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This year's theme is the Hidden World. The competition is now open for entries!


The natural world harbours a wealth of secrets and surprises and we invite you to capture or uncover this hidden world of biology.

You might wish to explore the kingdom of microorganisms, too small to be seen by human eyes; or the world which exists hidden to us underground or under the sea – the lives of earthworms or spawning coral, for example. You could capture an example of camouflage, such as the angler fish which has evolved to blend perfectly with its surroundings. Your photograph could portray a side to biology which is not physically hidden but which often escapes our notice, like fungi, or landscapes that remain unseen by most of us due to their extreme or inaccessible locations.

We welcome entries that explore this theme at the molecular or sub-cellular level, illustrating the complexity of life which is only revealed to us with the aid of a microscope.


There are two categories in the competition, each with a cash prize:

  • Photographer of the Year (18 and over) - £1,000 top prize
  • Young Photographer of the Year (under 18) - £500 top prize

How to enter

To enter this free competition you will need to register your details with the website. Existing users can login with their mySociety details. Before submitting you must read the terms and conditions. Enter by midnight on Thursday 31st August 2017.


If you have any queries regarding this competition, contact Isabel Brinsden at


Download a promotional poster which features Moon:cells by Matthew Lee. This photograph received a special mention for the Photographer of the Year 2016.


The winners will be announced on Thursday 12th October at the Biology Week Annual Awards Ceremony.


Catherine Draycott, Wellcome Images
Tim Harris, Nature Picture Library and Bluegreen Pictures
Alex Hyde, natural history photographer and lecturer at The University of Nottingham
Linda Pitkin, Underwater photographer


The Society wishes to thank Eppendorf for their support of this competition.


Past winners

Robert_SommerThe 2016 theme was 'Biology from Big to Small' and the competition was won by young photographer Pradyuman Samant (left) and photographer Robert Sommer (right). Click on the images in our gallery to find out how the photographs fit the theme.
Pradyuman Samant







The 2015 theme was 'Conflict and Survival'. The winners, celebrated at the annual Biology Week award ceremony were young photographer Oliver Tidswell (left) and photographer Barbara Stanley (right). View all the shortlisted images in our gallery.


The 2014 theme was 'Home, Habitat and Shelter'. The winners were celebrated at the Biology Week Annual Award Ceremony and the Society would like to congratulate young photographer Nagarjun Ram (left) and photographer Billy Clapham (right).


The 2013 theme was 'Feeding Life' and the competition was won by young photographer Jack Settle (left) and photographer Putu Sudiarta (right).


The 2012 theme was 'How can biology save the world?' Congratulations to eight year old winner Ziamel Zacarias (left) and photographer Chi Keung Wong (right).