Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

Essay Award Competition, 2021-2022

Description: The Department of Health and Society is committed to making special efforts to support the academic excellence of Black students and challenge structural obstacles to their success. We are excited to launch a unique Essay Award opportunity and invite our Black students enrolled in Health Studies within the Department of Health and Society to submit an academic writing piece (i.e., a short research paper, literary essay, commentary, or opinion piece) that is 500 words or less on topics provided below.

Topics: We invite students to submit on one of the following topics:

  1. Pandemic in a pandemic: COVID-19 and Anti-Black racism
  2. Inequities in access to vaccinations for Black communities
  3. Anti-Black racism in medicine
  4. Black Leadership and Excellence in health and wellness

Award: The winning submission will receive $500.00, and the submission will be posted on the Department of Health and Society’s website and other social media platforms.

Submission requirements:

  • Only one submission is permitted per student for this competition
  • Submissions must be 500 words or less, 12-point font size, 1-inch margins. Submissions exceeding 500-word count will be withdrawn from the competition. Please include your full name, student number, year, and Health Studies major area.
  • Submission can be sent to by February 28th 2022. Submissions beyond the set deadline will not be accepted.
  • Please include “Essay Award Competition_Last Name” in the subject line of your email.


  1. Submission deadline: Monday February 28th, 2022
  2. Review process: March 1st, 2022, March 31st 2022
  3. Announcement of the winner: April 2022

Judging Criteria:

  • Content: relevance to theme/topic, comprehensiveness, originality, insights
  • Quality & organization: strength of discussion points, creativity, punctuation & grammar
  • Clarity: clarity of thoughts, flow, consistency

Click here to download the application form