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FGS Images of Research Competition

(Photo credit: Afrin Islam, 2023-24 IoR competition) 

Combining visual and written communication skills

Use an image to tell a story to showcase your research in the annual UCalgary Images of Research Competition. The Faculty of Graduate Studies invites UCalgary graduate students to explore new ways of thinking about research, its value, and how it can be communicated to a broad, non-specialist audience.

Images of Research is also a great opportunity to win cash prizes and have your research shared with a wide community!

To participate, graduate students are challenged to capture an image that showcases their research and write a general abstract to complement the image as well as describe their research and its impact.

Entries are judged on composition, quality, how effectively the images connect with research, and on the quality of the written abstracts. To help you with your entry, you will be added to a D2L course with access to workshops, feedback sessions and written resources.

Photo of the 2023-24 award winners

Congratulations to our 2023-24 Images of Research winners!

Thank you to all participants for being a part of this year’s competition. 

Check out the virtual exhibition

How it works

The contest is open to all UCalgary graduate students in both thesis and course-based programs. All submissions must match the following criteria:

  • Original, unpublished image (please note: images such as computer-generated or electron microscopy images are accepted. Images of art such as paintings may be submitted, but must be arranged with purpose and follow judging criteria.).
  • Image taken by the student submitting the image.
  • Image must be high resolution digital files in JPEG format (3300 x 4200 pixels minimum and 300 dpi).
  • Image must be printable as 11x14” prints (entries must be cropped to final size before submitting).
  • Image must have a file size not exceeding 12 MB.

Graduate students can submit a maximum of one image per competition year. In addition to images, students must provide one abstract:

  • general public abstract (jargon-free and public-friendly language) which describes your image and how it relates to your thesis research or course of study (maximum 1,200 characters including spaces).

Meet the 2023-24 judges

Headshot of Alison Abel

Alison Abel

Ali Abel is an award-winning storyteller and the senior manager of communications for the Faculty of Law. When she’s not snuggled on the couch with a good book and her cat Bruce, you can find her outside running, hiking, paddleboarding or snowboarding.

Headshot of Denis Gadbois

Denis Gadbois

Prof Denis Gadbois is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History. He is an award winner photographer in the area of panoramic and 360VR photography. Prior to joining the Faculty of Arts he was an active faculty member teaching Design for the former Faculty of Environmental Design.

Headshot of Jo-Anne Oucharek with a camera

Jo-Anne Oucharek

Jo-Anne Oucharek is an award-winning photographer who loves to capture and share wildlife stories with her camera. When she is not on photography adventures, she is busy promoting Cochrane, AB as their Executive Director of Tourism.

Image by Josmar Cristello, 2021-22 IoR competition


Entries are split into STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine) and HAS (humanities, arts and fine arts, and social sciences). Judges select an overall winner for all entries and a first and second-place runner up for each of the STEM and HAS groups. A People’s Choice winner is chosen by the public. Awards are provided by FGS.

Monetary awards:


1st runner-up - $300 (respectively for each STEM and HAS group)

2nd runner-up [STEM] $150 (respectively for each STEM and HAS group)


Images may also be used online to further disseminate the winners’ research. 

Photo credit: Josmar Cristello, 2021-22 IoR competition