Leverhulme Wildfires PhD Photo Competition

Leverhulme Wildfires PhD Photo Competition

The Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society is running a competition to find images and accompanying narratives that best communicates the impressive work of PhD students studying wildfires from across the world.

Shortlisted entries will be displayed at the Leverhulme Wildfires summer conference on 25th July 2023 at Imperial College London, as well as online. Winners will be announced in the closing session of the conference.


Two prizes will be awarded by a panel of judges and one prize as a result of a vote by conference attendees and the wildfires community:

Judges’ Choice awards 

  • Best image prize worth £250
  • Runner-up image prize worth £200

People’s Choice award

  • Prize worth £150

Selection criteria

The panel of judges will sift submissions against eligibility criteria (see below) and the following themes:

  • Technical skill: what are the technical qualities of the image, including clarity, lighting and framing?
  • Impact: does the image captured the imagination of the viewer? Is it likely to inspire?
  • Communication: is the narrative accessible to the layperson and does it describe the image and its message accurately? Does it compliment the image and enhance its impact?

Eligibility criteria

You must be a registered PhD student studying any aspect of wildfires and landscape fires from anywhere in the world (entries to submitted using university email account).

Entrants are limited to one submission.


Image requirements

The submitted image may be portrait or landscape (shortlisted images will be printed in A2). You may also submit a second (same) image with labels/annotations. This may allow the audience to understand better the structure or components of your image. Note judges will not view/score any labelled images.

Submit your entries as JPEG/JPG files, maximum 25MB in size.

Please include your name in the title of the file.

Images may be black and white or in colour, taken with any kind of camera. Minor adjustments are allowed, such as minor changes in cropping, sharpening, contrast, etc. Significantly altered or artistically enhanced photos are not accepted. The judges may request the original file/RAW/negative of your photo to verify this.

Images taken by someone other than the applicant are not allowed.


Image caption requirements

  • Your image title should ideally be 2-5 words with a strict maximum of 10 words.
  • Your accompanying narrative/caption should ideally be 80-100 words with a strict maximum of 110 words.
  • Your image narrative must give a description of your image and place in the context of your research.
  • Your narrative must be accessible to a non-specialist audience. Do not use acronyms.

Ethics requirements

  • You must not do anything to injure or distress an animal or damage its habitat in an attempt to secure an image.
  • You must ensure that the personal safety of everyone involved is appropriately handled. Avoid taking unnecessary risks that can result in dangerous situations.
  • You are responsible for ensuring full compliance with any applicable national or international legislation.
  • Respect the work of other photographers and do not plagiarize.
  • If the panel suspects that an entry has been achieved through cruel or unethical practices, the entry will be disqualified.

Terms and conditions

It is the responsibility of participants to ensure that the images they are submitting are their own work, that they own the copyright for them and that they do not infringe on the copyright or other rights of any third party.

It is the responsibility of participants to ensure that the images do not infringe any laws. Copyright for the submitted images remains with their authors. However, by entering the competition, participants are granting the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society irrevocable, perpetual permission for non-commercial use of the images online and in print, in any promotional materials related to the competition, and in an exhibition on campus.

To enter, please click here.


Deadline Sunday 2nd July 2023 * EXTENDED to 10th July

Any question please contact Adriana Ford a.ford@imperial.ac.uk