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World Health Essay Contest

Essay Contest

About the Contest

The Lasker Essay Contest engages young scientists and clinicians in a discussion about big questions in biology and medicine, and the role of biomedical research in our society today.  The Contest aims to build skills in communicating important medical and scientific issues to broader audiences.  The Essay Contest topics are announced annually no later than the second week of February and can be found on this webpage.

The topic of the 2018 Essay Contest is: How can social media help build trust in science and the research enterprise? Your answer should include a discussion of the benefits and challenges of your recommendations. 

The deadline to submit all materials is March 30, 2018. Winners will be announced in early July on our web site.


The Contest is open to medical school students, interns, residents, and fellows; doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research; graduate students in public health programs; and graduate students in other health professions programs.  The 2018 Essay Contest is open to both US and international applicants, including those from programs outside the US.


First-place award is $10,000 and an expense-paid trip (economy class travel and one-night hotel stay) to New York City to meet the 2018 Lasker Award winners (on September 21, 2018). Second- and third-place prizes are $5000 and $2500, respectively. All monetary prizes are to be used towards educational expenses.


Essays should be of 800 words or less and must be written in English. The file containing the essay should include the essay title and the applicant's name, email, and institutional affiliation. Figures and references are not required but one image (uploaded separately) and up to 10 references (included within the text body) may be submitted. Specific examples from the world of biomedical research should be included in your essay to illustrate your ideas more effectively. Field-specific scientific jargon should be avoided or explained.

Evaluation criteria

Essays will be evaluated based on 1) the innovation of the ideas and proposals and 2) how well these ideas are conveyed, i.e. the quality of writing, style, and clarity. Essays that are not written in English or are longer than 800 words will not be considered. 

Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive updates about the Essay Contest program and winners:

2017 essay contest and winners

2016 essay contest and winners

2015 essay contest and winners

2014 essay contest and winners

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International global health essay competition for ages 10-30 – deadline April 13

Akili is a U.S.-based organization that seeks to bring youth voices from around the world to policy-level discussions on issues of global health that affect the lives of young people. As part of that effort, Akili is hosting its first annual Youth Health Essay Competition, seeking essays of 500 words or less from young people everywhere to answer this question: “What is the most important health problem facing youth in the world today, and why?” The top 10 essays will be published on the Akili website, and the top prize wins a fully-funded trip to Sri Lanka for the World Conference On Youth 2014. The deadline for essay submission is 11:59 p.m. EST Sunday, April 13, 2014. Essays should be in English and can be emailed to akiliinitiative(at)gmail(dot)com. The competition is open to anyone age 10-30.

Visit the Akili website for more contest details and to read about the organization. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you know who might know youth that would be interested in submitting! They can also email akiliinitiative(at)gmail(dot)com with any questions.