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Burns H. Weston International Human Rights Essay Prize

The UICHR sponsors the annual Burns H. Weston International Human Rights Essay Prize. Each year, two awards are made: one to an undergraduate and another to a graduate or professional school student. The prizes honor the fine work of University of Iowa students and the lifetime work of Professor Burns H. Weston of the College of Law.

The winners receive $750 (undergraduate) or $1000 (graduate or professional student) to be applied towards financial aid or as an award if student loans do not apply. If a student already receives financial aid, federal financial aid regulations require that all financial aid, including awards and prizes, must fit within a student’s cost of attendance. The Student Financial Aid Office will review each prize to determine if a student’s financial aid will be affected and will notify the student about any adjustments that need to be made.

Undergraduate essays should be 10-15 pages in length; graduate essays 20-40 pages in length. Essays can discuss current events or history, law, public policy, or the arts & humanities. The essay does not need to be produced exclusively for the competition in order to qualify for review; the essay can be a paper written for a class. The only requirement is that the essays address issues of international human rights.

Please send submissions to UICHR Assistant Director, Amy Weismann via email:

Past Winners

2018 Vincent Benlloch
Undergraduate, Grinnell College 
"Coercion's Two Faces: Disaggregating Tunisia's Coercive Apparatus in the Aftermath of the Arab Uprising"

2017 Lindsay Jarr...

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