Undergraduate Essay in the Natural Sciences

A prize of $3,500 is open for competition to undergraduate students for an essay of high literary merit on a subject in any of the natural sciences. Submissions should be addressed to the non-specialist, but may include technical data. Parts of theses, suitably modified for presentation to the general reader, are acceptable. Essays already submitted for prizes outside of Harvard University are not admissible. Essays that are already published are not admissible. Essays submitted for publication (but not yet published) are acceptable.

Essays submitted to the competition must not exceed 7,500 words, including notes and references. Mathematical or other technical symbols may be used if an explanation is provided. Abbreviations should be avoided. Each manuscript must have a title page that conforms to the required specifications (see the title page template below), including a one-sentence epitome of the essay and a word count. A pseudonym is required. Inquiries should be addressed to the Prize Office at prizes at fas.harvard.edu.

Bowdoin Prize Title Page Template




Essay Title


Class of Year [e.g., Class of 2023]

Submitted for:
Undergraduate Essay in the Natural Sciences

Epitome: [A one-sentence description of the essay]

Word Count: [no more than 7,500 words]










Deadline: 11:59 p.m. on March 30, 2023