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Faculty and Staff Graphics first place winner

NC State Research Image Contest

NC State is calling on graduate students, undergraduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff to enter Envisioning Research, the university’s annual research image contest. Help us highlight the beauty and importance of the work being done at the bench and in the field, both on campus and around the world. See the 2023 contest winners for inspiration.

Contest Details

The 2024 contest closed on June 17. Winners will be announced in August.

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 data visualization: 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. Sound is optional.


There will be separate prizes, based on each contestant’s status at the university. Up to $4,200 will be awarded this year. 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 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 and Innovation. There is also a $250 prize for first-place undergraduate student contestants in each category, and a $100 prize for second-place undergraduate student contestants, thanks to sponsorship from NC State’s Office of Undergraduate Research.

Resolution: It is important to capture and retain the highest-resolution original with the tools used in image creation (e.g. a 12MP camera captures a 4368 x 2912 px image). If needed, submissions may be compressed as a copy of the original to meet 16MB maximum upload size. 

All images should be original, well-executed, and effective at communicating information to the audience. Submissions must be related to a specific research project that took place, or is ongoing, at NC State. 

Each submission should include a title, and a caption of no more than 150 words that describes the research.

Each submission should also include one or two sentences explaining the impact of the work fo 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. Industry Partners submitting images must indicate the nature of the university-industry collaborative team.

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

Images or video produced using generative AI tools are not allowed.

Winners will be announced in late August. Anyone with questions about the contest can email


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 the promotion of the competition itself. You hereby give North Carolina State University nonexclusive rights to use yo 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.
  • The contest organizers reserve the right to place an entry in a different category if the category on the submission is deemed to be inaccurate.
  • 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.

Contest Sponsors

The contest is a joint project, organized by the Graduate School, Office of Research and Innovation, Office of Undergraduate Research, NC State University Libraries and University Communications and Marketing.