Essay Prizes For Foundation Doctors

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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Photo: Shutterstock.comVeterinary students are being given an opportunity to share what they wish they’d known prior to entering the profession with the VIN Foundation’s second annual Solutions for the Profession Competition. This essay competition allows students to provide hindsight into the veterinary school experience, according to a recent foundation release.

In order to help support tuition and education-related expenses, the VIN Foundation will award cash scholarships to three entrants:

> First place: $3,000

> Second place: $1,500

> Third place: $1,000

Last year’s competition proved successful, providing innovative solutions to problems facing the veterinary profession, the report states. The winning essays covered areas of gender inequality and mental health challenges, with the winning essay addressing student debt.

“This essay competition provides an opportunity for veterinary students to participate in helping to improve the veterinary school experience with hindsight,” says Richard Headley, DVM, board chairman for the VIN Foundation, in the release. “I am honored the VIN Foundation is able to shed light on how we can collaborate to positively impact the profession for future generations.”

Top entries in the first round of judging will be selected by the VIN Foundation Solutions for the Profession Committee, according to the release. Three essays will be assessed by experts in the topic areas, who will pass the top entries to three well-known leaders in the veterinary profession. These final judges will determine the winners, the release states.

To learn more, visit the competition’s web page. 

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