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The student essay competition is currently suspended but will be amended and reintroduced in 2016. 

Student Essay Competition 2014

The Northern Ireland Forum for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare Essay Competition is held annually. This year two prizes, each £100, will be awarded for the best undergraduate and postgraduate student essay, respectively, on a topic of the entrant’s own choice within the broad remit of ‘ethical issues in health and social care’. The competition is open to all registered students within any Faculty in Queen’s University Belfast or the University of Ulster. Essays (recommended word limit 1,500-2,500 words) should be word-processed (double-spaced, A4) and submitted to the Honorary Secretary (preferably by email attachment to contact@nief.org.uk) before the closing date of Monday 30th June, 2014. Essays should conform to the instructions for authors (enclosed). Applicants should indicate on their application whether they are an undergraduate or postgraduate student. Essays will be judged by a panel comprising at least three members of the Forum’s Council, reflecting the disciplines and institutions represented by the entrants in any given year.

Suggested essay topics include:-

Ethical dilemmas at the beginning of life (e.g. abortion, saviour siblings, assisted conception); ethical dilemmas at the end of life (e.g. euthanasia and assisted suicide); ethical issues relating to organ transplantation; healthcare rationing; research governance; genetic screening; drug development, marketing and prescribing; social equality, disability, discrimination and human rights; autonomy and consent. The above list is not exhaustive; entrants may wish to write on another topic of their own choosing.

Instructions to Authors:

All manuscripts should be typed using Arial Narrow font size 12. A strict word limit is not applied but as a general guide, articles should normally occupy between 6-10 pages in the published journal (1500-2500 words approximately).

The first page of the manuscript should include the title, name(s) of author(s) and full address (including email) of the corresponding author.

An abstract (200-300 words approximately) is required and should reflect the content of the article including a statement of rationale and a reasoned concluding statement.

The use of emboldened subheadings to separate the text of the manuscript into approximately 3-5 sections is encouraged.

References should be numbered sequentially in the order in which they are cited within the main text. Superscripted square brackets should be used [1] .

The following format should be employed when referencing:

[1] Pickering S, Braude P. Further advances and uses of assisted conception technology. BMJ 2003; 327: 1156-1158.

[2] Mental Capacity Act 2007. Department for Constitutional Affairs. http://www.dca.gov.uk/legal-policy/mental-capacity/mca-summary.pdf (Accessed 26th October 2006)

Manuscripts should be submitted to:


Detail of previous winners (2006-2012) can be found here (.pdf).