibition


Doctoral School

T: 00 44 (0)1273 87 7767