A gallery space with photographs displayed and students sitting around.

LSE Festival research competition 2019

Launching soon

Submissions for the competition will open this September.

The 2019 LSE research competition is open to anyone who studies at or is employed by LSE: all undergraduates, postgraduates, PhD students, students who will be graduating in July or December 2018, and all staff. Shortlisted entrants will be featured in a week-long exhibition at the LSE Festival in February 2019 and will be in with a chance of winning £250. 

Our submissions website opens in September 2018. Sign up to our mailing list to receive an email notification when it goes live. 

As well as the full criteria for each category and how to enter, we’ll be providing top tips and toolkits to help you transform your work into a great research competition submission. In the meantime, get some insights from our previous winners.

Meet the winners from 2018

Photograph prize

Winner: Farhia Abukar, LSE Faith Centre

Farhia's winning photograph: Coloured Girls

LSE Festival research competition winner: Photograph Prize LSE Festival research competition winner: Photograph Prize
Farhia Abukar, Faith Centre, discusses her winning photograph. LSE Film & Audio

The judges said: "This photograph is a wonderful expression of the joy and friendship which is a core element of humanity around the world. It reminds us that happiness can be found even in the most troubled circumstances. It's a picture that gives hope. Playing football on the beach with friends - who can't smile at that?" 

The judges

Julia Black is Pro Director for Research at LSE. Julia was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2015 and appointed to the Board of UK Research and Innovation in 2017.

Maria Moore is a professional photographer and has worked with some of London and Europe’s most celebrated agencies. 

The criteria

  • Imagination: How original and arresting is the story behind the image? Does it challenge the viewer?

  • Visual impact: Where is our eye drawn to in the photograph? Is the viewer's attention captured in an interesting way?

  • Subject matter and coherence: How well does it relate to the description provided on the entry form?

This prize was awarded at the LSE Festival on Wednesday 21 February 2018 by Julia Black.

Poster prize

Winner: Ganga Shreedhar, Department of Geography and Environment

Ganga's winning poster: Seeing Red, But Acting Green?

LSE Festival research competition winner: Poster Prize LSE Festival research competition winner: Poster Prize
Ganga Shreedhar, Department of Geography and Environment, discusses her winning poster. LSE Film & Audio

The judges said: "This poster’s research questions and methodology were both thought-provoking and clearly described. The poster drew our attention in and it was clear how the findings might influence others." 

The judges

Mary Morgan is the Albert O Hirschman Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics at LSE; an elected Fellow, and currently Vice-President, of the British Academy, and an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Liz Hutchinson is the Director of Communications at The British Academy. 

The criteria

  • Organisation: How well is structure employed to organise text and images?

  • Presentation: Do graphics and/or use of colour enhance or detract from the message?

  • Use of evidence: Is the evidence robust and does it support the claims put forward?

  • Clarity: Are the arguments contained in the poster coherent? Are they clear to a general audience?

This prize was awarded at the LSE Festival on Wednesday 21 February 2018 by Julia Black.

Research abstract prize

Winner: Aurelia Streit, Department of International Development

Aurelia's winning research abstract: "It Was Not Syria But the War That Gave Us Women Rights!" How Forced Displacement Can Be a Catalyst for Women's Empowerment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

LSE Festival research competition winner: Research Abstract and LSE LIFE Prize LSE Festival research competition winner: Research Abstract and LSE LIFE Prize
Aurelia Streit, Department of International Development, discusses her winning research abstract. LSE Film & Audio

The judges said: "This research examined an important issue where research suggests unexpected (some might say) paradoxical positive outcomes from an otherwise negative situation. As is often the case, disruption produces a series of consequences where there are benefits as well as dis-benefits. The research will enlighten future researchers to the need to examine how war and other disaster situations can produce empowerment and other societal changes." 

Highly commended

Rusha Nandy, Department of Accounting for Will Forensic Accounting Improve the Quality of Financial Statements

The judges said: "This is a clear exposition of a global issue where there are benefits to broader society of an improvement in accounting and the subsequent reduction in fraud can criminality. The development of forensic accounting in an era of computerisation and better data also made the project strong." 

Carlos Mesa Baron, Department of Economic History for Promoting Long Term Saving in a Poor Household Can Lead to Greater Social Mobility

The judges said: "This is an intriguing, modest, proposal to examine the opportunities for encouraging saving in such a way as to strengthen household finances and inter-generational security. The potential implications are profound and of broad importance."

The judges

Tony Travers is Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at LSE and a professor in the Government Department. 

Liz Peace is Chair of Trustees at Centre for London.

The criteria

  • Does the headline grab attention and capture the important insight from the research?

  • Does the abstract make the case for why the community should be engaged by the research?

  • Is the abstract well-written, concise and communicative?

This prize was awarded at the LSE Festival on Wednesday 21 February 2018 by Julia Black.

LSE LIFE prize

Winner: Aurelia Streit, Department of International Development

Aurelia's winning research abstract: "It Was Not Syria But the War That Gave Us Women Rights!" How Forced Displacement Can Be a Catalyst for Women's Empowerment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

LSE Festival research competition winner: Research Abstract and LSE LIFE Prize LSE Festival research competition winner: Research Abstract and LSE LIFE Prize
Aurelia Streit, Department of International Development, discusses her winning research abstract. LSE Film & Audio

The judges said: "In addition to meeting our four criteria of ‘Making the world a better place’, ‘Communication’, ‘Creativity’ and ‘Self-Understanding’, Aurelia’s research offers hope for the 22 million refugees throughout the world in general, and for women refugees in particular, and shows how something really positive can emerge out of a very difficult environment."

Highly commended

Mujina Kaindama, Department of Law for Unwelcome Home: Managing Migration and Constructing Citizenship

The judges said: "By daring to ask difficult questions and challenging government policies on migration, this project highlights most potently the discriminatory practices currently taking place, amongst other places, in the housing sector in the UK and how these make it very difficult for migrants to successfully integrate into their new community." 

The judges

Claudine Provencher is Head of LSE LIFE and an LSE alumnus. 

Asi Sharabi founded Wonderbly (previously known as Lost My Name) as a DIY project with some friends. It's now a funded tech + storytelling start up with the ambition of making millions of kids around the world more curious, courageous and kind.

The criteria

The LSE LIFE prize was selected from shortlisted photograph, poster and research abstract submissions from undergraduate and Master’s students. The criteria for this prize was based on LSE LIFE’s guiding principles and values within the LSE community. Specifically, submissions were evaluated on:

  • Making the ‘world’ a better place: How well does the submission offer knowledge that could contribute to a change for the better for a community, big or small?

  • Communication: How well does the submission use written and/or visual forms of communication to interact with the Festival audience in a way that is clear and coherent?

  • Creativity: How well does the submission demonstrate inventive or unique ways of thinking and/or offer alternative perspectives?

  • Self-Understanding: How well does the submission demonstrate researcher self-awareness and reflexivity?

This prize was awarded at the LSE Festival on Wednesday 21 February 2018 by Julia Black.

LSE PhD Academy prize

Winner: Diego Alburez-Gutierrez, Department of Social Policy

Diego's winning photograph: How to Survive a Genocide: Lessons From the Guatemalan Civil War

The judges said: "The image was intriguing on its own and open to a number of different interpretations. The spectator is immediately drawn to the striding female figure in the foreground who stands out against the backdrop of a much larger crowd. The determination and quiet dignity of the figure made us want to know more. The text which accompanies the image soon makes clear in a succinct way that this single woman is typical of all those behind her in seeking reparations after a war.  We soon realise the connect between her and those still waiting for reparations. This is a very well taken photograph which tells a story that has considerable depth and international significance."

The judges

Linda Mulcahy is Director of the PhD Academy, a professor in the Department of Law at LSE, and editor of the International Journal of Social and Legal Studies

Benedict Richards is a graphic designer.

The criteria

The PhD Academy prize was selected from shortlisted photograph, poster and research abstract submissions from PhD students. 

It was judged on their ability to communicate a concept, research question or finding in a way that stimulates debate and is accessible to a non-specialist audience.

This prize was awarded at the LSE Festival on Wednesday 21 February 2018 by Julia Black.

Beveridge prize

Winner: Victoria Adewole, Department of Health Policy

Victoria's winning poster: Operating Efficiently: Fixing the Market for Surgical Equipment in Low and Middle Income Countries

LSE Festival research competition winner: Beveridge Prize LSE Festival research competition winner: Beveridge Prize
Victoria Adewole, Department of Health Policy, discusses her winning poster. LSE Film & Audio

The judge said, "As we make progress on communicable diseases, affordable surgery will become the next frontier for millions in poor countries. Beveridge would have liked the potential scale of impact and attention to affordability."  

Highly commended

Eimear Sparks, Department of Sociology for Homeless and Cash-free: How Will Transitioning to a Cashless Economy Affect Britain’s Homeless?

The judge said: "This proposal identifies a new issue as finance is digitised, and those who are excluded are even more marginalised. Beveridge would never have imagined this challenge but he would have seen as a new form of want."

Alina Epeykina, Department of International Relations for Sleepless in Bali 

The judge said: "The photo shows a little girl trying to get an education, but too tired from working to read. Like Beveridge, this photo shows how you have to tackle many giants at the same time to make progress."

The judge

Minouche Shafik is Director of LSE and an LSE alumnus. 

The criteria

LSE Director Minouche Shafik chose the single entry from the shortlisted photograph, poster or research abstract submissions that best fits the Beveridge 2.0 theme. Beveridge’s ‘Five Giants’ of want, squalor, disease, ignorance and idleness have been broadly re-cast as:

  • Want - Challenges of poverty
  • Squalor - Housing and urbanisation
  • Idleness - Future of work
  • Ignorance - Education and skills
  • Disease - Health and social care

This prize was awarded at the LSE Festival on Friday 23 February 2018 by Minouche Shafik.

Popular prize

Winner: Nihan Albayrak, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

Nihan's winning research abstract: Who Helps in Global Disasters? It's Not Being Neighbours, it's Feeling Neighbourly

LSE Festival research competition winner: Popular Prize LSE Festival research competition winner: Popular Prize
Nihan Albayrak, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, discusses her winning research abstract. LSE Film & Audio

The criteria

The Popular prize was voted for by the public on our online gallery.

This prize was awarded at the LSE Festival on Friday 23 February 2018 by Minouche Shafik.

Interested in finding out more? 

Sign up to our mailing list to receive an email notification when the submissions website goes live. Email us at researchcompetition@lse.ac.uk if you have any questions.