Student Essay Prize

2020 Student Essay Prize recipients

Mark Tan

We’re delighted to announce the winner and highly commended entries to our 2020 Student Essay Prize on COVID-19. 


Mark Tan, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, "COVID-19 In An Inequitable World: The Last, The Lost, and The Least"

Highly Commended

James Cai, University College London, "When staying at home is not an option: homeless health in the COVID-19 pandemic"

Tanya Mikaiel, Royal Veterinary College, "COVID-19: The Great Equaliser or Magnifier of Inequality?"

“I am proud to have won this competition. More importantly, the pandemic has shone a spotlight on the longstanding inequities that shape one's vulnerabilities to disease and it is vital that they are addressed as the world sets its sights on the road to recovery."

Mark Tan, winner of the 2020 Student Essay Prize

Eligibility and Submission

Submissions for the Student Essay Prize will open again towards the end of 2021

The RSTMH Student Essay Prize is for students studying global health as a degree or any degree with a component of global health. It is open to current, full-time, students, that can be based anywhere in the world.

Evidence of student status must be provided at the point of submission. The prize is awarded annually, with submissions usually opening around October and closing around December. We accept submissions through an online platform. 

  • Essays should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words, excluding references, footnotes, and tables.
  • A 150–200-word summary should also be submitted together with the essay.
  • All sources must be appropriately acknowledged in Harvard style only. References do not count as part of the word count.
  • The essay must be in English.
  • Please try and organise the essay into a logical succession of headed sections, where possible.
  • The essay should be entirely your own original work and should not have been previously published.
  • Please note that if the summary is omitted; the essay will not be considered.
  • Only one essay per person can be submitted.

History of Student Essay Prize

We launched the Student Essay Prize in late 2018 after discussions with our Training and Education Committee to encourage students of varying disciplines to engage with the fields of tropical medicine and global health.

A panel of experts related to the essay topic – which changes every year – will assess the essays using the following criteria:

  • how well your personal perspective links to the local/national/international landscape
  • how well structured the essay is
  • how easy the essay is to read and understand
  • how much the essay inspires or engages
  • how well you make use of relevant references

The prize for the winning essay is £200, student membership for a year and the opportunity to have their essay published in one of RSTMH's scientific journals and on our website.

We will also invite the winner to be presented with a certificate and their prize at an RSTMH event.