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The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

Awards to USA Undergraduate Juniors and Seniors
for Excellence in Essay Writing on the Theme of Ethics

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

Deadline Date:

01/21/20 5:00 PM PST


Request a Grant Writer

Awards ranging from $500 to $5,000 to USA undergraduate juniors and seniors at accredited four-year colleges and universities for excellence in essay writing on the theme of ethics. Essay topics may be about anything that explores an ethical problem, concern, question, or issue.

Suggested Essay Topics:

Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself. Note that the most engaging essays often reflect deeply on a particularly meaningful experience or episode in one’s life. That approach could focus ethical reflection:

  • An academic inquiry
  • A dilemma in literature or film
  • A recent article or editorial in a major newspaper
  • A current conflict in American life
  • An international crisis

Please note: These topics are only a suggestion. Students may write about any topic they wish, provided it explores an ethical problem, question, issue, or concern.

Essays will be judged on:

  • The quality of the writing
  • The clarity of the ethical problem or issue
  • The depth of the essay’s ethical analysis – including, for example, reflections on matters of right and wrong, justice and injustice, and the implications of those reflections for society 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177575

Estimated Size of Grant:

First Prize - $5,000
Second Prize - $2,500
Third Prize - $1,500
Two Honorable Mentions - $500 Each

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The contest is open to registered undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2019 Semester.

Students who are studying abroad in the Fall 2019 semester, but are considered enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university in the United States are eligible to apply. Please check with your Registrar and obtain the appropriate documentation to verify your enrollment.

The essay must be the original, unpublished work of one student. Only one essay per student per year may be submitted.

Pre-Application Information:

The submission deadline is January 21, 2020, by 5:00 PM PST. No late entries will be accepted.

Faculty Sponsor:
- Any interested professor at the student's school may act as a Faculty Sponsor.
- Students entering the contest are required to have a Faculty Sponsor review and electronically verify their essay.
- Your Faculty Sponsor will need to verify online that your essay meets the content standards in order for your essay to be judged.
- All essays must be verified by the deadline on January 21, 2020 at 5:00 PM PST in order to be judged.
- Upon submitting your entry online, your reported Faculty Sponsor will be emailed with a link to review and verify your submission online.
- If your Faculty Sponsor declines your submission or does not verify your essay by the deadline, it is disqualified.
- Please work with your Faculty Sponsor on any necessary edits to your essay before you upload and submit online.
- Your Faculty Sponsor will be reminded by email in the event your submission is not reviewed near to the deadline, but please check on the status of your submission independently, and work with your sponsor to ensure timely verification.
- Faculty members should only endorse thought-provoking, well-written essays that fall within the contest guidelines.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For any technical support issues with your application please email:

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
555 Madison Avenue - 20th Floor, New York, NY 10022
Telephone: 212-490-7788

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming