John Templeton Foundation: 25 years - Supporting Science - Investing in the Big Questions

Student Essay Competition

Prizes for essay submissions focusing on these two Big Questions:

    For college students –

  1. What is the origin of the complexity in the universe?
  2. For high school students –

  3. Are we alone in the universe? Or, are there other life and intelligence beyond the solar system?

Student Essay Competition

Overview  |  Essay Winners  |  College  |  High School  |  FAQ

The New Cosmic Frontiers International Science Essay Competition On the Nature of our Universe and its Habitats is open to high school and college students. Its purpose is to inspire students to consider careers in science and to nurture their enthusiasm for the subject, and to engage young minds in creative, intellectual activities essential in scientific endeavors.

Winners will be awarded significant monetary prizes to support their education and given an extraordinary opportunity to meet today’s world-renowned scientists and scholars at a conference and award ceremony, held in Philadelphia, on October 12–13, 2012. The program will include presentations by winners of the New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology Research Grant Program and the New Cosmic Frontiers Student Essay Competition; a banquet; a public event lecture related to the Big Questions; and panel of Templeton Prize winners and other original thinkers discussing the future of the Big Questions.

First Prize – The top essay in each category will be awarded cash prizes of $25,000 (for high school) and $50,000 (for college).

Second Prizes – The next two essays in each category will be awarded cash prizes of $10,000 (for high school) and $25,000 (for college).

Third Prizes – The next five essays in each category will be awarded cash prizes of $5,000 (for high school) and $10,000 (for college).

In addition, up to 10 honorable mentions of $3,000 each will be awarded in either category.

The Essay Competition Invitation, containing complete information about the program, is available here. Essays should be submitted using the online templates available on this website after March 15, 2012.

The essay contest has been organized in conjunction with the New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology - An International Grant Competition, a research grant program that aims to advance our understandings in fundamental areas of astronomy and cosmology, which overlap with the following Big Questions.

Essay Winners »

Conference of  Award Winners October 12–13, 2012

Fifth Floor Conference Center
222 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


UChicago News

Scientists, students receive awards for exploring big questions about universe

By Steve Koppes
October 4, 2012

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