The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics

This year, the Charles Center is offering a $250 prize for the best essay, written in accordance with the Ethics Prize rules and guidelines, submitted to the Center by 12 p.m. on Friday, November 21 2014.  Faculty Sponsors (see below) should email essays to [[lmgrim, Lisa Grimes]] and include the name of the student author in the body of the email.

Here are the rules for the Elie Wiesel Essay Prize in Ethics:

ELIGIBILITY: Registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the fall 2014 semester.

SUGGESTED ESSAY TOPIC: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself.  Please note: this topic is only a suggestion.  Students may write about any topic they wish, as long as it explores the theme of ethics.


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


  • In 3000 to 4000 words, you are encouraged to raise questions, single out issues, and identify dilemmas.
  • Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual voice should be evident.
  • The essay should be developed from your point of view and may take the form of an analysis that is biographical, historical, literary, philosophical, psychological, sociological or theological.
  • Essay must be the original, unpublished work of one student. Only one essay per student per year may be submitted.
  • All essays must have a title.
  • All essays must be written in English.
  • Essays should be titles, typed in a 12-point easily readable font (such as Times New Roman), double-spaced with 1" margins and numbered pages.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously.  Hence, no name or identifying references (i.e., your name, school, or professor) should appear on the title page or in the document.  Our office will put a code on your essay.


  • 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 December 8, 2014 at 5 p.m. 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.

The Foundation requires an official letter from your Registrar on your institution's letterhead verifying your enrollment as a full-time undergraduate junior or senior in the fall of 2014. Please obtain this and upload as a .pdf as part of your online submission.

Students who are studying abroad in the fall 2014 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.


  • Entries must be submitted online through a submission system
  • Essays will be uploaded as .pdf documents
  • Enrollment verification must be uploaded as a .pdf file
  • Your Faculty Sponsor's name and contact information, including email, must be provided
  • You may edit your unfinished submission at any time but one submitted, you will not be able to edit your entry
  • You must submit to generate the email to your Faculty Sponsor
  • All essays must be verified by the Faculty Sponsor by the deadline on December 8, 2014 at 5 p.m. PST in order to be judged
  • Please note that due to the volume of entries, no materials will be critiqued or returned
  • No paper or hard-copy submissions will be accepted

See the website for more information about the Prize in Ethics and Elie Wiesel.