Essay Award Competition, Winter 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 and healthcare
  4. Black Leadership and Excellence in health and wellness

We are looking for compelling ideas articulated succinctly, clearly, and passionately.

Award: There will be prizes available for first, second, and third place winning submissions in the amounts of $250.00, $150.00, and $100.00, respectively. Submissions will be posted on the Department of Health and Society’s website and winners will appear on our social media platforms.

Submission requirements:

  • Please complete the accompanying application by including your full name, student number, program and Health Studies major area, UofT email address, and year of study, a brief biography about yourself, and your essay.
  • 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 Submissions exceeding 500-word count will be withdrawn from the competition.
  • Submission can be sent to by March 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.
  • Only one submission is permitted per student for this competition.


  • Submission deadline: Monday March 28th, 2022
  • Review process: April 2022
  • Announcement of the winner: May 2022

Judging Criteria:

  • Content: Strength of discussion points relevant to theme/topic, comprehensiveness, originality, insights
  • Quality: Creativity, consistency in flow of ideas,
  • Clarity: clarity of thoughts & expression of ideas related to the theme/idea
  • Organization: punctuation, grammar, spelling

Click here to download the application form