Graduate Essay Prize

The prize highlights outstanding graduate writing about the ways policy can address major global challenges. Applications are open now until May 17, 2023.

Perry World House (PWH), the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global policy research, is accepting submissions for its first ever Graduate Essay Prize. This $1,200 prize recognizes insightful essays that explore how policy can be used to tackle global policy challenges.

We encourage students from all of Penn’s twelve graduate schools to apply. Students should submit original essays not previously published or accepted for publication elsewhere, with a 200 to 300-word author’s statement that serves two functions: first, it explains how the issue under consideration fits within either or both of Perry World House’s research themes and, second, it serves as an abstract for the piece.

Prizes will be awarded based on the overall excellence of the essay submission – the core idea, coherent and persuasive writing, and robust research – and its alignment with either or both of PWH’s two research themes, which are:

Essay Prompt

What is the most urgent contemporary global challenge facing us today, and how should public policy be responding now? The issue you choose to explore must be aligned with one or both of Perry World House’s research themes.


 Eligibility Information

  • To apply you must be a current Penn graduate student.
  • If you are a current or former Perry World House Graduate Associate, your submission cannot be related to that program.

Application Instructions

Submission Requirements

The essay must:

  • Be written in English;
  • Be solo-authored (group paper submissions will not be accepted);
  • Include a 200 to 300-word author’s statement that explains the connection between the essay and PWH’s Global Shifts and/or Future of the Global Order themes and functions as an abstract for the piece.  Submissions without an author’s statement will be rejected; and
  • Be in Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and 2,000-2,500 words, including notes and references.

By submitting an essay for consideration, you are attesting to the fact that it is your own work, and was not produced in full or part by using ChatGPT or a similar AI program.