Judging Criteria

Scientific Impact

Is new information being revealed? Will this information have a broad impact? Does the image tell a story or help fill in missing information to a story? Is the image important for understanding a biological process or scientific concept?

Notes on how judges score this section:

Low impact indicates that while the image may be of good quality, little to no new information is being revealed in this particular image.

Average indicates that the image has revealed novel information, but the information does not have a broad impact or the student wasn't able to communicate what the new information could be used for in a broader context.

High impact indicates that the image has revealed novel information or fills in key missing information to a story that will have a broad impact in the scientific community.

Visual Impact

Is the image engaging? Is it eye-popping in nature or does it elicit any surprise or delight? Does it have good balance and composition?

Notes on how judges score this section:

Poor indicates that the image is not very engaging or memorable, or that there are too many problems with the balance, composition or focus.

Fair indicates that even though the image may include elements of surprise or delight small adjustments to the balance, composition, or focus could be made to make a lasting impression.

Outstanding indicates that the image is both aesthetically pleasing and engaging. It has an element of surprise and makes a long-lasting impression. There are no problems with balance, composition, or focus.

Technical Proficiency

After reading the entrant’s statement of scientific significance and caption, does the image communicate what the researcher wants it to? Was the appropriate methodology and microscope used to look at the problem or scientific question that is being addressed?

Notes on how judges score this section:

Inadequate indicates that it is difficult to interpret the image even after reading the scientific significance and caption from the entrant. The method used was not appropriate for the specimen or may benefit from using different microscopy methods or techniques.

Fair indicates that the image communicates what the researcher wants it to, but there are some elements missing from the caption or figure itself such as a scale bar, arrows on the image itself, or defining abbreviations in the caption. The methodology is appropriate for the specimen they are looking at, but more information could have been obtained using one of the other available microscopes on campus.

Outstanding indicates that what is written in the scientific significance can clearly be seen in the image. All necessary details are included on the figure itself and in the figure caption. The methodology was appropriate and the correct microscope was used to address their scientific question.