Essay Award Competition

UTSC Department of Health and Society 2024 Student Essay Awards 

The Department of Health and Society (DHS) is committed to supporting the academic excellence of its Black students through specific, special efforts aimed at challenging structural obstacles to their learning process. We invite DHS Black health studies’ students to submit a 500-word piece of scholarly writing (e.g., empirical, theoretical, polemical, literary, photo, argument-based essays) exploring one of the topics listed below. We seek work that is clearly, concisely, creatively and compellingly argued.


  • Health and medical research for Black communities

  • Environment, place and technology

  • Local Black histories of societal change 

  • Black leadership in the social sciences and health humanities


Prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place standing. Awards are valued at $200. The Department of Health and Society will promote winning essays and their authors on its website and social media platforms. 

Submission instructions:

  • Complete an application, which includes full name, student number, program, major, year of study, biography (100 words), essay, UTSC email address.
  • Submissions must be 500 words or less (12-point, Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, single spaced). Submissions exceeding the word count will not be accepted. Visual materials are not included in word count.
  • Send submissions to by April 2, 2024. Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Submit a single PDF. List as follows in email subject line: “Student Essay Awards _Last Name”.
  • Limited to one submission per student. 


  • Deadline: Extended to Friday, April 12, 2024
  • Review process: April 2024
  • Announcement of awardees: May 2024

Judging Criteria:

  • Scholarly content: Addresses prompts, original, stimulating, focused, thorough
  • Scholarly quality: Logical, creative, ideas skillfully organized on page
  • Scholarly tone: Clear, concise, coherent, on-topic, focused, claims substantiated
  • Scholarly organization: correct punctuation, grammar, spelling