Frequently Asked Questions

. . . about the Bowdoin Prizes for Graduate Students


1. How does a student apply for the Bowdoin Prizes for Graduate Essays in the English Language or for Graduate Essay in the Natural Sciences?
Submissions for the Bowdoin Prizes for Graduate Essays in the English Language or for Graduate Essay in the Natural Sciences are accepted online via the Prize Office’s website. Click on the “Apply Here” link on the relevant prize description page to submit an essay.

2. Are submissions for the Bowdoin Prize for Graduate Essays in the English Language limited to topics having to do with the study of English?
No. “Essays in the English Language” refers to essays written in English.

3. Competitors for the Bowdoin Prizes for graduate students must be in residence. How is “in residence” defined?
For the purposes of the Bowdoin Prizes for graduate students, “in residence” means that a competitor has been registered as a graduate student in a degree program at Harvard since the beginning of the academic year. Traveling scholars, November degree candidates, and special students are not included within these parameters.

4. Where can one find examples of past winning Bowdoin essays?
Past winning Bowdoin essays are available at the Harvard University Archives. Questions about access to these essays should be addressed directly to the Archives at archives_reference@harvard.edu.

5. Should the essay submitted for the prize be double-spaced or single-spaced?
Double-spaced is the preferred format for all works submitted to the Prize Office.

6. Are figures (conceptual/schematic rather than technical data) allowed?
Figures that help the reader understand the essay are allowed. Any captions count toward the 7,500 word limit.

7. Does the 7,500 word limit include all footnotes, bibliographical information, and captions?
Yes. The 7,500 word limit includes all footnotes, captions, and bibliographical information.

8. May a student submit essays to more than one Bowdoin Prize category?
No. A student must choose whether to submit an essay to the Bowdoin Prize for Graduate Essays in the English Language or the Bowdoin Prize for Graduate Essay in the Natural Sciences in a given year.

9. May a student submit more than one essay for a Bowdoin Prize in a given year?
No. A student may only submit one essay for a Bowdoin Prize in a given year.

10. May a student resubmit an essay previously submitted for a Bowdoin Prize?
No. A student may not submit an essay for a Bowdoin Prize more than once.

11. May a student submit a co-authored essay for a Bowdoin Prize?
No. The Bowdoin Prizes are designed to recognize the efforts of individual authors; therefore, essays written in collaboration with another person are not eligible for submission.

12. Is a prize deadline dependent on the location of the person submitting materials for a prize?
No. All application materials must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on the day of the deadline. Prize Office deadlines are strictly observed.

13. If a student encounters difficulty applying for the prize, may he or she request an extension?
No. Competitors are responsible for ensuring that their application materials are complete and submitted to the Prize Office by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the deadline. No extensions are granted.

14. When will the prize winners be notified?
Graduate student competitors will be notified of the prize committee’s decision via email by early February.