Undergraduate Essay Prize 2021

Perry World House (PWH), the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global policy research, has now closed submissions for its 2021 Undergraduate Essay Prize. 

The goal of the prize is to spotlight the most robust and insightful undergraduate writing and analysis about the ways policy can address contemporary world challenges. Both the global challenge(s) and the policy solution(s) should be clearly laid out and persuasively argued.   

To that end, we encourage students from each of Penn’s four undergraduate schools to apply. Students should submit original essays not previously published or accepted for publication elsewhere (requirements below) with an author’s statement that both explains how the work fits within either or both of PWH’s research themes and serves as an abstract for the piece.  

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

Award Information 

Each winner will receive an award of $1,000 and have her/his/their essay published on PWH’s website and pushed on its social media channels. The winner will also be granted exclusive access to PWH events and visitors during the subsequent academic year.  

 Eligibility Information 

  • To apply you must be a current Penn undergraduate student. 

  • If you are a current or former World House Student Fellow (WHSF), your submission cannot be related to a WHSF policy project. 

Submission Requirements 

The essay must: 

  • Be solo-authored (group paper submissions will not be accepted); 

  • Be written in English; 

  • Be in Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and 1,500-2,000 words, including notes and references (approximately 5-8 pages); and 

  • 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. 


Applications closed on April 11, 2021.

About Perry World House 

Perry World House is the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global engagement. It is a center for scholarly inquiry, teaching, research, international exchange, policy engagement, and public outreach on pressing global issues. To learn more about Perry World House, go to:  https://global.upenn.edu/perryworldhouse


If you have any questions, email worldhouse@pwh.upenn.edu.