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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’, this year’s 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:

  • Research Staff category
  • Postgraduate category

Award: £100 voucher per category

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 2023

The entries for 2023 were as follows:

Entry 1 - "Measure twice, build once" by Jonathan Tummons

There are over 2,700 cycle shops in the UK. The cycling industry, worth £2 billion, supports over 60,000 jobs. Not much is known about the work of a cycle technician.
Cycle technicians measuring a specialist hub-gear for a custom rear-wheel build

Entry 2 - "Network or Not Work" by Jeni Smith. Creation by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Networking events are designed to bring people together. In a world of online interactions, in-person connection has never been more powerful. Click the link to read more
Room with coloured chairs facing a wooden wall with fairy lights

Entry 3 - "Reading Program for Students with Reading Difficulties in India" by Johny Daniel

This impact initiative’s goal was to bridge the research to practice gap that currently exists in providing reading instruction for students with reading difficulties.
Children working in a school

Entry 4 - "Discovering the past" by Marta Diaz-Guardamino. Creation by Qinghuan Huang. Public Vote Winner!

This photograph captures a pivotal moment in our archaeological excavation at Cañaveral de León, a village located in Huelva, in southern Spain, in June 2022.
People with torches looking at Excavation

Entry 5 - "Posthuman Arctic Changes Through The Looking Glass" by Danai-Maria Kontou. Creation by Myrto Kyritsi

This photo represents a research on the Arctic Cartographic Uncertainties, how we get to know what we know, & what these knowledges form into. Click the link to read more
Blurred photo of person through a screen

Entry 6 - " Living in a Vacuum?" by Matthew David (in collaboration with Phillip Kingsbury)

Are we living in a vacuum? In 2002, 800 Malmesbury workers were made redundant. Vacuum-cleaner production relocated to Malaysia. The company claimed ‘inevitability’.
Black and white drawing

Entry 7 - "Elements of Care" by Caitlin Hall

A beautiful 12-acre prescribed burn of an old-growth redwood forest’s understory. It was deeply humbling to see good fire being brought back as part of a long tradition.
Trees and fire and fire person in forefront.

Entry 8 - "Interacting with Death in ancient Egypt" by Ariadne Argyros

This picture summarizes changing attitudes toward the dead in ancient Egypt. Death was a terrifying concept for many Egyptians. Click on the link to read more.
Egyptian picture of people bowing to a mummy now and then.

Entry 9 - "Same, but different: the lived experience of UK commuter students" by Emma Maslin

My ethnographic PhD research explores the lived experiences of UK undergraduate commuter students in Yorkshire & the North East. Click on the link to read more.
Train station timetable with seats in the forefront.

Entry 10 - " 'Sirens' along the Silk Road: an 'art-historical geography' " by Yu Sun

The motif of a human-bird hybrid, famously represented by the Greek sirens, was also prevalent in ancient Asia. Click on the link to read more.
Map of the silk road

Entry 11 - "The International Nuclear Order" by Michael Bates

How the English school (of international relations) concept of 'primary' institutions have worked to shape the evolution of international nuclear order.
Nuclear Order diagram

Entry 12 - "Cattle at night, Kisumu, Kenya" by Hannah Brown. Panel vote Winner!

Cattle are central to lives and livelihoods in Kenya, so much so that they can be overlooked as part of the background. Click on the link to read more.
Cattle in a dark and rainy street in Kenya

Entry 13 - "The Moon, or Red Lagoon?" by Kimberly Jamie

This seemingly lunar image is a close-up of a lagoon on Blast Beach, Seaham taken at a walkshop for our ‘Opportunities in Pollution’ project. Click the link to read more.
Lunar image of a lagoon

Entry 14 - "The Hunting Party Sets Off" by Jack Jenkins

In Sierra Leone, men walk towards the bush in anticipation of their regular Friday morning post-mosque group hunt. Click on the link to read more.
Men walking down a dusty track in Sierra Leone

Entry 15 - "Mom says I must bring water" by Afsana Afrin Esha. Panel Vote Winner!

The scarcity of drinking water due to increasing salinity through sea-level rise, cyclone and storm surges is a soaring problem in Bangladesh. Click the link to read more
Child in Bangledesh sat with a water urn and green bottle

Entry 16 - "From a grain in the sand, a pearl comes" but pearls are never easily found" by Laura Hepworth

As an arts-based researcher, I constantly feel like I am struggling to navigate through completely different problems that other researchers do not seem to face.
The word Help written in sand on a beach in Seaham

Entry 17 - "Acehnese fishermen rescue Rohingya refugees" by Alice Nah. Creation by Taufik Rafael

This picture won first prize in a photo competition held in March23 in the British Academy-funded interdisciplinary research project ‘The Verandah of Protection'.
Boy holding a bag above his head in front of a large fishing vessel on the edge of the sea

Entry 18 - " Identifying the Dead—Serving the Living" by Sarah Rosen

This illustration represents the profound connection between the living and the dead. Click on the link to read more.
Pencil drawing of a hand holding a hand.

Entry 19 - "Wallsend Boy's Club: 'More than football'" by Stephen Crossley

This picture was taken during a match between the Wallsend Boy’s Club Women’s Development team and Newcastle University Inter-Mural Women’s team in February 2023.
Corner of football pitch in the dark with lights. Players in the distance.

Entry 20 - "Arts of Protest and the Indian Citizenship Act in Contemporary Urban Kolkata [Eastern India]" by Dilshaad Hossain. Public Vote Winner!

This picture expresses how artistic expression, in the form of slogans, was particularly used in the anti-CAA protests in Kolkata. Click on the link to read more.
Child holding a poster.