Science as Art Awards

Credit: John Griffin
Credit: John Griffin

Celebrating the best in IMB life sciences research for discovery, invention and application.

At IMB, we explore the building blocks of life itself in remarkable and unprecedented detail for disease discovery, invention and application. 

Using cutting-edge research technologies and facilities, we generate powerful insights and essential information to understand, prevent and treat disease; and create more sustainable cities, fuels and foods.

With advanced microscopy we can watch cancer cells spread in real time.

With high-performance computing we can reveal disease patterns in large genomic datasets.

And with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy we can map the chemical structure and therapeutic potential of spider venom.

These awards, which are an initiative of the Students of IMB Association (SIMBA), provide an opportunity for us to share the beauty and wonder of the building blocks of life through images and artworks that excite and inspire us.

We look forward to sharing the images and artworks that feature in this year’s collection and hope they will inspire in you the same curiosity that drives us.

Download the awards poster (PDF, 1MB)

See the stunning images in this year's awards

10 July: Online submissions open

3 October: Online submissions close (5pm)

30-31 October: Exhibition and winners announced at IMB Research Days

Jo Underhill at her art exhibition at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience
Jo Underhill (1978-2014)

IMB is delighted to announce the Jo Underhill IMB Art Award 2023, in memory of Jo Underhill.

Jo Underhill (1978-2014) was IMB's artist in residence in 2012 — her curiosity to understand and visualise how cancer changed her body motivated her to team up with IMB researchers.

After looking at her own cells under the microscope, Jo was driven to create her inspiring residency collection that is prominent around IMB and carried by every member of IMB on our lanyard ribbons.

Jo's artwork is a celebration of the scientific research process and the many worlds contained in cellular processes.

Our institute and community are brighter because of Jo, and her innovative collection will always inspire us to continue the conversation between science and art.

Read more about IMB's history of celebrating art and science.

Where science meets art

Unleash your creative side and see your artwork displayed across IMB channels next year.

These awards provide an opportunity for us to creatively share the stories of our research that excite and inspire our colleagues, partners and supporters who make our work possible.

The images will be judged by an independent, expert panel and voting for the People's Choice Award will be open on social media.


  • Winner ($250 gift card)
  • Runner up ($100 gift card)
  • People’s Choice ($100 gift card)

The winners will be announced in early December 2023 at the IMB end of year meeting.

Be prepared with a caption and a short plain language description of your image, describing what it is and why it is important to your research.

 Online submission form

Please ensure your content meets the criteria below before submitting your artwork.

Closing date for submissions is 12 November 2023.

Criteria for art work

  • Images must be the original work of the IMB staff member or student submitting them.
  • Images must have been produced during the course of IMB research since 2020 and must be a reasonable representation of current scientific understanding/knowledge.
  • Please submit the highest resolution image possible (max 100MB), ideally 2160 pixels high x 3840 pixels wide at 300 dpi and in one of the following formats: jpg, jpeg, tiff, png, psd, ai or eps.
  • If the image has been digitally enhanced or altered, the original image must be submitted as well.
  • Your work must have a title and be submitted with a short plain language description (max. 140 words) describing what it is and why it is important to/helps your research (i.e. scientific relevance). Please write this in plain language so it can easily be understood by community members who are not scientists.
  • Submitted content must not violate any copyright nor contain any embargoed or commercial-in-confidence content/intellectual property.

Terms and Conditions

  1. This competition is only open to current staff and students of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB).
  2. Entries must be entrants own work, and one entrant can submit multiple entries.
  3. Entries must not violate copyright or contain any embargoed or commercial-in-confidence content/intellectual property.
  4. Entries must have been taken during the course of IMB research since 2020 and be a reasonable representation of current scientific understanding/knowledge.
  5. Submitted entries become the property of IMB, content may be used and credited to promote IMB without consultation on individual usages.
  6. Closing date for entry will be 12/11/2023, after this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  7. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. 
  8. Winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges appointed by the IMB.
  9. The People's Choice winner will be selected after a social media campaign.
  10. IMB’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  11. The winner agrees to the use of their name and image in any publicity and promotional material. 
  12. The judging panel’s decision is final.
  13. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.


The judging panel will consist of a range of internal and external members of the IMB community.

Members of the judging panel will be announced soon.

Judges will assess content based on the specified criteria.

The judging panel's decisions will be final.

There will be prizes available for each of the three award categories. The number of awards granted will be at the discretion of the judging panel.

IMB Science as Art Award winners will receive a monetary prize.

Can't see the form below? Access it here.