The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics

Apply through Independent Application Process

» Scholarship's official website


The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity sponsors an annual essay contest for full-time undergraduate juniors and seniors. Students are challenged to examine and analyze urgent ethical issues confronting them in today's complex world. Students are encouraged to write thought-provoking personal essays of 3,000-4,000 words that raise questions, single out issues and are rational arguments for ethical action.

First prize = $10,000, second = $5,000, third = $3,000, two honorable mentions = $1,000.


Full-time juniors and seniors at accredited college or university in U.S.

Selection Criteria

  • Clear articulation and genuine grappling with an ethical dilemma
  • Adherence to guidelines and carefully proofread essays
  • Observation of rules for Standard English usage (grammar, punctuation, mechanics) in writing
  • Thoroughly thought-out, tightly focused essays
  • Originality and imagination
  • Eloquence of writing style
  • Intensity and unity in the essay

Application Procedure

Students must apply and submit essays online, and receive online verification from their Faculty Sponsor. Any professor may act as a Faculty Sponsor and endorse the quality and authenticity of the student’s essay. Also, students must upload a letter from the Registrar verifying enrollment.