Skip to content

Foundation/Essay

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.

Eligibility

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.

Prizes 

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.

Guidelines

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


Subscribe To Our Newsletter:

Annie Brewster, MD
Health Story Collaborative Founder and Executive Director

Arlene Katz, EdD
Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Barbara Gastel, MD
Professor, Texas A&M

Barbara Sadick
Freelance Health Writer

Prof. Bethany Johnson, MPhil, MA
Depts. of History and Communication Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Craig Wynne, PhD
Assistant Professor, Hampton University

Deepu Gowda, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University

Ellen Ford
Freelance, Editor

Emily Morgan
English Instructor, John Tyler Community College

Jack Coulehan, MD, MPH
Emeritus Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine Stony Brook University

Jamesetta Halley-Boyce, PhD, RN, FACHE
Associate Professor, Seton Hall University

Jennifer Fisher Wilson
Medical Writer/Editor, Thomas Jefferson University

Jessie Findlay
Senior Story Producer at Travel Channel

Joanna Sachar
Editor-in-Chief and Vice President (retired), Macmillan Publishing Company

Joseph Zuckerman, MD
Walter A.L. Thompson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York University School of Medicine

Johanna Shapiro, PhD
Director, Program in Medical Humanities & Arts, University of California, Irvine

Judith Hannan
Writer

Kathy Pecht
Founder, Leonia Arts

Kyle Nash, DMin
Medical Educator

Laura Fratello, MD
Infectious Disease Specialist

Lawrence K. Altman, MD
Writer, New York Times

Lisa Becker
Writer

Lisa M. Wong, MD
Assistant Co-Director, Arts and Humanities Initiative, Harvard Medical School
artsandhumanities.hms.harvard.edu

Marcia Day Childress, PhD
Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Marcia Soltes
Writer

Marguerite J. Purnell, PhD, RN1
Professor Emeritus, Editor, Journal of Art and Aesthetics in Nursing and Health Sciences

Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig
Director, Medical Humanities Program, University of Florida College of Medicine

Paul Gross, MD
Editor-in-chief, Pulse – Voices from the heart of medicine

Penny Armstrong, CNM, MSN
Nurse-Midwife, Author

Richard Colgan MD
Professor; Vice Chair for Medical Student Education and Clinical Operations
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Scott Alderman
Executive Director, Center for Narrative Practice

Serena J. Fox, MD
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Attending, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center

Shari Foos, MA, MFT; MS, NM
Founder, The Narrative Method; Founder BRIDGE Program at Antioch University Los Angeles; Adjunct Professor, Narrative Medicine and The Narrative Method, Antioch University Los Angeles

Stacy Gallin, DMH
Founding Director, Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust

Stephen Borg
Publisher, North Jersey Media Companies

Therese Jones, PhD
Director of the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program, University of Colorado Denver

Thomas Dahlborg
President, Dahlborg Healthcare Leadership Group (DHLG)
Director Health Care, Global Listening Centre Board (India)

Tom Rosenal, MD, FRCPC
Associate Professor Emeritus, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Trent Kays, PhD
Assistant Professor, English and Modern Foreign Languages, Hampton University