The DNRF Photo Competition 2020

Photographing Science – The DNRF photo competition 2020

Closed for submission – Deadline: February 1, 2020

Photos have the ability to unseal the world of science in a surprising and inviting way, revealing its beauty and fascinating appeal. The DNRF (Danish National Research Foundation) would like to share with a broader audience how, each day, scientific discovery advances our knowledge of ourselves and the world we live in. We will do this by telling the stories of your scientific advances or discoveries with a photo as a visual entry point.

For the third year in a row, the foundation is launching a photo competition based on an interest in the photograph’s potential as documentation and communication of scientific research.

We hereby invite the Danish scientific community to submit their best photos to the contest and thereby contribute to scientific storytelling to a broad audience. In the video below (about last year’s competition), you can hear two of the competition’s judges talk about the competition and what a great science photo should be able to do.

Video only available in Danish.


Submitted photos must be able to be published, since a selection of them will be published on the DNRF’s website and may be used by a media or media partner with the approval of the foundation. In addition, submitted photos may be distributed on social media and published in the DNRF’s Annual Report 2020.

Winners will be selected by a panel assembled by the DNRF. In addition to the winning photos being included in the foundation’s annual report, the winners will be interviewed by the DNRF about their research in general and the research behind the photo. The winners will also be awarded with a gift basket.

We encourage all scientific fields to participate in the competition. The photos should not be produced to “look like art,” but rather evoke emotions, curiosity, or wonder at the same time that it describes a scientific procedure or object.

See the winning pictures in last year’s competition here

See the winning photos in the 2018 competition here

When and how

  • You may submit your photos until February 1, 2020 to (1 photo per person).
  • In February 2020, the panel will decide on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners.
  • Submitted photos must have an accompanying text that briefly describes the photo and the research behind it.  The text must be a maximum of 100 words.
  • Only photos will be accepted (no PowerPoints, graphic figures, etc.)
  • To participate, photos must be based on research/research projects.
  • Photos that have already participated in the foundation’s previous photo competitions will not be accepted for this year’s competition.
  • The winners will be announced in March 2020.

Selection criteria

  • Degree to which the photo evokes emotions in the observer
  • Degree to which the photo works as visual entry point to the story behind the specific research result
  • Aesthetic quality of the photo

The panel

  • Christine Buhl Andersen, Director at Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket (Soon to be chair of the New Carlsberg Foundation)
  • Louise Wolthers, Research Manager/Curator at the Hasselblad Foundation
  • Minik Rosing, Professor at the Natural History Museum, board member at the DNRF and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art