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Food And Our Health Essay Contest


U.S. citizens enrolled full time (12 credit hours per semester) in an accredited university or college in the United States for the 2016-17 school year with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 (or 3.0 for incoming college freshman) or higher on a 4.0 scale. The Pritzker Food Safety Scholarship will be awarded to a student whose essays demonstrate a drive to improve food safety and protect public health.


Any student who fits the eligibility requirements listed above can apply. To enter, a student must submit two 300-500 word essays on two of the food safety topics listed on this page.

For submission, simply email your essays and a signed content contribution agreement (as an attachment in PDF or Word format) to [email protected]. Include the following in your email:

  • your full name
  • your address
  • the school you will be attending in 2016-17.


The essay submission deadline is 12:00 midnight EST June 1st. The winner will be notified via email.


All essays received will be reviewed by the scholarship committee, including Fred Pritzker, founder and president.

One winner will be chosen for the spring and fall academic semesters.


The scholarship funds awarded are to be used for tuition and books only. Once awarded, a check will be written to the recipient’s school of choice and credited for academic costs. This scholarship is non-renewable and is only good for a one-year cycle. Recipients are only eligible to receive the scholarship once during their lifetime.

Our law firm will select and award the essay winner a $3,000 scholarship. Again, the deadline for the 2016-17 academic year is June 1, 2016.

Take our food safety quiz.

Essay Contest

About the Contest

The Lasker Essay Contest engages young scientists and clinicians in a discussion about big questions in biology and medicine, and the role of biomedical research in our society today.  The Contest aims to build skills in communicating important medical and scientific issues to broader audiences.  The Essay Contest topics are announced annually no later than the second week of February and can be found on this webpage.

The topic of the 2018 Essay Contest is: How can social media help build trust in science and the research enterprise? Your answer should include a discussion of the benefits and challenges of your recommendations. 

The deadline to submit all materials is March 30, 2018. Winners will be announced in early July on our web site.


The Contest is open to medical school students, interns, residents, and fellows; doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research; graduate students in public health programs; and graduate students in other health professions programs.  The 2018 Essay Contest is open to both US and international applicants, including those from programs outside the US.


First-place award is $10,000 and an expense-paid trip (economy class travel and one-night hotel stay) to New York City to meet the 2018 Lasker Award winners (on September 21, 2018). Second- and third-place prizes are $5000 and $2500, respectively. All monetary prizes are to be used towards educational expenses.


Essays should be of 800 words or less and must be written in English. The file containing the essay should include the essay title and the applicant's name, email, and institutional affiliation. Figures and references are not required but one image (uploaded separately) and up to 10 references (included within the text body) may be submitted. Specific examples from the world of biomedical research should be included in your essay to illustrate your ideas more effectively. Field-specific scientific jargon should be avoided or explained.

Evaluation criteria

Essays will be evaluated based on 1) the innovation of the ideas and proposals and 2) how well these ideas are conveyed, i.e. the quality of writing, style, and clarity. Essays that are not written in English or are longer than 800 words will not be considered. 

Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive updates about the Essay Contest program and winners:

2017 essay contest and winners

2016 essay contest and winners

2015 essay contest and winners

2014 essay contest and winners

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