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‘Incredible creativity’: Images of Research 2021 Doctoral Academy roundup

15 December 2021

By Terry Laverty-Seabrook, Doctoral Academy Community Development and Engagement Officer

Between 6-10 December 2021, the Doctoral Academy’s second online Images of Research event took place across Twitter and Facebook. Images of Research is a ‘flagship’ Doctoral Academy annual celebration and attracts a wide audience of researchers and staff from Cardiff University, with the aim of making PGR research accessible and available in a public event.

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Students Claire Morgan introduced the event, describing it as ‘an absolute pleasure’ to see the images released over the course of the week.

Cardiff University postgraduate research students (PGRs) were invited to apply for the competition with an image that conveys a message about their research, along with a short description. Twenty-four shortlisted images were then posted at intervals throughout the week in an inspiring, interdisciplinary exhibition on Twitter along with the hashtag #ImagesofResearch. PGRs were invited to engage with the posts and promote their research online as widely as possible.

After the final image was exhibited, the public invitation went out for voting to take place on the album of entrants on Facebook for the People’s Choice Award, with the image that  received the most votes in the form of ‘reacts’ (‘likes’, ‘loves’, ‘cares’ etc.) by the end of the voting period being declared the winner.

Three other winners were chosen by a panel of judges representing each College of the University, using such phrases as ‘incredible creativity’, ‘so many amazing ones’ and ‘a privilege’ to judge. You can see their stunning work below:

Prize Winners

First Prize

Green thread weaving around birds drawn in colour and black and white.
Cerys Knighton, School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Polarisation.


Second Prize

Coffee cup reading 'You got this' atop a pile of books.
Rosie Moore, School of Social Sciences, Light Reading.


Third Prize

Protein CD200 in the tubules of a human kidney
Gemma Davies, School of Biosciences, Test Tubules.


People’s Choice

Mirror image of a lit hemisphere representing a 'crystal ball'.
Shaikhah Almousa, School of Physics and Astronomy, The Seer.

Galleries of entrants for our Images of Research events for the last few years can be found on our Facebook page.

A huge thank you goes out to the Pro-Vice Chancellor, the judges and all of this year’s exhibitors and anyone who engaged with the celebration on Twitter and Facebook. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to offer an online alternative to what is normally a face-to-face affair, so that we can showcase the incredible ingenuity of our PGRs in presenting their work in such an accessible and visually astonishing way, and look forward to the possibility of running an in-person event next year.

If you are currently engaging in postgraduate research, please remember to keep the competition in mind for 2022. Creating an image and short description for presenting your research to a public audience is an excellent exercise in public engagement and good practice for promoting yourself and your research area during your academic career.