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Picturing Research: A DRMC Competition

The Picturing Research competition is a chance for research staff and postgraduate (PGT and PGR) researchers to submit a pictorial representation of their research.

Picturing Research is a DRMC online competition showcasing research conducted by researchers at Durham University. It is an opportunity to extend the reach of research to wider publics and different means of communication.

The competition aims to highlight the contributions and impact of Durham researchers to society, locally and globally.

Inspired by the focus of the Durham Research Methods Centre (DRMC) on “designing novel methods to tackle complex, real-world challenges’, the competition focuses on:

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Innovative research
  • Engaging community

The idea is very straightforward: capture/represent your research in one image/photo with the support of a 100-word description.

Award Categories:
This year there has been a disparity in the number of entries submitted by Staff and Postgraduate Researchers: we received 4 entries by staff members and 21 entries by Postgraduate Researchers. In an attempt to run the vote in an as equitable way as possible, we realised that using the categories of Research Staff and Postgraduate Researchers, as previously announced, would disproportionally affect the category results, in that the chances of staff getting an award was 1 to 4, while Postgraduate Researchers' chances stood at 1 to 21.  
In order to address this imbalance, we have reorganised the vote to include First, Second and Third best pictures, with the respective voucher prizes: £100 (1st); £75 (2nd) and £50 (3rd). We asked each voter to select 3 pictures from the list of 25.

Submissions are judged on the following criteria:


  • Pictorial effect: the picture is striking, stands out and entices the viewer to want to know more about the message it aims to convey
  • Creativity: The research is represented in a unique and original way
  • Communication: the combination of the picture and caption conveys research ideas in an accessible way

Picturing Research Competition 2024

The entries for 2024 were as follows:

Entry 1 - "The Moors above Haworth: A Research Visit to Brontë Country" By Sophie Ward

The photo is of the moors above Haworth, North Yorks. It was taken during my visit to Brontë Country in July 2023 as research for Vol 5 of A Cultural History of Solitude.
Field, trees & sky in Haworth

Entry 2 - "Water Warrior" By Afsana Afrin Esha - Winner of 1st Place!

Imagine having to collect all the water you will use for the day, from a certain collection-point, for a window of only an hour, for all of your family.
Man on boat in river

Entry 3 - "Island map of a menopausal body" By Jo Long

This island map represents the lived experience of a menopausal body in connection with physical activity.
Drawing of an island

Entry 4 - "Cultural Identity or its Echoes and Shadows? A Silent Dialogue of Antiquity in Modern Museums" By Batuhan Ozdemir

Capturing part of the façade of the Nereid Monument in a long, quiet gallery of the British Museum, aims to juxtapose the tangible heritage of Lycian cultural ......
Outside of museum in shadow

Entry 5 - "Creative methods to unlock social workers' experiences" By Rachael Owens

I wanted to understand what professionals need to meet these challenges, so I held four research workshops, attended by sixty workers from across the UK.
Group of people working in a room

Entry 6 - "Integrating Educational Technology into English Reading in China" By Fujia Yang

This study evaluates the impact of Accelerated Reader, a widely-used digital reading assessment platform, on Chinese primary students.
Shot from behind of students working in a computer class

Entry 7 - "Photovoice, El Tambo" By Germán Otálora-Gallego

A young boy looks at the images of an exhibition of a participatory photography project in El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia.
Child stood in front of fence covered in photos

Entry 8 - "Listening to children" By Ying Chen

This study uses the form of play, such as photography, drawing, and voting with children to explore the children's views on the kindergarten artwork area.
Adult & child sat at table with child reading

Entry 9 - "Garden Design" By Connor Herbert

A panorama of a garden. This kind of photo can be placed on a map to contextualize the imagery presented on the flat globe.
Panorama of a garden

Entry 10 - "Innovative Boredom: A Deck of Creativity" By Yuanya Zhang

This captivating image captures the essence of resilience and creativity among school-disengaged students in rural China.
Deck of handmade cards fanned out being held

Entry 11 - "Swapping the signs–How signs can bear witness to the empowerment of a health system actor in addressing neglected diseases." By Metrey Tiv

My research combines medical anthropology & public health to investigate partial & predominantly biomedical knowledge of Lassa, through an ethnography of a health system.
Signs in a street

Entry 12 - "Children of the Anthropocene" By Leah Edwards

Collage-making offers a practice for foregrounding heterogeneity, non-linearity and contingency within research. Thinking beyond ‘method’ as a discrete aspect of ........
Collage of a plate, ruler with black outline of 2 people

Entry 13 - "Being well together across racial lines" By Chung-Yen Cheng

To prepare for my fieldwork on people’s embodied experience in Northeast England, I attended this Tai Chi session hosted by Hong Kong immigrants in Dunston in March.
Adults doing exercise in a hall

Entry 14 - "Physical activity promoting strategies among disabled children in Saudi secondary schools" By Khaled Alsofyani

This research provides a comprehensive understanding of the context surrounding physical activity among Saudi secondary school-disabled children to develop PA-promoting..
circle of lower arm 7 hands together

Entry 15 - " Leaf Anatomy: The Beauty Within" By Osi Obomighie

In the heart of a leaf lies a complex network of structures essential for plant survival.
picture of close up of a leaf

Entry 16 - "Observing Galaxies from the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory" By Zoe Le Conte

Myself, a PhD astrophysicist, standing in front of the William Herschel Telescope at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes in La Palma.
Girl standing in front of a large telescope

Entry 17 - "Masculinities Studies Impact" By Ruoyi Fang

The lower part of the picture, describing how masculinities were in different eras, divides into 2 sides - the left is western and the right is Chinese.
Pencil drawing of a depiction of masculinities

Entry 18 - "Law and Energy : Energy Transition in the Global South" By Ekanem Bassey

The movement from fossil fuel to cleaner forms of energy is one of the greatest and most important challenges facing man in the 21st Century.
Drawing of weather formations

Entry 19 - "Echoes of Bamboo: Divination and Tradition at the Edge of Modernity" By Shaoding Dong - Winner of 2nd Place!

Jingpo shamans on the China-Myanmar border practice a unique form of divination by roasting bamboo and observing the patterns in the burst fibers to predict outcomes.
Men roasting bamboo and observing them

Entry 20 - "Sleep During the Meeting: Everyday Labour Dynamics at a State-owned Railway Construction Site in China" By Ziyu Lian

This photograph captures a meeting in the evening at a Chinese state-owned railway construction site in Shenzhen, 2019.
Boardroom table with people sat round it

Entry 21 - "The Universe at my fingertips" By Sarah Johnston

In our night sky there are galaxies, stars, and planets too far away for us to see, and yet connected to us through a universe-wide structure called the cosmic web.
Picture of a computer keyboard with 2 hands on it

Entry 22 - "My fieldsite being repaired" By Shivani Daxini - Winner of 3rd Place!

My fieldsite isn’t quite as simple ‘Bangalore city.’ I am in the the field when I enter an auto-rickshaw. My fieldwork takes place when I'm moving in a vehicle.
Men fixing a broken auto rickshaw

Entry 23 - "Microscopically Medieval" By Jordyn Patrick

While Hollywood likes to employ a grey & gloom filter on the Medieval era, scholars know quite the opposite to be true.
Image of modern paint fragments

Entry 24 - "Eyes on the Baby" By Helen Ball

Durham Uni. in partnership with Northumberland County Council, Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust, and Family Hubs aimed to eliminate unexpected deaths of babies....
2 pictures of people sitting at a conference & the speaker plus poster of event

Entry 25 - "Filial harm - contexts, transitions & intersectionality" By Maria Duah

This image represents the complexity of Child to Parent Abuse also known as filial harm. Different perspectives and contexts of filial harm across services & families....
Picture of various symbols