Rules, terms and conditions

Individual entrants are responsible for ensuring that have read and abided by the following competition rules, terms and conditions before submitting their entry. Failure to comply with these will result in your entry being disqualified.


This competition is open to the members of the research community in all disciplines across the University of Manchester. This includes the following members of staff employed by the university or registered as studying towards a research degree at the university:

  • Academic Staff
  • Research Fellows
  • Postdoctoral Research Associates
  • Postgraduate Research Students (e.g. PhD, MPhil, EngD, MSc by Research)
  • Research Technical Support (e.g. electronic officers, lab and research technicians)

Each entrant may enter a maximum of one photographic image to the competition.


  • Entry Submissions Opens: 22 July 2013
  • Submissions Close: 23 September 2013, 12 noon (BST)
  • Shortlist Announced: 4 October 2013
  • Public Vote Opens: 7 October 2013
  • Public Vote Closes: 4 November 2013, 12 noon (GMT)
  • Winners Announced: 5 November 2013


The theme of this year's competition is “The Big Picture”. You can choose to interpret this theme as you broadly as you like but you need to show how this single photograph image is related to your research and how research matters to others beyond academia. Your abstract might describe how your research impacts the wider world and how it makes a difference for example to society, to individuals or the environment?


Public vote: £200 gift voucher
Judges votes:  First prize: £150 gift voucher | Runners up: £100 gift vouchers | Highly commended: £50 gift voucher.

Image Digital Guidelines

Images must be submitted online via the contact form available on the submissions page.

Format: Photographers who are shortlisted will need to be able to provide a high-resolution image file of at least 300dpi, with a dimension of at least 2000 pixels at the longest edge. Shortlisted images will be printed on A3 foamex (at no cost to you). Images can be submitted in portrait or landscape orientation. The overall presentation of your submission may vary depending on which orientation you choose.

Adjusting your image: The faithful representation of what was captured at the time of the shot being taken must be maintained. Digital adjustments are only acceptable if limited to minor cleaning work (removing dust spots), levels, curves, colour, saturation and contrast work. Sharpening and minimal cropping is allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. Composting, multiple exposures, sandwich shots and double exposures are not permitted. Multiple or collage images are not permitted. Adding or removing elements into/from the image is not allowed. Pictures that have been digitally manipulated beyond the terms of the rules will be disqualified. The judges reserve the right to the exclude any image they believe may have been excessively treated so as to alter its authenticity.

Colour: Full colour or black and white images are permitted. Digital files or scans of transparencies can be submitted. Dodging, burning and toning of these is allowed.

Camera details: All entrants who are shortlisted will be required to provide details about their camera, lens, exposure, speed and any other equipment used.

Title and description: Your submission must include a snappy, interesting title and a max. 150 word description of how the image demonstrates the relationship between your research and this year's theme. As the abstract will be read by members of the general public and other non-specialists in your research area you must ensure that the description uses plain English and is jargon-free.

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


Judges appointed by the Organiser will choose the shortlisted entries. Entries will be reviewed under anonymous means (so details of entrant names, school or gender will not be taken into account). Judges will take into account the photographic image, the title, and the associated short description.

Judges appointed by the Organiser will choose the first prize winner and runner up winners with consideration of the public’s votes. Once again Judges will take into account the photographic image, the title, and the associated short description.

Members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite entry online.

The Organiser’s decision on all matters relating to the competition is final, and no correspondence will be entered into concerning the competition’s judging and organisation. Should the quality of entries fall below the standard required, the Organiser reserves the right not to award prizes. Such decisions shall be unchallengeable.

Copyright, reuse and reproduction

Entrants will retain copyright in the photographs that they submit. By entering the competition, all entrants grant to The University of Manchester the right to publish and exhibit their photographs at events such as the Manchester Science Festival both on and off campus and to use the image(s) in any of our publicity and marketing materials and on its website. Entries may also be retained and used for The University of Manchester image library. As such, you hereby grant to The University of Manchester a non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to reproduce works based on your submission without any obligation to compensate you. By entering this competition you consent to the use of your name, biographical information, entry and any statements attributed to you, or photographs of you taken subsequently, being used for promotional purposes without additional compensation to you.

While we make every effort to credit photographers, including in printed reproductions of their work, we cannot guarantee this. Media will be allowed to publish winning images free of charge for the purpose of promoting the photographic competition. All images used by the media will be credited to the photographer. As such, you hereby grant to The University of Manchester a non-exclusive, royalty-free licence to reuse and/or reproduce works based on your submission without any obligation to compensate you.

Liability and legal issues

The University of Manchester shall not be liable in any way for a submission. It is the responsibility of the photographer to secure permission from 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 copyright of the entire image must be the entrant’s or the entrant must have the written authority of the copyright owner to enter the photograph into the competition. All responsibility resides with the entrant to seek all permissions required for the image to win under the entrant’s name, and for the display and publication of the entry. The Organiser reserves the right to request evidence of such authorities or consents. Images co-created may be entered under more than one owner name; the responsibilities outlined above to extend to multiple owners.

Declarations of truth

All entrants will be asked to declare that the images they are submitting comply with the competition rules and that the picture information they provide is original, complete, true and accurate. Changes The Organiser reserves the right to cancel this competition or alter the rules at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and if circumstances are arise outside of its control.


All instances the Organiser is The University of Manchester.


All enquires should be sent to: email or telephone 0161 306 4155.