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Image of Research - UR Edition

The Image of Research is a multidisciplinary competition celebrating the diversity and breadth of undergraduate student research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. All undergraduate students are invited to submit entries consisting of an image and brief text that articulates how the image relates to the research. 

Entries must be submitted through completing this form: https://illinois.edu/sb/sec/48397


First prize: $300
Second prize: $200
Additionally, there may be up to two honorable mentions.

Examples of winning entries from 2015:

Requirements and deadlines

Entries must be submitted by undergraduate students who are currently enrolled and in good academic standing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Each person may only submit one entry. Each submission should include a faculty sponsor and students are responsible for submitting their own work. 

Submissions will be accepted from February 10 until 12pm CST Sunday, March 27, 2016. 

Who can submit?

Students must be registered during the Spring 2016 term and be in good academic standing. Each person may only submit one entry, either alone or as part of a collaborative group. 

What should the image be?

The image submitted should represent your research either concretely or abstractly. You will also be submitting a narrative that articulates the connection between the image and your research. The submission will be judged on:

  • Connection between image, text and research
  • Originality
  • Visual impact 

The entrant(s) must be principle creator(s) of the image. Third party content can be used (e.g. mixed with other content), but submitting a third party image unaltered is not permitted. Entrants are responsible for ensuring that any use of images or material that are under copyright by a third party either falls under fair use or that relevant permissions have been sought, that no copyright has been infringed, and that any necessary release forms have been signed. 

What is required for submission?

  • A title of less than 250 characters 
  • A 100-200 word description that articulates the connection between the image and your research.
  • Images should be the best quality image that you can provide. We recommend a maximum file size of 100 MB and a minimum resolution of 300 ppi. Please keep in mind that all submissions will be printed and mounted for display at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April, and may be used at other functions in print format. These are generally printed at approximately 40 x 28 inches with the abstract included. Please contact the Scholarly Commons if you have any questions: sc@library.illinois.edu 
  • You must agree to the following license agreement that allows the University to display and provide access to your image: 
I grant the University of Illinois non-exclusive and royalty-free permission to use my image and accompanying text in their original forms and/or modified forms for the purpose of promoting the competition and the research taking place at Illinois, and I have the necessary rights, permissions, and/or licenses to grant Illinois these rights. I understand that this means that such materials, in their original forms and/or modified forms, may be incorporated in any and all media. If I wish to revoke permissions to use my image, I must do so in writing to the University Library. In addition, I agree to the license agreement for IDEALS so that my image can be displayed within IDEALS or other online medium. If you are the copyright owner, by accepting this license, you still retain copyright to your work and do not give up the right to submit the work to publishers or other repositories. The University will clearly identify your name(s) as the author(s) or copyright owner(s) of the submission as well as the name(s) of the copyright owner(s) if different from your name(s), include a statement of your copyright, and will not make any alteration, other than as allowed by this license, to your submission. By accepting this license, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to the terms of this agreement and all related IDEALS and University policies.

Please contact the Scholarly Commons if you have any questions: sc@library.illinois.edu

Submission Process

Entries must be submitted through completing this form: https://illinois.edu/sb/sec/1445728

The judges for 2016:

  • Karen Rodriguez'G, Office of Undergraduate Research
  • Sarah Christensen, Visual Resources Curator, University Library
  • Tori Henry, Scholarly Commons


1. To clarify, should images be original images we have taken or created? Or are we allowed to use pre-existing images?

Your submission should be an image you have taken or created. You could use pre-existing images in the creation of the new image if the use would be covered under fair use (see http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/files/2009/10/fairusechecklist.pdf) or you have permission to reuse the image. However, you cannot submit an image created by someone else as your submission.

2. Can we combine two separate images of ours and turn it into an illustration which can better convey the meaning of our research? Because the competition does not say "photo of research" but instead, it is titled as "image of research." So I figured that an illustration that combines multiple images of ours may be acceptable as well?

Yes, you may combine two separate images into a single one that best represents your research. We are definitely interested in seeing creative work like this.

3. Should I own any research in order to compete? Or do I just create any random image (with regards to research), and explain how the image connect into the research?

The Image of Research competition is meant to give you an opportunity to create an image that represents your research. This might mean you actually take a photograph that you feel represents your research, or create some other type of image that represents your research. This can be a direct representation of your research or a more abstract representation.

4. Should I name the faculty member I am working with as a contributor? 

Yes! You should definitely acknowledge the faculty you worked with on your project as a contributor to your submission. You should also ask them to be the faculty sponsor of your submission!

5. How are the awards dispersed? 

The awards are given through your student account. If you are an international students, please note that your award may be subject to tax withholding. 

There is also an Image of Research competition for Illinois graduate students!

Questions? Contact us at sc@library.illinois.edu

The Image of Research is organized by the Scholarly Commons of the University Library and the Office of Undergraduate Research and is supported by a generous gift to the Scholarly Commons from the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The Image of Research at Illinois was inspired by the Image of Research competition at the University of Illinois at Chicago.