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Winners announced: Stunning images from NERC's student photography competition

Striking images of a snow-covered hut in the bleak Antarctic, a cunning fox and penguins closely guarding their young impressed this year's judges

Natural Environment Research Council

An article about the challenges of undertaking geology in Greece and a photograph of a snow-covered hut from the NERC iSTAR programme in Antarctica are this year's winners of NERC's short article writing and student photography competitions.

David Roberts, from the NERC Studentships & Training Awards Group, announced the winners at the Environment YES finale event in London this afternoon. The winners were picked from over 100 articles and photographs.

David Roberts said:

"This competition was held in celebration of NERC's 50th anniversary. Our aim was to encourage the next generation of NERC scientists to write about and capture what most excites them about their future career in the environmental sciences. We were keen that the competition recognised effective and inspiring science communication by NERC students."

NERC asked entrants to write a 300 to 400-word article on the topic of 'Great PhD, Great future' and/or to submit a photograph that encapsulated their favourite aspects of their PhD and the best experiences they have had doing their research.

The winner of the article writing prize, Sam Brooke, is a PhD student at Imperial College London. Their article 'Field tested' described Sam's experiences of articulating the motives and aims of his research to a Greek woman who spoke no English.

The winner of the photography prize, Damon Davies, a student at the University of Edinburgh, took his winning picture while working in Antarctica.

Professor Iain Gillespie said:

"We were delighted by the quality of the articles and photos we received. All of the students demonstrated great passion for their research and environmental science."

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The winners received £500, which will be added to their Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). Second and third places received £250 and £100 respectively. The RTSG funding can be used to support activities such as conference attendance and additional training.

The judges for the competition were: NERC's director of science & innovation, Professor Iain Gillespie; Laura Hepburn, the winner of NERC's 2013's article writing competition; NERC's digital communications officer, Karen Christian; and Dr Natalie Starkey, BBC women's expert and STEMNET ambassador.

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