Inaugural images competition captures essence of University of Stirling research

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An image of the university campus

Nine images have been shortlisted as part of an inaugural competition designed to promote research at the University of Stirling.

The images were selected from a total of 18 entries to the Research Images Competition which offered researchers - from postgraduate research students to professors – a chance to promote their work to the public in an innovative, visual way.

A collage of research images

Nine shortlisted research images.

The public and University community are now being invited to vote for their favourite from the shortlisted images by Wednesday 25 April.

The images will also be exhibited at the Research Images exhibition during the University’s Research Week which is being held from Monday 30 April to Friday 4 May.

Entries were invited in three categories: Living Well; Cultures, Communities and Society; and Global Resilience and Security; reflecting the key research themes of the University.

The shortlisted images in the Living Well category include one of two boys walking hand-in-hand alongside their father in a wheelchair, highlighting behaviour change research to address the barriers carers face in keeping active.

Another image in the Cultures, Communities and Society category shows graffiti on a wall to promote research surveying the proliferation of social documentary photography and photojournalism in modern South Wales.

In the Global Resilience and Security category, the image Roads through the forest shows a tropical rainforest to highlight research looking at how they recover after some of the most valuable trees are logged for timber.

Research Development Officer Fiona Millar said: “We are delighted to have received 18 entries across the three categories and are impressed with the quality of images submitted.

“We would like to thank The Stirling Fund for sponsoring this inaugural Research Images competition.”

Rachel Beaton, Research Policy Officer, added: “For some, this is a valuable first step in public engagement and, for others, it presents an opportunity to try a more engaging and effective way of demonstrating their research than through words.

“By taking part, researchers had the chance to highlight, through a single image, how their research is having impact on contemporary, global society.”

Sally Foster submitted the shortlisted image of a swallow flying past the St John’s Cross replica at St Columba’s Shrine on Iona, to highlight an ethnographic study of the contemporary value and authenticity of historic replicas.

“I'm thoroughly enjoying my research on Iona, and it gives me great pleasure to share a striking picture that speaks to the significance of what we're doing,” she said.

“I've used versions of this image on postcards that we distribute to promote the project. It feels like my signature.”

The competition will conclude with an Awards Ceremony on Monday 30th April during the Research Week Welcome Reception. Each of the three winners will receive a framed copy of their image and a cash prize to further their research.

Background information

Media enquiries to Rosemary Free, Communications Officer, on 01786 466 169 or

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