The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), through the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) and its Deputy Vice Presidency for Scientific Culture and Citizen Science (VACC-CSIC), and  and the Catalan Association of Science Communication (ACCC) organize the 11th “International Award on Scientific and Nature Illustration ILLUSTRACIENCIA”, an initiative that promotes scientific culture and scientific illustration as well as that encourages the development and knowledge of this discipline, long linked to science and scientific dissemination.

ILLUSTRACIENCIA award joins this year the celebration of the ‘Santiago Ramón y Cajal Year of Research 2022-2025’ (Cajal Year), promoted internationally as an Event of Exceptional Public Interest.


This award is open to individuals and teams made up of adults 18 years old or older, regardless of their country of residence. The winners of the previous edition, the organizing committee and the members of the jury are excluded from this call.


Each participant (single or team) may submit one single work, using the web form at the link www.Illustraciencia.info/participa, indicating personal data and the details of the presented work, as well as the category in which it is registered. In the case of teams, the name and personal data of every member of the team must be indicated.

The work must have been created between January 1st 2023 and March 31st 2024. The subject of the illustrations must be related to science or nature and the technique is free.

The size of the illustration must be uploaded at A4 (210 x 297mm) 72 DPI in RGB and it should not include watermarks or text (except signatures, numbers, figure letters or symbols included in the art work).

The participation form must include an informative text in Spanish, English or any other official Spanish language. In the case the text is not in Spanish, it must be provided also the corresponding Spanish version. The text must have the following characteristics:

  • The text must have from 100 to 150 words.
  • The texts must be totally original and rigorous. Proposals which include plagiarism or a copied text from external not mentioned authors, will be excluded.
  • It must rigorously describe the species or elements represented and explain the scientific, informative or artistic interest with which it has been created, as well as any scientific curiosity or relevant characteristic shown in the illustration.
  • Languages: the text may be written in Spanish, English, or any other official Spanish language. If it is not written in Spanish, the corresponding revised translation into Spanish must be included.

These requirements, as well as the quality of the texts, will be taken into consideration at the jury’s assessment.

Proposals that include any plagiarism in the image or in the text or do not comply with the requirements of these bases will be excluded.

The period of reception of works will be open from February 20th to March 31st 2024 (11:59 p.m. Central European Time).

On April 24th 2024, the 40 selected works will be announced. The notification of selected works will be sent by email to the authors. These selected artists must send the  illustration prepared to be printed in A2 size (420 x 594mm) 300 DPI in CMYK during the next 7 days. The organization reserves the right to review and edit the texts of the different selected works in order to guarantee their scientific and informative rigor.


  • Receipt of proposals: 02.2024 – 31.03.2024 (23:59h Central European Summer Time (CEST), UTC +2).
  • Announcement of selected works: 04.2024.
  • Public Vote of Mention from the public: 04.2024 – 30.04.2024.
  • Winners and Mentions announcement: 05.2024 – 30.05.2024.


  • Scientific: proposals that synthesize and visually represent scientific information with clarity, objectivity and rigor. They should have been made with the goal of helping to understand a text, a phenomenon or a scientific concept, and communicate or disseminate content related to any of the areas of scientific production and knowledge. These proposals can represent taxonomic characteristics, complex processes and relationships between different elements.
  • Naturalist: proposals that represent nature and its elements in a detailed way, with fidelity to reality. They shall use harmony in the compositions, both from the point of view of the illustrated elements and from the point of view of the colors.
  • Cajal Year: proposals submitted to the Cajal Year category must be related to the anatomy and physiology of the brain or the nervous system in general and/or with scientific content related to recent research in the area of ​​neurosciences.


This jury will select a maximum of 40 illustrations that will take part in the exhibition. This selection will be made according to the technical and scientific rigor and qualities. Among these 40 works, the jury will decide one prize for every category and up to five special mentions. This selection will take place by unanimous choice or by majority vote.

With these 40 selected works, it will take place the public selection of the Mention of the public. This selection will be made by online voting at the social media Illustraciencia Facebook.


The Illustraciencia Award will give a prize of 1,000 euros per winning work in each of the three categories, while the author of the Jury Mentions and the Mention of the public will receive a diploma. The 40 selected artworks will receive a digital accrediting certificate. The reduction corresponding to personal income tax will be applied to the economic prizes.

The winners must submit the following documentation by email within a maximum period of one week:

  1. Copy of passport or identification document.
  2. Certificate of ownership of the bank account.


The jury will be composed of a diverse neutral group which will include members of the organization: CSIC, MNCN-CSIC, ACCC and Illustraciencia advisory committee. This jury will be formed by specialists in the disciplines of scientific illustration, scientific research and dissemination of science. There will be a maximum of 40 illustrations selected that will be part of the exhibition. This will be carried out based on its rigor and technical and informative quality. Among these 40 works, the jury will decide a prize for each category and up to five special mentions. This selection will be made by unanimous election of the jury or by majority vote. The jury’s decision is final. The selected illustrators will receive an accreditation diploma via email.


Participation in this competition implies the automatic acceptance of the following rules. By participating, the author authorizes, not exclusively, the organization to use, reproduce or publicly broadcast their works and his/her name in all activities and publications related to the Award or those in which it is mentioned, without the participant receiving any compensation for their concept. The organization is committed not to commercialize or sell the works independently.

The participants assure and warrant to the organization that they are the sole owners of the copyright in the work submitted to the contest and that they are fully responsible for third party rights in their submitted works and any claims of third parties to image rights.

The organization is allowed to exclude the participants who do not accept or respect the requirements of these rules. Plagiarized works will be disqualified and archived on the web section of disqualified proposals.

The CSIC, MNCN-CSIC and the ACCC are exempt from any obligation or compensation to the Award participants if the Award would be canceled or suspended due to major force or law. In this case, the organization would conveniently inform the participants. In the broadest interpretation of law, the participants exonerate the organization of any liability, penalty, claim, demand or civil commercial, criminal or administrative cause, including compensation of any nature, expenses and costs for any complaint it may receive as a result of a breach by the participants of any of their obligations which arise from these terms (expressly including attorney and court fees).