Writing Prizes

Julian Clement Chase Prize

for undergraduate writing focused on the District of Columbia

Submission date: May 20, 2019

Award Ceremony: October 2019

This annual $1,000 prize recognizes exceptional research writing projects focused on the District of Columbia in all undergraduate classes and in all disciplines at the George Washington University.

Sgt. Julian Clement Chase, 22, was a native of Washington DC, and graduated in 2008 from DC’s Wilson High School. While serving with the United States Marine Corps, he was killed in action in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He was set to matriculate as a freshman at GW in Spring 2013. Julian was born in Washington. He knew and relished his city. His family has established this prize in his honor to recognize others who explore DC with the intelligence and exuberance that he did.

Washington DC is the primary focus of the Julian Clement Chase Prize.  Therefore, engagement with DC plays a critical role in the judging process. Writing from social sciences or humanities might engage DC in terms of place, history, neighborhoods, and cultures; students from arts might engage DC in terms of its artistic expressions, or research related to art that they have created representing DC; students from sciences might submit research projects that address quality of life issues in DC. Collaborative or team projects are welcome, with a clear explanation of how entrants worked together

The winner of the Julian Clement Chase Prize will be invited to present in October as a keynote event at the University Writing Program’s Fall 2019 Research and Writing Conference.

For submission criteria please visit the Julian Clement Chase Prize webpage.


The Eckles Prize for Freshman Research Excellence 

This annual prize recognizes students who produce a research project in their freshman year that demonstrates significant and meaningful use of library services and collections at the George Washington University.

First year students are encouraged to submit a research project of any length or format, along with an essay summarizing how they used library resources to complete the project. Students should submit the one project that reflects their best work of the year. Prizes will be awarded for the top 3 submissions:

  • 1st Place: valued at $500
  • 2nd Place: valued at $300
  • 3rd Place: valued at $200

Winners will be announced in late summer. Winning students will present their research at an awards ceremony during the fall term and those papers will be included in GW’s institutional repository.

The submission deadline for the Eckles Prize is Friday, May 24th, 2019.


Undergraduate Essay Contest: Reflections on Research and Scholarship

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) invites current GW undergraduates to submit an essay that reflects on a research experience during their time as a student. The goal is for students to describe how participating in research and/or working with a research mentor contributed to their GW experience. OVPR will award up to five cash prizes in the amount of $500 each. The number of prizes will depend on the number and quality of entries received. Read the full contest details
When drafting an essay for this contest, students may wish to consider one or more of the following questions:
  • What project were you involved with and what was your role?
  • Was there anything about the project that made it an “only at GW” experience?
  • How did participating in this research project enrich your undergraduate experience?
  • How did mentorship play a role in your experience?
  • Will the experience impact your future education or career choices?
  • How will the skills you learned prepare you for future success?

Submissions are due by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.


Please send any questions to [email protected] with “Essay” in the subject line.

Strasser Writing Prize

The Strasser Prize is the annual writing prize, awarded for the best paper on any subject submitted by an Honors student in an Honors course taken during the previous or current academic year. The competition occurs in the Spring semester each year.

The Prize is named in honor of the founding director of the Honors Program, Susan Strasser, a noted social historian and the author of books such as Never DoneSatisfaction Guaranteed and Waste and Want.

One grand prize winner will receive a $100 prize. Two runners-up will receive a $50 prize each. A faculty committee of judges determines any and all winners.


Kiev Writing Prize

The Kiev Writing Prize supports short-term research and writing at the I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection, housed in the Kiev Room of the Gelman Library. Applicants for the fellowship program must be conducting research in the field of 18th-20th century Jewish history, Hebrew literature, Jewish art or Hebrew booklore. Candidates may come from a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, Graphic Arts, History, Religion, Comparative Literature, Bibliography or any relevant area of Judaic Studies.

The award consists of $750 to one undergraduate student at GW in the final years of matriculation (Junior or Senior status).

Applications are due by November 21, 2018.  Fellowships will begin in January 2019.


GW Undergraduate Research Symposium

The GWU SRF will be hosting an undergraduate research symposium on April 18, 2018 at which students will have the opportunity to present their own, original research. This is a great opportunity to gain experience presenting in a formal seting. Feedback will be provided by SRF Board members and GW professors. Various other research roundtables will b held leading up to the event to support students in designing and preparing for the symposium. Please visit their website for more information.


DC Student Arts Journalism Challenge

Founded in 2006 by editor Robert Bettmann, the arts magazine Bourgeon holds an annual competition that identifies and supports talented young arts journalists, in order to encourage serious consideration of arts writing. The competition is judged by a panel of professional critics, including in past years Philip Kennicott (Washington Post, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for criticism) and Sarah Kaufman (Washington Post, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize.

The work of three finalists will be published in the magazine, and the winner receives a $250 dollar cash prize.

Free to enter, the deadline for applications is Friday, January 25th, 2019.

The 8th annual Student Arts Journalism Challenge is supported by a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts.