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The 2010 Sir John M. Templeton Fellowships Essay Contest

Home | Guidelines and Rules | References | Past Winners | Submit Your Essay

Guidelines and Rules

Topic

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”
Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850)

Assuming Bastiat is correct, what ideas or reforms could be developed that would make people better aware that government wants to live at their expense?

Only essays written on this topic will be considered.

Student Eligibility

  • Student applicants must be 35 years of age or younger as of May 3, 2010. In other words, they must have been born after May 3, 1974.
  • Student applicants must be enrolled in a college or university in Fall 2010. For example, high school students graduating in Spring 2010 are eligible if they will be enrolled in college in Fall 2010. College students graduating in Spring 2010, but not enrolled in Fall 2010 are not eligible.
  • Student applicants may be pursuing any degree including associates, undergraduate, post-graduate, or doctoral.
  • Student applicants may be either part-time or full-time students.
  • Student applicants may be citizens of any country, and may be living in any country.
  • Previous winners of the Templeton Essay Contest are not eligible.
  • Current Research Fellows, employees, and interns of the Independent Institute are not eligible.

Junior Faculty Member Eligibility

  • Junior faculty applicants must be 35 years of age or younger as of May 3, 2010. In other words, they must have been born after May 3, 1974.
  • Junior faculty members must hold a position of Assistant Professor or higher and not be tenured as of Fall 2010.
  • Applicants may be citizens of any country, and may be living in any country.
  • Previous winners of the Templeton Essay Contest are not eligible.
  • Current Research Fellows, employees, and interns of the Independent Institute are not eligible.

Prizes

    Students up to the age of 35
    First Prize: $2,500
    Second Prize: $1,500
    Third prize: $1,000

    Junior faculty members up to the age of 35 and not yet tenured
    First Prize: $10,000
    Second Prize: $7,500
    Third Prize: $4,000

Entry Deadline and Formats

The deadline for entry was 11:59 pm PDT, May 3, 2010. Entries must be submitted in electronic form through this website. Please see the Essay Submission Page.

Required Essay Length

Essay length is a firm requirement. Essays with a length outside these parameters will be automatically disqualified.

  • College or university students: 1,500 to 5,000 words.
  • Junior faculty members: 5,000 to 8,000 words.

The official essay length will be calculated for all essays using the Word Count feature in Microsoft Word. The essay text, text on the cover page, footnotes, and endnotes will count toward the essay’s official length. A bibliography will not count.

Style Guidelines

  • Essays must be in English.
  • Essays must be submitted using the submission webform (Student version; Faculty version)
  • Essays must be in the form of an attached .doc, .rtf, or .txt file.
  • Essays must have a cover page with the essay’s title and the name of the author. The other pages of the essay must not display the name of the author.
  • Essays must be original works written by the submitter and must not have been previoulsy published anywhere else. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be reported to the student or faculty member’s school.
  • Essays should have a thesis statement, with paragraphs that support the thesis statement.
  • Well researched papers with references and footnotes that back up assertions are best, but judges aren’t looking for the paper with the most footnotes.
  • Essays need not be technical or demonstrate hyper-specialized scholarship, but they should be serious in content, tone, and style.
  • Essays will be judged based on clarity, rigor, eloquence, and precision.
  • Please review past winning essays for examples of what is expected.

Judging Procedure

Each essay is read and ranked independently by three academics who comprise the panel of judges. All identifying information is removed from the essays so that they are judged blindly, in case any of the judges happen to have a previous familiarity with any of the contestants. After each judge has ranked what they consider the best essays, the rankings are averaged and the essays with the highest average rankings are declared the winners.

Announcement of Winners

Winners will be announced in Fall 2010. Submitted essays become the property of The Independent Institute. The Independent Institute will post winning essays on this website and will seek to have them published in various magazines and journals, and cooperate fully with the authors in their republication elsewhere.

Benefits

In addition to the monetary prizes, The Independent Institute assists with placing the winning essays for publication in prominent journals, on websites, and through other outlets. In addition, winners may be invited to speak at the Institute’s seminar series or other forum. Winners’ names are advertised through the Institute’s website and in print ads appearing in prominent publications.



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