Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics

Visit  the Elie Wiesel Prize website  to submit your essay.  This year's suggested topic:  "Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself."

The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest is an annual competition designed to challenge college students to analyze the urgent ethical issues confronting them in today’s complex world.

First prize:  $5,000
Second prize:  $2,500
Third prize:  $1,000
Honorable Mention:  $500

One each of the first three prizes, and two Honorable Mentions.

While the foundation suggests relevant topics each year, applicants are encouraged to choose any subject they feel strongly about, provided it is related to the domain of ethics.

Students are eligible to enter contest if:

  • They are registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the fall 2011 semester, or
  • They fulfill the guideline requirements and are studying abroad during the 2014-2015 school year, as long as they are registered as full-time juniors or seniors at their home schools in the U.S., or
  • They are international or non-citizen students who fill the guideline requirements and are attending schools in the U.S.

Essays are of 3,000 to 4,000 words.  Selection criteria include:

  • clear articulation and genuine grappling with an ethical dilemma
  • thoroughly thought-out, tightly focused essays
  • adherence to guidelines and carefully proofread essays
  • originality and imagination
  • observation of rules for Standard English usage in writing
  • eloquence of writing style
  • intensity and unity in the essay


Final Deadline is Dec. 8, 2014; external deadlines are also listed on program websites.

Interested candidates should contact Fellowships by October 15 for guidance and assistance in preparing the application.

Students entering the contest are required to have a Faculty Sponsor review their essay and sign the Entry Form. Faculty members should only endorse thought-provoking, well-written essays that fall within the contest guidelines.

Students studying abroad may have professors at their home or abroad institution serve as their Faculty Sponsor.

To apply, follow the directions on the website noted above.

Lisa Gates, Dean for Fellowships and Research
Davis Family Library 225G

Elie Wiesel Prize