The Southern African Science Lens Competition™, established in 2002, aims to encourage the use of photography as a tool for science communication and to encourage scientists to share and communicate their scientific research in a creative and innovative manner to, ultimately, develop science communication skills across the SET sector. The secondary aim of the competition is to encourage society to observe and appreciate science in their everyday lives.

Who is the Competition Coordinator

The South African Science Lens Competition is coordinated by the Science Communication Division of the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement; a business unit of the National Research Foundation.

Why should I participate

Apart from the opportunity to communicate scientific research in a creative and innovative manner, participants stand a chance to be immortalised in print, as images selected from the top entries are converted to large canvas prints that are prominently displayed in the Didacta Building in Pretoria.

Whom we target

The competition to the public in all age categories; however, NRF|SAASTA encourages participation by scientists and researchers.

What are the entry requirements

The competition is open to the public and entries are accepted by e-mail or by online submissions. The competition categories, rules, and guidelines are available on

How does it work

SA Science Lens has maintained three consistent categories each year, namely; Science as Art that illustrates the beauty of science or shows natural subjects in abstract ways; Science in Action that capture sciences at it happen; and Science Close-ups that reveal aspects of science that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Each round has an additional category, or categories, which vary from year to year. Participants will select an object or action of their choice that communicates science in the categories. The entries, that includes the photograph, as well as a description of the photograph, which must communicate something about the science or work of a scientist, are then submitted. An appointed panel then judges the entries.

What will it cost

Free entry to all participants

What am I awarded

The winner and runner-up of each category of SA Science Lens are awarded a cash prize of R10 000 and R5000, respectively.

Competition timelines

SA Science Lens runs biennially and alternates with the Young Science Communicator’s Competition™. Entries open in September and close in January the following year.


Joanne RileyJoanne Riley
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