National Peace Essay Contest

Application Information

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Amount Awarded


Application Deadline

March 15

Awarded By

United States Institute of Peace

Award Amount

First-place state winners receive $1,000. First-place state winners compete for national awards of $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500 for first-, second-, and third-place, respectively. In addition, all first-place state winners are invited to attend an all-expense-paid awards program in Washington, D.C. in June. All awards are made on an annual basis and are non-renewable.


There can be up to one winner from each state for a potential of 53 awards. Each state winner will compete for national awards.

Additional Information

Essays that use a variety of sources - academic journals, news magazines, newspapers, books, government documents, publications from research organizations - fare better in the contest. Encyclopedias are not acceptable as sources. The Internet or World Wide Web should not be the only source for the essay. Previous first-place state winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the Institute are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mentions are eligible to enter. Each essay will be judged according to the following criteria: quality of the research, quality of the analysis, and style and mechanics. A student may take part in the contest with the sponsorship of any school, school club, youth group, community group, or religious organization. There must be a contest coordinator - someone in the school or community who can review essays and act as the key contact between participants and the Institute. If there is no designated coordinator at the student's school or organization, the student may ask a teacher, youth group leader, club sponsor, parent, or other adult to be his/her coordinator. It is to the student's advantage to have someone review his/her essay before he/she submits it to make sure it is complete, has all the necessary forms, is free from typographical and grammatical errors, and addresses the topic. There is no formal process to become a coordinator.

Deadline Info

This is an essay contest. The applicant must write a 1,000 to 1,250 word essay on the current year's topic. Registration forms and detailed essay information are available online from the United State ... sign up for full scholarship deadline information.

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