AAAS Science & Human Rights Coalition: Student Essay Competition

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AAAS Science & Human Rights Coalition: Student Essay Competition

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is pleased to announce AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Essay Competition. The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree program.

This essay competition is designed to inspire students to explore connections between human rights and science, engineering and the health professions. Students may write on any topic at the intersection of science and/or technology with human rights.

Who May Eligible:

To eligible, the candidates must be following all the eligibility criteria:

  • The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students who, at the time of entry, are enrolled full- or part-time at an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher education seeking an undergraduate (two- or four-year) or graduate degree.
  • Students may be enrolled in any discipline. Students enrolled in life science, physical science, social science, health, engineering or mathematics programs are especially encouraged to participate.
  • Students may be enrolled in any accredited colleges or universities. There is no geographic restriction.

How to Apply & Competitions Rules:

To apply, the applicant must submit an essay submission through the given link:


  • Essays should be no more than 1,500 words in length.
  • A complete bibliography should be included, if appropriate. The bibliography and/or footnotes will not count towards the word limit.
  • Essays should be typed and double-spaced, in an easily readable font (such as Times New Roman), with 1” margins.
  • All pages must include the title of the essay and page numbers.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously so please do not include any personally identifying information (name, university) in the essay document.
  • Essays must be submitted in English.
  • The essay may be submitted in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
  • Submissions should be written in the form of an analytical or critical paper that raises thought-provoking questions. For example, potential essay topics might include: the applications of a scientific approach or a new technology to address specific human rights concerns; an analysis of synergies between human rights obligations and the social responsibilities of scientists, engineers and/or health professionals; or the ways in which full implementation of the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress may influence realization of other human rights. These examples are only provided to spark ideas: students are encouraged to write essays that reflect their own ideas, interests, and insights.
  • Papers written for courses are eligible, but all papers must be the original, unpublished work of an individual student.
  • Each student may submit only one essay.


Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: 1) Undergraduate student and 2) Graduate student.

  • The winning students will be recognized at the July 2018 meeting of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition.
  • Winners of the competition will receive a year of membership in AAAS and a one-year subscription to Science, as well as a travel stipend to attend the Coalition’s meeting, generously provided by the AAAS-Andrew M. Sessler Fund for Science, Education, and Human Rights.
  • Students who receive prizes will be asked to support AAAS stewardship of the Sessler Fund by providing feedback about their experience in the competition.
  • The winning essays will be considered for publication by the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program.

Application Deadline:

The application deadline is April 30, 2018, at 11:59 pm.

Original Website

Questions should be directed to Theresa Harris at / +1 (202) 326-6796.

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