The Bigger Picture is a photographic competition organised by the Economic and Social Research Council.

By entering the competition you are deemed to accept the following competition rules, terms and conditions.

You must submit a supporting statement with your photograph, of up to 100 words, explaining how your image relates both to the entered category and to social science. This information will be given equal consideration, alongside the image, during the judging process.

You will be able enter the competition from 1 September 2017 until 15 December 2017.

  1. Timing
    1. The ESRC ‘The Bigger Picture’ photographic competition will close at 23:00 on 15 December 2017.
    2. The winners of each of the categories, social media entry, overall winner and judges' favourite image will be announced at the ESRC prize-giving awards event.
    3. Prize winners and photographers of exhibited images will be invited to attend the private viewing and prize-giving awards event by 23 February 2018. This will be held at the Espacio Gallery, London on 20 March 2018.
    4. If you have not received an email from us by the end of February 2018, you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.
  2. Eligibility
    1. The Bigger Picture competition is open to all young people resident in the UK and  born between 1 September 1999 and 31 August 2003. This competition is not open to ESRC staff or their immediate family.
    2. Entry to the competition is free.
    3. All entries must relate to one of the categories, details of which are listed on the categories page, including those entered via social media.
    4. All photos entered must be entered under an individual’s name.
    5. We reserve the right to reject any entries which we deem to be offensive, unsuitable or inappropriate.
  3. Online digital entry (applies to all categories except social media)
    1. All entries must relate to the category in which they are entered.
    2. All entries must meet the digital image criteria as specified in item 4 of the rules.
    3. Entrants are able to submit up to a total of three photographs in the competition. Each photograph may only be submitted once. You are able to enter your photographs in just one category, or spread your entries across two or three of the five categories. In addition you can enter a further three images via social media, but these must be different from those entered via the online entry form (see item 5 below).
    4. Each photograph must be given a short title and this must be used as the file name when it is uploaded in the format: image title.jpg (eg Family_Picnic.jpg).
    5. Each photograph must be submitted with a supporting statement of up to 100 words, which demonstrates how the image relates to the category and to social science. This statement will be scored by the judges alongside your image.
    6. All entries to the online digital competition must be submitted via the online entry form. Prints or entries received via email or disc are not permitted and will not be entered into the competition.
  4. Digital image criteria
    1. Only digital photograph entries submitted via the online form will be accepted.
    2. Photographs should meet a minimum file size of 1Mb and a maximum file size of 20Mb.
    3. The minimum accepted image resolution is 250dpi.
    4. All entries must be submitted as a .jpg or .tif only and must not be submitted from film stills.
    5. All winning entrants will be required to supply their image in a high resolution format for print and publicity purposes.
  5. Social media entry (only)
    1. Entries must be submitted via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #esrcphoto. Your account will need to be set to 'public' to use this method. You may also enter via Facebook, with the hashtag #esrcphoto but you will need to post on our Facebook page.
    2. During each month from 1 September to 30 November the top three entries, as voted by the general public, will go forward to the final judging in January, alongside the digital online categories.
    3. Entry for each month will run from the first to the last day of the calendar month, closing at 23:00.
    4. You can submit up to three images each month, but you cannot re-submit these images in subsequent months.
    5. Images entered via social media cannot be entered in the online digital competition.
    6. Only one image per entrant can progress to final judging.
    7. Entries to the social media category do not affect online digital entry limits (you may still submit a further three images to the online digital entry).
    8. Those selected by the public vote to go through to the final judging, will be requested to complete an entry form, confirming their eligibility and if under 16, to gain consent from their parent or guardian.
    9. We reserve the right to reject and remove any entries which we deem to be offensive, unsuitable or inappropriate.
    10. All social media category entries are subject to the competition terms, consent and copyright, listed in item 6 and by entering it will be deemed that you have read and understood these conditions.
  6. Entry terms, consent and copyright
    1. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and the entrant must hold full copyright of the images. The ESRC reserves the right to request confirmation of copyright. If this cannot be proven, the image will be withdrawn from the competition.
    2. All images must have been taken on or after 1 January 2017.
    3. Photographs which have won prizes in major photographic competitions may not be entered.
    4. Entries must not contain anything obscene or libellous.
    5. Light touch ups are acceptable to sharpen images, remove red eye, scratches or spots. Entrants must declare if the image has been modified or manipulated beyond light touch ups (in Photoshop, for example) and state the extent of any additional work.
    6. Entrants aged 16 and under must gain the permission of their parent or guardian before entering the competition.
    7. Entrants must not have breached any laws when taking their photograph(s). Entrants are responsible for seeking permission from the parents or guardians of those individuals in their photograph if their subjects are aged 16 years or under.
    8. By entering the competition, entrants agree to the ESRC publishing and exhibiting their image(s) in perpetuity as part of its work, without payment for use. Entrants grant this non-exclusive right to ESRC within any type of media, but entrants will retain full copyright of their image(s).
    9. By entering the competition entrants agree to their images being used for publicity and promotional activities, including use by the national and regional press.
    10. Entrants agree to any cropping of their image and editing of their titles and/or supporting text for exhibition purposes.
    11. All prizes are non-transferable.
    12. If entrants choose to use their entered images for commercial purposes they must notify the ESRC of their intent by emailing
    13. Travel expenses will be paid for the winner, their parents or guardians and their teacher or youth leader to attend the prize-giving event. inline with ESRC travel and subsistense guidelines. This will not include accomodation or meals.

Entrant personal information

  1. Personal information will be captured as part of the entry process and used for the purpose of processing your entry and prize notification.

  2. The winner's name, age and region only (ie John Smith, 17, Scotland) will be made available to the press and media, alongside the winning image, for promotional and publicity purposes.

  3. Personal information will not be stored or processed for any other purposes, and the ESRC will not share personal information with any third party without express permission from the entrant. It is the ESRC's policy to comply fully with the Data Protection Act 1988.

Teacher personal information

  1. It is the responsibility of entrants to gain permission from their teacher or youth leader to provide the ESRC with their contact information.

  2. By providing a teacher/youth leader's name and email address, the ESRC will contact the teacher/youth leader in the event that the entrant’s image is successful in winning a prize in the competition.

  3. The teacher/youth leader will also receive email correspondence from the ESRC, introducing them to the Social Science for Schools resources.

  4. Teacher and youth leader information will not be processed for any other purposes and the ESRC will not share their personal information with any third party without their express permission. It is the ESRC’s policy to comply fully with the Data Protection Act 1988.