Graduate Competition


Competition Opens: Monday, November 27, 2023

Deadline to enter: Monday, January 22, 2024

Reception: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. in Room 220, Main Library
(Visit the Online Gallery)
(Learn more about the semifinalists)


View the on-site exhibit, celebrate, and vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award! 


Any graduate or professional student who was registered during the Fall 2023 term at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (online or on-campus) and is in good academic standing. Only one entry is allowed per year per person. Individual entries only please.


An Image of Research entry is comprised of an image, a brief written narrative, and a title.

The image can represent your work either concretely or abstractly. Perhaps it is an image of your research itself, an activity related to your research, or the impact of your research. We define “research” broadly to include the breadth of creative and scholarly work in all fields. For size and format requirements, see below.

The purpose of the brief narrative is to articulate an aspect of your research that is important to you. This is a great opportunity to talk about your work creatively, offer a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes, share the experience of conducting the research, or express how it has impacted you or others. The text should not be merely a description of the image. It is not meant to be a caption.

The submission will be judged on three criteria:

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


A subset of submissions will be selected by judges as the semi-finalists. Of these, the following 4 awards will be given.

  • First prize: $500
  • Second prize: $300
  • Third prize: $200
  • Honorable mention: $100
  • People’s Choice award: $100

Awards to graduate students will be dispersed as professional development travel funds through the student’s university account. Awards may be subject to tax withholding.

See submission information