Entries will be judged based on their aesthetic value, their relevance to the category in which they are entered and their interpretation of the social sciences. The photographs will be judged alongside their corresponding title and supporting words but judges will not be made aware of the entrants' name, age, school or youth group.

Entries will go through a pre-selection round, conducted by members of the ESRC Communications team. The shortlisted images will then be judged by the 2017/18 judging panel.

The winners of each of the categories, social media competition and the 'best overall photo' will be announced On 2o March 2018 at our prize-giving event in London. Invitations will be sent to all winners and those being exhibited by 23 February 2018.

The judges' decisions are final.


Karin WoodleyKarin Woodley is a returning judge, having judged the Focus on Society competition in 2016. She has 30 years' experience at chief executive level in public-facing charities tackling social and cultural injustice and inequality. She is currently Chief Executive of Cambridge House, a South London charity established in 1889 by Cambridge University to tackle poverty and social injustice. Karin is also a trustee of Cambridge University’s Magdalene College Youth Trust, Vice-Chair of trustees of London South Bank University’s Student Union, and a trustee of Locality - a network of community-led organisations.

Sophie BatterburySophie Batterbury is a returning judge, having judged every one of our photographic competitions since 2012. She is Picture Editor for the  i newspaper Her career in photojournalism began in The Independent darkroom in 1989, where a keen interest in photography became the passion that it is today. Since then she has had various roles across both Independent titles either side of a short stint at a celebrity agency.

Jacky ClakeJacky Clake is the Head of Communications for ESRC and has acted as a judge for all our photographic competitions since 2012. Jacky leads on all aspects of communications, public engagement and public affairs, including strategy and reputation, digital communications, press, publishing, social media and science communication. She has been with ESRC since 1988 and is an experienced science communicator. Jacky previously managed ESRC's public engagement activities and developed the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

Ollie SmallwoodOllie Smallwood is a returning judge, having judged every one of our photographic competitions since 2012. He is a London-based portrait and documentary photographer. His work focuses on education, music and performance and human interaction with nature. He has worked with a variety of organisations ranging from large corporates to schools and local NGOs / charities to international media companies. His previous clients have included ESPN, Foxtel, SKY, Yahoo, Natwest, Barclays, The Royal British Legion, Pizza Express and The Southbank Centre. Overseas he has worked for The Greenwood Guide in South Africa, CCSF and Agile Development NGOs in Cambodia and curated and photographed a solo exhibition 'A Portrait Of China'. Read Ollie's advice on taking a good photograph on our blog.

Phil CoombesPhil Coomes is the BBC's Picture Editor and photographer.

He works closely with the online team for BBC News to produce stories and slideshows from around the United Kingdom and abroad. His work has taken him to a number of countries including the Falkland Islands and warzones in Lebanon. Phil's recent work has included a mental health project and youth series focused on social issues and the recent General Election. As picture editor he commissions bespoke work for the BBC, including the award-winning Growing up young as well as sourcing images from the wires, freelance photographers and BBC staff.

Joanne GallagherJoanne Gallagher overall winner in 2016.

Winning the previous photographic competition in 2016 gave me greater confidence to pursue the social sciences and I am now studying Psychology at the University of York. Having previously studied psychology and sociology, the social sciences have always interested me. After winning I was able to highlight the issues people, who don’t conform to social norms of gender face, this gave me the idea that I could go on and make a difference in other areas of society. I volunteer as a family support worker for a charity “action for children” helping families with children age 0-5 from deprived areas. I am very excited and honoured to be invited back to judge this year's competition and very much look forward to seeing the entries for 2017.