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Visual Art in Undergraduate Research Competition


What is art in undergraduate research?

Undergraduate research art is defined as compelling visual imagery or objects that are intellectually engaging and have a direct correlation to a student’s research agenda. Entries can include any 2-D or 3-D (potentially video) visual representation of the process or product of the student’s research, including the possibility that the image or object IS the product of the research itself.

Students are encouraged to be creative. A simple photograph or copy of a striking graph or spectrum or X-ray, etc., is less compelling as art than something where the student has used that product of the research as the basis for something different. 

How do I submit my art?

The entry form is to be downloaded, completed and emailed with an initial jpeg photo(s) of entry to by midnight on April 1. Digital files that are too large to submit as an email attachment can be delivered to the Office of Undergraduate Research (Dewey 4-209B) as jpeg files on a clearly labeled flash drive or as a link (to a YouTube video, e.g.).

Visual image entries must be submitted initially as a jpeg photo. Physical “sculptures” no larger than roughly one cubic foot may be entered into the contest via as many as three jpeg photos. (Only winning entries will be asked to deliver the physical sculpture for display). All jpegs should be no smaller than 5 x 7 inches at 300 pixels/inch (fine resolution setting on a camera of >3 megapixels). Original slides or negatives for scanned photographs must be available on request, but do not send them unless requested. All digital alterations beyond standard cropping, contrast, brightness and sharpness must be declared on the entry form.

Jurying Process and Awards

The art will be judged by a committee of four faculty members representing each of the four primary academic areas of the College using the criteria of visual impact, degree of association to the research, and degree to which the work engages the broadest audience. The judges will advise the director of undergraduate research who will be responsible for selecting winners.

First, second, and third place winners will be declared in each of the four academic areas, assuming there is sufficient participation of high quality.

Display of Art

Digital images of the winning pieces will be shown on the College website. Winning entries may be installed in the Office of Undergraduate Research and in public spaces on campus on a rotating basis for up to one year (negotiable for graduating seniors). The physical and on-line displays will provide information concerning the research, the researcher, and the faculty mentor(s). Finally, the winning pieces will be displayed during the Undergraduate Research Exposition in April.


  • April 1—Submission of entries due to Office of Undergraduate Research
  • April 22—Display of work and presentation/announcement of awards