2024 Maurice R. Hilleman Essay Contest
2024 Writing prompt:
Dr. Hilleman made his impact on the world through the development of vaccines. What scientific issue would you take on if given the chance and why?
What if your life's work led to saving 8 million lives every year? Virologist Maurice R. Hilleman dreamed of a world free from the ravages of infectious diseases. Through his contributions to over half of the routine vaccines that young children receive today, his work put us closer to that goal than we had ever been before. To celebrate Dr. Hilleman’s legacy, students in grades 6 to 12* from the U.S. & Canada have an opportunity to learn about Dr. Hilleman and reflect on a scientific issue that they would work to address and why.
*Grades 6 to 11 in Quebec
Thank you to the co-sponsors of the 2024 Maurice R. Hilleman Essay Contest:
Students in grades 6 to 12* living in the United States (including District of Columbia and U.S. Territories) or Canada and enrolled in a public, private, cyber, religious or charter school or who attend a home school program can participate. First and second place will be awarded in the high school and middle school categories in each country.
*Grades 6 to 11 in Quebec
Learn about Dr. Hilleman, and write a 500- to 1,000-word essay that responds to this prompt: “Dr. Hilleman made his impact on the world through the development of vaccines. What scientific issue would you take on if given the chance and why?” Essay should be written in English for U.S. submissions and English or French for Canadian submissions using complete sentences and appropriate grammar. One entry per person. See “Official Rules” for complete details.
Winners will receive:
Cash prize: 1st place US$500; 2nd place US$250
Recognition at a virtual award event in May, 2024
Event will be hosted by Dr. Paul Offit - VEC director, vaccine inventor and Hilleman biographer. The event will also include special guests and student winners reading their essays.
Completed entries must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, February 15, 2024, or postmarked by February 15 if mailed. Submissions that are incomplete, do not address the prompt, do not follow the contest rules, or are not received by this time will not be considered.
Click on your country of residence to find out more and enter.
Teacher named in each winning student's entry will receive a signed copy of a book written by Paul A. Offit, MD, and a 1-year, free membership to the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), graciously provided by NABT.