We are happy to announce the return of our scientific image competition, in partnership with the leading journal, Breast Cancer Research. Read on to find out how to enter…

Wednesday 12 April 2017      Research blog
A spheroid generated from a 3D culture of fluorescently labelled MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells

Overall winner (2016) – Dr Victoria Cookson, Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Sheffield, UK

Last year, we saw through the eyes of researchers and down their microscopes as scientists from across the globe shared their beautiful images.

This year, we’ve widened the categories to capture both important moments of science in action and translational research making its way into the clinic.

Winning images will be showcased across the breast cancer community by Breast Cancer Now and the leading breast cancer journal, Breast Cancer Research.

Key dates

Opening date: Tuesday 18 April 2017

Closing date: Friday 9 June 2017

Overall winner and category winners to be announced: Friday 7 July 2017


Any image that describes some aspect of breast cancer research can be submitted to the competition. We ask that submitters are affiliated with a research institution or hospital.

Entries can be submitted to one of the categories listed, and each entrant is permitted to submit one image per category.


Down the microscope – anything from stunning staining to enchanting electron microscopy.

Computer generated creations – mind-blowing molecular modelling, 3-D simulations and data visualisation.

Lab life – Fancy yourself a pipette hand-model? Or do your stacks of cell culture offer a certain beauty in repetition?

Into the clinic – clinical imaging that reveals the hidden secrets of breast cancer inside the body*

Other – for more abstract interpretations of research

*please note that images submitted showing identifiable patient information must provide evidence of permission from the patient to have their image entered or they will not be considered for judging.


The images will be judged by Breast Cancer Now scientists and staff at the Breast Cancer Now Researcher Forum in June 2017 based on both visual appeal and techniques used. A winning image will be chosen from each category, and an overall winner will be selected from the category winners.


The overall winner will feature in a blog on the BioMed Central Blog Network and Breast Cancer Now’s website where they get a chance to bring their winning image to life and explain more about their research.

All winning images will feature on both Breast Cancer Now and the Breast Cancer Research websites, on both organisations’ social media channels and will be displayed in the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.

The overall winner and category winners will also win a goody bag of materials from BioMed Central and Breast Cancer Now. Winning images may also be promoted to the press by Breast Cancer Now and Biomed Central.

Instructions for entry

Please email your images to imageComp@breastcancernow.org with the subject line “Breast Cancer Image Competition 2017”.

The following information must be included: Name; Category; Scientific image description (Max. 300 words); Lay description of image for a non-scientific audience (Max. 200 words); Data attribution (if applicable); Affiliation; Job title/position; Twitter handle (optional); How you found out about the competition.

Please attach your image entry to your email and make sure that it is as high resolution as possible – if you have a very large file please use a file transfer service such as WeTransfer and indicate that you are doing so in your entry email.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere.

In line with our policies on open access, entry to the competition implies release of the images under a creative commons license (attribution CC-BY), to allow file sharing with proper attribution. Breast Cancer Now and Biomed Central may use the image submitted by you, with attribution, for publications, including, but not limited to, website items and press releases, without limitation of time and not restricted to the competition.

Any data collected on competition entrants will be used by Breast Cancer Now and BioMed Central for the purpose of the competition, to contact and notify the competition winners, including contact from both organisations press teams relating to PR work, and to promote the competition and entries on Breast Cancer Now and BioMed Central owned websites and social media channels