NC State Research Image Contest

Images can capture the imagination, and research images have the power to explain complex concepts, offer insights into the research process and draw viewers in to the power and beauty of science, mathematics and engineering.

In its first year, the NC State Research Image Contest was open only to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. But this year we’re expanding the contest, making it open to faculty and staff – and adding a new category for submissions.

Submissions were due no later than June 15, 2017.

Contestants can submit images in four categories:

  • Photography (including photos of field work): submissions should be in a JPEG format and must be high-resolution.
  • Microscopy: submissions should be in a JPEG format and must be high-resolution.
  • Graphics and illustration: submissions can be in JPEG, TIF, GIF or PDF formats and must be high-resolution.
  • Video and interactive: submissions can be no longer than two minutes. Shorter is better, and there should be an emphasis on visual presentation rather than narration. Submissions can be in MP4 or WMV formats. If the submission is already available online, contestants can submit a URL to the relevant page.

All images should be original, well-executed, and effective at communicating information to the audience. Winning entries from last year’s contest can be found here, though we’re hoping to see more photos of fieldwork – and an even higher quality of submissions – in 2017.

There will be separate prizes, based on each contestant’s status at the university. There is a $250 prize for first-place graduate student or postdoctoral contestants in each category, and a $100 prize for second-place graduate student or postdoctoral contestants, thanks to sponsorship from the NC State Graduate School. There is also a $250 prize for first-place faculty or staff contestants in each category, and a $100 prize for second-place faculty or staff contestants, thanks to sponsorship from NC State’s Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development (ORIED).

Submissions should be submitted using the online submission form found here: [coming soon!]. The contest is a joint project, organized by the Graduate School, ORIED, NC State’s College of Sciences and NC State University Communications.

Each submission should include a caption of no more than 150 words that describes the work. Each submission should also include one or two sentences explaining why the work may be important for North Carolina, the United States or the world. The written components should be entered into the online submission form, not submitted as separate files.

If a submission comes from a laboratory or team of researchers, please designate a single point of contact.

Individuals may submit multiple entries, but each entry must be submitted separately.

By submitting a photograph, image, graphic, or video (collectively the “work”) contestants hereby agree to the following:

  • You certify and warrant that the work is your own original creative work and does not violate or infringe the copyright or other proprietary or intellectual property rights of others.
  • You retain all copyright and equivalent rights but grant permission for North Carolina State University to use, reproduce, distribute, and/or release the work to the public in any manner and in any medium without payment of any fee, and in perpetuity.
  • North Carolina State University reserves the right to use contestants’ names and works for educational publicity and/or promotional purposes, including website or exhibition of winning entries. You understand that the works will be shared with reporters covering these awards and for promotion of the competition itself.  You hereby give North Carolina State University nonexclusive rights to use your name, likenesses, quotes and submissions for educational publicity and/or promotional purposes. This includes but is not limited to website display, print materials and exhibits.
  • You hereby agree to indemnify North Carolina State University, its trustees, officers, agents, and employees, from any and all claims, demands, and liabilities (including attorneys’ fees) incurred as a result of a final judgment or settlement or any claim or legal proceeding arising out of or resulting from a breach or claimed breach of the foregoing representations and warranties.

Winners will be announced Aug. 15, 2017. Anyone with questions about the contest can contact Matt Shipman at