Image of Research

A picture can say more than a thousand words … and sometimes more than an entire dissertation.  

The Image of Research competition gives students the opportunity to engage creatively with their research, share behind-the-scenes views of their research processes, or portray their academic study in visual form.

2023 Image of Research Preliminary Rounds submissions will be displayed virtually and will start March 1, 2023. Final rounds will be displayed at the Union Art Gallery on the second floor of the Union.

The 2023 Image of Research Program with the 15 finalists. Visit the Union Art Gallery through March 31st to see the images in person.  

We look forward to seeing you on March 21th at 3 PM for the Image of Research Gallery Reception on the 2nd floor of the Union. 


The deadline to register is February 282023 at midnight. Registration will open February 1st, 2023.


2023 Competition Schedule

Registration: February 1st to February 28th
Preliminary Rounds: March 1st to 3rd
Gallery Exhibition and Final rounds: March 20th to 24th
Gallery Reception: March 21st at 3:00 PM
Winner’s announced: March 28th
Exhibition closes: March 31st

What should the image be?

“Research” is defined broadly to include creative and scholarly work in all fields. The image submitted 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.

The submission will be judged on three criteria:

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

Who can submit?

Entries must be submitted by graduate students (Masters, Cert, PhD) who are registered during the Spring 2023 term and are in good academic standing at the University. Individual entries only please (no groups). One entry per individual.  The entrant must be principal creator of the image. MSU Employee students are not eligible.


A subset of 15 submissions will be selected by judges as the finalists. Finalist submissions will be displayed at the Union Art Gallery on the second floor of the Union. Of these, the following three awards will be given and remaining will receive honorable mentions.

  • First prize: $300
  • Second prize: $200
  • People’s Choice award: $150
  • Honorable mention: $50

What is required for submission?

  • A title of less than 10 words
  • A 100 to 150-word narrative that articulates the connection between the image and your research. Please proofread your narrative before submitting.
  • Images should be the best quality image that you can provide. Please make sure your image file meets the following requirements:
    • Must scale to 40” x 32”
    • Maximum file size of 10 GB
    • Minimum resolution of 300 ppi
    • Image must be in TIFF, JPEG, or JPEG2 format.
    • If your file fails to meet these criteria, we will ask that the necessary changes be made before accepting and processing your submission
  • Picture of submitter

Image Submission Instructions

After completing the registration process (see top pf page), please submit your image. To submit your image/photograph, please visit Please name your file “FirstInitialFullLastName_IOR”, ex. the name is Jane Smith, the file name would be “JSmith_IOR”. Share the file with Lilli Harris (

 All images are due by midnight on February 28, 2023.


All images may be printed and displayed at the Union Art Gallery throughout the duration of the competition and after the competition.



The deadline to register is February 282023 at midnight.



For questions regarding the Image of Research Competition, please contact:

Lilli Harris, Graduate Student Development Coordinator
Phone: 662-325-1622