Capture the essence of your research and the imagination of your audience.

Early December 2017, Research and Innovation Services launched our inaugural Research Images competition asking our research community to convey the story of their research in a single image.

The Competition

Summing up complex research in a simple and succinct way can be a tricky task, while an image can enable the powerful messages of the research conducted at Stirling to be told in an innovative, forward-thinking way.

Our Research Images competition is open to researchers from PGR to Professor and is a chance for researchers to promote their work to the public in an innovative and visual fashion. The competition could, for some, be the first step in public engagement and, for others, present an opportunity to try a new way of demonstrating their research other than through words.

To enter the competition, we are looking for a high quality image that tells the story of your research. The key is to get creative – we’re not looking for a picture of you conducting your research – and think about an image that says a thousand words – what journey can your image take the viewer on? Don’t forget to check out our photo guidelines for more information.

The competition has three categories, the University’s Research themes, to which images can be submitted to and researchers are welcomed to submit an image to each of the categories.

  • Living Well
  • Cultures, Communities and Society
  • Global Security and Resilience

Our judging panel will then shortlist a small number of entrants, who will be entered into a social media campaign #StirResearchImages and exhibited at our Research Images exhibition during Research Week (30th April – 4th May 2018).  Look out for our social media campaign between 4th and 25th April 2018 that invites the public and wider University community to vote for the competition winner and have your say (Even if you’ve entered!).  The three images with the ‘most likes’ from the social media campaign will be announced at our Awards Ceremony at Research Week. Prizes for the top 3 include a framed copy of their image and a cash prize to use to further their research.

  • 1st Prize = £250
  • 2nd Prize = £150
  • 3rd Prize = £100


The University of Stirling Research Images competition was inspired by a number of successful similar competitions that run across the sector. If you need any inspiration read about Fiona Millar’s experience visiting the University of Strathclyde’s Images of Research exhibition and check out The Royal Society results of their 2017 photography competition – entries for the EPSRC Science Photo Competition 2017 closed 6th December and we look forward to seeing what images are submitted to their 5 categories.

To further help inspire you to think about the story of your research to be told in a single image, our REF Manger Helen Young has come up with her own Research Image:

Rural Reflection

Rural reflection is a sound wave from an oral history interview around rural schools that Helen conducted as part of her PhD. The sound wave is reminiscent of the majestic Scottish mountains reflected on a loch.

Dates for the diary

Inspired? Complete the submission form and submit to

Entry deadline : 29th January 2018

Image deadline: 28th February 2018

Shortlisting: February to end of March 2018

Social media campaign and your opportunity to vote for your favourite: 4th to 25th April 2018

A selection of images will be exhibited during Research Week 2018: 30th April to 4th May 2018

Award ceremony: 4th May 2018