What happens in the world affects all of us, and young people are being challenged to take a photograph that demonstrates this impact. 

The Economic and Social Research Council is calling for entries to its fourth photographic competition, entitled The Bigger Picture, which invites 14 to 18 year olds to explore how things such as politics, education, climate change, healthcare, technology, migration and poverty affect them, other people or the nation as a whole.

The images can be taken on cameras, mobile phones or tablets and can be entered to one of five categories: New World Order, the impact of political change such as Brexit and new style politicians such as President Trump; Age of Innovation, the impact of new technologies such as social media and AI; Fragile Earth, our physical impact on our planet; Being Me, issues surrounding young people such as bullying, addiction, exam worries or being a young carer; or Society in Chaos, the impact of the threat of terrorism and migration, and discussion points such as national pride versus nationalism. 

Social science research plays a vital role in our society. From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects us all every day - at work, in school or college, within our communities, when exploring our identities and expressing our beliefs. The Bigger Picture competition is an opportunity for young people to find out more about the social sceicnes and society today.

Competition judge Jacky Clake, Head of Communications at the ESRC, said: "This will be our fourth competition exclusively for 14 to 18 year olds. Since we started, many thousands of photos have been submitted and the standard of the images is truly exceptional. We are delighted to see so many young people taking part and exploring the relevance of social science to their life through photography."

The other judges are photographer Ollie Smallwood, i newspaper picture editor Sophie Batterbury, BBC picture editor and photographer Phil Coomes, and Karin Woodley, who has 30 years' experience in public-facing charities tackling social and cultural injustice and inequality.

Photographer Ollie said he enjoyed judging the competition each year because it always receives some outstanding pictures and fascinating insights into social issues. 

He explained: "I feel it's important to encourage the next generation of photographers, and young people in general, to look at the world with an original and critical eye. Hopefully this will lead to exciting photography / art and fresh thinking to tackle social and environmental challenges in the future.

"I would encourage those taking part to be original. We're all slightly different and we all see the world from our own unique perspective. And each of these original perspectives are interesting, exciting and valuable. So, be yourself and trust your unique eye!"

The competition is open until 15 December 2017 and winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Espacio Gallery in London on 20 March 2018.

All the winning and shortlisted images will be displayed at the Espacio Gallery, and the winners will also appear in the ESRC's Society Now magazine.

The overall winner will receive £200 in vouchers, while each category winner and the best image submitted via social media will receive £100 in vouchers. The judges' favourite images will receive £50 in vouchers. 

Photographs can also be entered via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #esrcphoto.