Misuse Of Science Essay Competitions

Competitions are a great way to get creative, promote your own work, and be rewarded for it. The most popular human rights competitions are moot courts whereby participants work on a hypothetical case in a real courtroom setting. Essays and poetry competitions which look for the best human rights-related written contributions are also quite common. Finally, students and professionals sometimes have the opportunity to make art, such as paintings or documentary films, which will raise awareness about human rights. We have found four amazing opportunities from all three categories of human rights competitions which will take place in 2018.

1.      Science and Human Rights Coalition: 2018 Student Essay Competition

By AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition. Deadline: April 30, 2018.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) invites undergraduate and graduate students to take part in the Science and Human Rights Coalition essay competition. Applicants have the flexibility to choose any topic that lies at the intersection of science and/or technology and human rights. All entries should be critical and analytical papers which raise important and thought-provoking questions. Essays should not exceed the 1,500 words limit (bibliography excluded).

This essay competition aims to inspire students to do more research and look for connections between human rights and different fields of science, including engineering and medicine. Some potential essay ideas could be analyzing synergies between human rights obligations and the social responsibilities of scientists, or using a new technology to address a particular human rights issue.

Students from any university and any country are eligible to participate.

Winners in each of the two categories (undergraduate and graduate students) will receive the following benefits:

  • A year-long membership in AAAS;
  • A year-long subscription to Science journal;
  • A travel stipend to attend the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition meeting in July 2018 where their achievements will be recognized.

There is also a possibility that the winning essays will be published by the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program.

2.      Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition

By Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. Deadline: April 16, 2018.

The 10th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition organized jointly by the University of Pretoria and the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner will be held in Geneva, Switzerland July 15-20, 2018.

Undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world are eligible to compete in this moot court. Universities should form a team of two students (preferably a woman and a man), who will have to submit their arguments based on a hypothetical case the organizers will provide them with. A panel of experts will then choose ten best teams from every UN region, all of whom will receive an invitation to participate in the pre-final and final rounds in Geneva. In these final rounds, teams will be assigned the role of either the Applicant or the Respondent, and they will act before human rights judges. This competition is held in English and French.

Participants will also have the opportunity to attend a one-day event where they can get acquainted with the work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Office and the Human Rights Council.

There is no registration fee to participate in this moot court competition; however, participants are responsible for all relevant costs of travel and accommodation.

Form your team together with a Law faculty member and register to take part in this world-famous moot court!

3.      HART Prize for Human Rights

By Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust. Deadline: February 26, 2018.

Each year, the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) awards the HART prize to young people interested in global issues. This prize is given with an aim to raise awareness about human rights abuses, poverty, and conflict among young people in the UK, and to encourage this target group to critically engage in human rights discussions and projects.

There are two human rights contests for the HART prize: creative competition and essay competition. Applicants interested in the first competition are asked to produce a creative piece of work about any human right or humanitarian situation in one of the countries where HART is present. These works of art can include photographs, videos, sculptures, collages and graphic designs. For the essay competition, applications should do original research and write an essay on any human rights issue that relates to HART’s work. The maximum word limit for the essay is 1,200 words.

Entries from all over the world are welcome. The major eligibility criteria for this competition is the age limit. To be eligible to participate in the senior category, applications should be aged between 18 and 25.

The first prize in each category includes £300, a week of work experience in the HART Office, and an invitation for tea in the House Lords with Baroness Cox, as well as a copy of her book on slavery in the 21st century.


4.      Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court

By Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University. Deadline: March 16, 2018.

In addition to the annual Human Rights Essay Award, the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University also organizes the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court. This year, the topic of the moot court competition will be the same as the one for the essay – Gender Violence and International Human Rights Law. The hypothetical case on this subject was written by Julissa Mantilla Falcon, a Law Professor from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.

Universities are invited to register a team of two students and one or two coaches. All law schools across the world are eligible to participate. Registered and participating teams are allowed to submit up to three requests for clarifications of the facts in the case. They will then present both a written memorial and take part in oral argument sessions before a panel of judges.

For this year’s moot court competition, the registration fee amounts to $1,000 per team. Certificates of Advancement will be given to all semi-finalists. The three best memorials in three different languages (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) in each of the roles (Victims/Petitioners/Commission and the State), as well as the three best individual orators will receive competition awards.

Don’t miss your chance to participate in these great human rights competitions! Good luck!

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate in the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Essay Competition. This essay competition was created 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. 

Do you want to compete? Click here to
read the rules and regulations!

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. 

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. 

How to Enter

  1. Submit your essay through the essay competition website which will be open 1 April 2018 through 30 April 2018. Website URL will be available in 2018.
  2. The essay may be submitted in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Read the competition's rules and regulations here.

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