Centre for Personalised Medicine Art Competition

Welcome to our competition page! Every year, we plan to ask young people to create art that looks at the great things and the challenging things about personalised medicine. 

Have a look at our introductory video below for this year's theme.

In the second year of the competition, we’re looking at screening newborn babies for disease. All babies born in the UK are offered tests shortly after birth to check for health issues:

  • They have a baby check after birth, then again when they are six weeks old where a clinician checks them over looking for issues like heart murmurs, eye problems or clicky hips
  • They have a bloodspot test at around five days old where some drops of blood are collected from their heel. This blood is tested for nine rare conditions where treatment before the baby begins to seem poorly is important to help the baby stay as healthy as they can.

Currently, the Newborn Genomes Programme is exploring how looking at a baby’s genetic code might help with checking them for diseases. This sort of testing can look for a lot of diseases at once, but the results might be less clear as we are still learning how a person’s genetic code links to the illnesses they develop.

  • A small number of babies will be found to have a disease that can be treated better the earlier you know about it
  • For some babies, screening might raise worries that they will become unwell at some point in the future, but it might take years until we can be sure whether they actually will get ill or not
  • For most babies, screening won’t raise any health worries, but their genetic code will become part of the project database.

We would like you to create art about screening newborn babies for disease. You could do this on your own, or as part of a team (e.g. as a school art club).

To give you some ideas, your art could look at:

  • What sort of things are babies checked for when they are born?
  • Is it always helpful to know about a disease early? Are there some diseases that babies shouldn’t be checked for? What about diseases that affect people in later life, or that don’t currently have treatments?
  • How sure should you be that a baby really will get a disease before you tell their parents about it?
  • What would it be like to grow up with uncertainty about whether you will get a particular disease?
  • What might be the pros and cons of having your genetic code as part of a database from the time you are born?

We can’t wait to see what you create! Please click on the headings below for more details.

What sort of art should I create?

  • You can make a drawing, a painting, a photograph, a collage, a sculpture – we’re excited to see what you come up with! It needs to be something that you can take a photograph of (so it can’t be a piece of music or a video, for example).
  • The art must be your own work. If you use pre-existing material (e.g. to make a collage), you need to obtain permission to use the material from the copyright holder.
  • Any people in your art should not be identifiable. If you’re doing a picture involving a person, you should draw or paint someone from your imagination rather than a person you know in real life.

Competition timeline

Opens for entries: 12th September 2023

Closes to new entries: 26th January 2024 at 1pm

Winner and finalists announced: 13th March 2024

Who can enter?

  • You can enter the competition if you will be in Year 7, 8 or 9 of secondary school on the 1st September 2023.
  • Your school must be based in the UK, or if you are taught at home you must live in the UK.
  • You can create art on your own or as part of a team (e.g. as a school art club).
  • The closing date for competition entries is 26th January 2024 at 1pm. Late entries will not be accepted.

How do I enter?

Please email a photo of the artwork to cpm@well.ox.ac.uk with subject line ‘CPM competition’ by 26th January 2024 at 1pm together with the form below, completed by your parent/guardian/teacher.

Please keep your original artwork safe. If you are a competition winner we might ask you to send it to us for display or scanning (we would pay for postage).

By entering the competition, you give the Centre for Personalised Medicine permission to share your artwork online and in person (including modified versions of the image, for example cropped versions). The artist’s first name, age when entering the competition, school name, and county where their school is based, will be displayed together with the art.


The judging panel will be comprised of members of the Centre for Personalised Medicine and their guests.

The artworks will be judged on:

  • Relevance – does the image communicate something important about screening newborn babies for disease?
  • Originality – does the image make you think about newborn screening in new or challenging ways?
  • Artistry – does the image capture your attention and make you want to find out more?

The judges’ decision is final.


All artists who enter the competition will be sent a digital certificate via email.

The best entries will be shared online by the Centre for Personalised Medicine, and may be displayed future events held by the Centre, or form part of exhibitions.

For individual entries, one overall winner will receive £100 and one runner-up will receive £50. For group entries, one winning team will receive £100.

Where can I learn more about screening newborn babies for disease?


Take a look at this blog post about last year’s competition for more inspiration!