Current undergraduates are invited to enter essays or projects related to human rights in our annual Oliver W. Koonz Human Rights Prize competition. The Duke Human Rights Center@FHI awards one $500 prize to the winners in each category.

two people smiling and standing in desert

Essay Submission Guidelines

An essay must be no longer than 25 double-spaced pages. Whether it is a critical essay, research paper, or personal essay, a submission must:

  • identify the particular human rights principle(s) involved
  • formulate your topic question
  • explain your approach
  • critically discuss relevant research
  • arrive at a conclusion

Project Submission Guidelines

project can be a photographic essay, a play script or short story, a documentary video, a web page, a phone app, a visualization of data or other original approach to confronting a human rights question.

All submissions must include a paragraph introducing the paper or project, listing any co-authors and noting whether it was created in a course. A submission does not have to be developed in the context of a course, but if it was, please note the course title. Whether or not it is connected to a course, an essay or project must be completed during the time the student is enrolled at Duke. Please send submissions to by April 1, 2023. Awards will be announced in May 2023.