2014 Cool Science Image Contest

Want to share your work or interest in science?

Send us your cool science images!

Contest submissions accepted Jan. 23 – Feb. 28, 2014*

What we’re looking for

BETA CATENIN (CTNNB1)
Credit: Vatsal Mehta, staff, Comparative Biosciences Department. One of the 2013 winning images
  • This contest is only open to the UW-Madison community. Faculty, staff and any currently enrolled UW-Madison student are eligible. Individuals or teams may enter.
  • Images can depict an object or phenomenon from any discipline.
  • We’ll accept images in any medium, such as, but not limited to:

    - Microscopy

    - Photography (astronomy, nature, etc.)

    - Animations and (short) movies

    - Medical imaging

    - Science-as-art

    - Schematics

    - Photography of your own 3D printing
  • Images will be judged on aesthetic and informational qualities.

What you could win

Contest sponsor:

promega logo

Contest sponsor:

Digital Publishing and Printing Services Division of Information Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • A published image! Winning entries are published on the popular science web site The Why Files and appear in slide shows on other UW-Madison web sites and venues.
  • A valuable prize! Winners will receive a $100 Downtown Madison gift certificate (one per winning image).
  • A large format print! Winners receive a large format print courtesy of DoIT’s Digital Publishing and Printing Services

How to enter

Go to this link (https://uwmadison.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cBk0qACjPZxtIb3)
to submit entries between Jan. 23 – Feb. 28, 2014

Check out the 2013 winners!


The form asks for the following information:

  • A credit line, including the name and affiliation of the individual(s) responsible for creating the image
  • Your affiliation with UW-Madison (i.e. undergraduate student, graduate student, postdoc, faculty, or staff. Please include your department.)
  • Your agreement to a statement of reprint permission**
  • A short (< 150 words) caption that answers these questions:
    -What does the image depict?

    -What is an interesting fact about the object or phenomenon?

    -How is this object, phenomenon and/or method of image-making important to your research or discipline?
  • Important: Please write your caption in layman’s terms, avoiding scientific jargon. It should be easy for a non-scientist to understand. Since “science value” is a part of the judging criteria, conveying your image’s significance in an accessible manner is important. For examples of what we mean by “accessible” language, refer to our existing Cool Science Images library.

    • *We will announce winners in mid-March.
    • **We may ask for a larger, print-ready size if your image is a winner. Ideally, image density is 300 DPI. We are keenly aware of copyright issues on the web and we always include a credit/copyright line. We hope this encourages others to be respectful of copyrighted property.

    Judges / Advisors

    • Ahna Skop, UW-Madison Professor of Genetics
    • Steve Paddock, UW-Madison Associate Scientist, Molecular Biology
    • Paula Panczenko, Director, Tandem Press
    • Sue Medaris, Art Director, The Why Files
    • Yilang Peng, Project Assistant, The Why Files
    • Darren Halbersma, Senior Graphic Designer, Promega Corp.
    • Steve Ackerman, UW-Madison Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
    • Kevin Eliceiri, Director, UW-Madison Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation
    • Kara Rogers, Science Writer/Editor, Encyclopedia Britannica