Competition details – how to take part

Beyond Boundaries FAQs

To find out all the details about how this competition works and what you need to do to participate…read the information below.

Who can enter the competition?

  • School students in Year 5, 6, 7 or 8 currently enrolled in and attending an Oxfordshire state school.
  • You may submit artwork as an individual or as part of a group. However, only one entry per person is allowed – which means you can enter the competition as an individual or as part of a group, but not both. Each group member will need to complete an individual entry form and include all entry forms with the artwork.

How do you participate?

  • Read through the researchers’ profiles and select one of them to create an artistic response to their research. Get to know the researchers better by reading their personal stories, and then focus your artwork on your selected researcher’s research description.
  • Write a brief description of your artwork (100 words maximum) and complete the Entry Form 2023 (which requires your parent or guardian’s consent).
  • Only one entry per student or group will be accepted.
  • The artwork must be an original creation by you or your group.

What type of artistic response will be allowed?

  • Whatever you would like to create! Drawing, painting, sculpture, music, dance, poetry, digital media…be creative!
  • For the physical exhibition, artwork will be placed on large poster boards, which can only hold two-dimensional items (like drawings and paintings). There may be some cases where we can display three-dimensional items (like sculptures), but in the event that those cases are not available, photographs will be taken for display rather than showing the actual item. Digital items (videos, recordings) can be shared online and via QR codes as part of the display.

How do you submit your artwork?

  • Both the artwork and the completed Entry Form need to be received in order for the artwork to be entered into the competition.
  • For physical items, please write your name, year group and school on the back, or another discreet place on the artwork that is not visible to the judges. Please post or deliver your artwork and Entry Form to:

Jo Knights
University of Oxford, MPLS Division
9 Parks Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire

  • You will need to cover the costs for mail or delivery.
  • For electronic submissions, please send your artwork and Entry Form to:
  • You may withdraw your entry at any time by emailing

Is there a fee to enter the competition?

  • No, it is free to enter, although you will have to cover costs for mail or delivery.

When is the deadline?

  • All entries must be received by Friday 28 April 2023, 5:00 pm.

What are the prizes?

  • There will be one winner and one runner-up for each year group – Years 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  • ‘Winners’ (one winner per year group) will receive a £100 cash prize each.
  • ‘Runners-up’ (one runner-up per year group) will receive a £50 cash prize each.
  • For group entries, the prize money is for the entire group to be divided or used as they see fit.

Award ceremony information:

  • Winners, runners-up and representatives from their associated schools will be invited to an awards ceremony at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in June.

What will happen with your artwork and how will it be exhibited?

  • Unfortunately we will not be able to return any artwork submitted for the competition.
  • Select artwork (chosen by the judging panel) will be exhibited at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. We will aim to exhibit as many art pieces as possible. After the exhibition, artwork may be moved to displays in relevant departments or spaces within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) and Medical Sciences Divisions and wider University spaces.
  • Select artwork will also be shared online on the Beyond Boundaries website. We will aim to share all eligible artwork received.
  • Your name, age, year in school, title and description of your artwork (from your Entry Form) may be used in the Museum and department exhibits, online, and in promotional materials.
  • By entering the competition, you agree that we can take photographs of your artwork and publish them on our website and in any promotional materials.

How will the entries be judged?

  • A judging panel will review all entries and consider the following:
    • How creatively the artwork interprets the researcher’s research; and
    • How well you have used the artistic medium you have selected.
  • Judges will only know your year in school (5, 6, 7 or 8), and the artwork information you have provided on the entry form (title, the researcher selected, and artwork description). They will not be given your name, age or school name.

Any other questions not covered here?