A University of Wisconsin Cool Science Image Contest seeks to uncover unique photographs of science research to display.

This will mark the third year in a row this contest will take place at UW.

Terry Devitt, research communications director for the contest, described it as an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to showcase interesting pictures relating to science through a venue to share with the rest of the world. He said the contest provides the chance to show once-in-a-lifetime images to an audience surpassing that of the individual photographer’s family and friends.

“These are terrific images in terms of the work they do,” he said.

The deadline for this contest is Thursday, Feb. 28, according to a UW statement.

The statement also said the contest will award more prizes this year. The contest will have ten winners, each winning a $100 gift card for downtown Madison, according to the statement.

According to Devitt, for the first year, the sponsor of the contest is Madison’s Promega Corporation. He said Promega Corporation is a biotechnology company in Madison with a long history of supporting UW that is encouraging of, and interested in, the intersection of science and art.

These images may be taken from all over and do not need to be associated with a researcher’s particular research, Devitt said. However, any images relating to research are allowed into the contest, he added.

For example, a winning entry from last year’s contest was a penguin jumping out of an ice hole in Antarctica, according to Devitt. He cited as another example a photograph from a biomedical researcher of the transit of Venus across the sun.

“Examples of images we are looking for include microscopy, satellite imagery, interesting pictures, nature and wildlife,” Devitt said.

According to Grant Petty, UW professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a winner of last year’s contest, his photograph was neither planned nor originally taken for the purpose of entering this contest.

Petty said his photo was taken during an outing to a farm with his students, during which they were taking pictures of farm scenes and animals.

“I was not sure it was the right fit for the contest,” Petty said about his winning photograph of an entire thunderstorm cell.

Petty said he thought this was a contest more oriented toward lab objects or things under microscopes.

The winning images of this contest will be published on The Why Files, and all qualified entries will be featured in a slideshow that will play at the 2013 Wisconsin Science Festival at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and other venues, according to the statement.

The Digital Media Center, with which the contest is partnering, will provide large-scale prints of the winning images to be given to the winners and to be on display in the center, Devitt said.

To see a slide show of last year’s winning photographs, those interested can look to http://whyfiles.org/2013/2012-cool-science-image-contest/.